Republican quits after spanking boast is caught on tape

Another day, another Republican sex scandal. In a now-eerily-familiar scenario, a rising star of the party's conservative wing has been forced to resign – amid allegations that he fails to practise the lifestyle he so dutifully preaches.

Mike Duvall, a California state assemblyman who has strongly championed traditional values, quit after a TV station broadcast footage of him telling colleagues about his extra-marital trysts with not one, but two, female lobbyists.

The graphic account, heavily bleeped-out in evening news bulletins, saw 54-year-old Duvall talk a colleague through his bondage sessions with the women, one of whom is 18 years his junior.

Not realising that a microphone at his desk was switched on, the longstanding crusader for the family decided to pass time in a Sacramento debating chamber by recalling a liaison that had occurred the previous day.

"So, I am getting into spanking her," he told a male colleague. "Yeah, I like it. I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah! Because you're such a bad girl!'"

Duvall is married with two children and sat on the Assembly's ethics committee. In another part of the conversation he admitted failing to wear a condom during the hotel room encounter.

"She wears little eye-patch underwear," he added. "Her birthday was Monday... I said, 'now, you're getting old. I am going to have to trade you in.' She is 18 years younger than me."

He then referenced a second affair. "Oh, yeah, Shar, Shar, Shar... she is hot! I talked to her yesterday. She goes, 'So are we finished?' I go, 'No, we're not finished... You know about the other one, but she doesn't know about you!'"

After the tape emerged, Duvall spent a surreal 24 hours being chased around Sacramento by reporters. His position wasn't helped by the revelation that one of the two mistresses, Heidi DeJong Barsuglia, works as a lobbyist for a San Diego energy firm called Sempra – which he was supposed to oversee.

Yesterday, he attempted to repair his reputation, optimistically claiming on his website: "I want to make it clear that my decision to resign is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs. My offense was engaging in inappropriate story-telling and I regret my language and choice of words."

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