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Ethics committee wants Oklahoma senator to pay STD/pizza lunch tab



A long time ago in a Capitol far, far away (actually, it was Washington, D.C.), non-galactic Sen. Tom Coburn continued a tradition borne when he was a House of Representatives member: a lunch-and-learn about the horrors of sexually transmitted diseases.   

Episode 2005: Revenge of the STDs: It is a period of sexual disease, with syphilis, herpes and human papillomavirus running more rampant than Ewoks at a celebratory campfire. In a pre-emptive warning to avoid early exits or audible gasps, the good Dr. Coburn tells Hill staffers the presentation "is going to be pretty graphic, and I don't want anybody to be surprised," according to The Washington Times. (That's because the 1997 episode generated audience groans and participants questioning the concept of lifelong monogamy, especially for homosexuals.)    

In 2005, the quieter crowd reportedly held on to their lightsabers as a free pizza lunch was served at the "Star Wars" STD party. A Yoda-like figure cried: "Stop the STDs, we must." Meanwhile, Darth Vader warned, "Never underestimate the power of the STDs."

Justifying displaying pictures of inflamed nether regions, Coburn said kids today don't get enough information. Wonder if he's seen the Internet.

If you feel a disturbance in the Force, it's because this year's safe-sex slideshow sequel is a cliffhanger. Capitol Hill interns might be out of luck because of bickering over payment for the pie.

The Senate Ethics Committee wants Coburn to fork over the dough for the pizza feeding up to 300 interns, according to Previously, outside groups helped with sponsorship.

Coburn spokesman John Hart told the Senate Ethics Committee "would argue that that's an outside group increasing our office account inappropriately." But Hart doesn't think the rule makes sense.

"The House Ethics Committee, which enforces a more stringent body of rules concerning outside sponsorship of events, never found fault with the sponsorship of Dr. Coburn's slide show," Hart wrote in a 2005 press release. "The Senate Ethics Committee staff, however, has concluded that Dr. Coburn is the actual sponsor of the event and should therefore be responsible for the costs of the pizza lunch. Dr. Coburn will submit to the staff directive."

Coburn recently announced he's running for a second term in the Senate. Chicken-Fried News hopes the senator finally figures out the pizza dispute. (Considering Sen. Amidala's experience with disputes over taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems, maybe he should consult with her?)

CFN intern Bucky suggests dining in with Freschetta, "the fresh taste sensation," or gathering around "the good stuff" with Pizza Hut.

Oh, and Bucky would like extra cheese on his sausage. And hold the pepperoni!

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