Let’s start off by establishing that we don’t generally like to get involved in the personal lives of our elected officials. Just like all the rest of us, they’re not perfect. We prefer to report on their decisions, the policies they embrace, the people they make deals with. And we find their romantic foibles particularly tiresome. Yes, powerful people tend to have a lot of sex, and sometimes it gets weird. Yawn.

But every so often an item about a powerful person’s sex life bubbles to the surface for public consumption so sinister and perverted that it cannot be ignored.

That happened Monday morning, when the alienation-of-affection lawsuit against North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) dropped.

As your iPhone might say, it’s ducked up.

NC is one of just six states that allows for lawsuits of this type, which put a dollar amount on damages caused by marital affairs. Judgments are paid by the cheating spouse’s illicit lover, which in this case is the speaker of the NC House.

The lawsuit alleges — with photos! — that Moore conducted an affair with the wedded partner of a minor political figure in Apex. He is currently an assistant principal whose spouse works in a state department over which Moore held considerable sway.

According to the document, Moore “aggressively pursued a sexual relationship” with the plaintiff’s partner in an affair that lasted three years. Besides their own dalliances, the plaintiff’s partner admitted to “group sex with other individuals seeking Defendant Tim Moore’s political favor” and that she “could not end her relationship with Defendant Tim Moore for fear of retaliation” even after the plaintiff had confronted Moore. And when Moore found out that this suit was coming, it alleges, he had an agent install motion-detector cameras on the plaintiff’s property to monitor his comings and goings.

This one scratches a lot of itches. He’s a powerful political figure who is at least partly responsible for flooding our streets with guns, restricting abortion access, gerrymandering districts to the disadvantage of voters in the state and all sorts of other things we hate. If the suit is to be believed, he was not reluctant to leverage his position for sexual favors. And then there’s the whole group-sex business, which is exactly the kind of thing Madison Cawthorn tried to warn us about.

Plaintiff asks for just $25,000 against his losses — a fairly trivial sum for political power players in the state. The damage to Moore’s career could cost a lot more. Or will it? After Trump, hard-right voters are willing to forgive a lot more than they used to. Which means Moore can either deny it — photographic evidence notwithstanding — or lean into it. But as of press time his strategy has been to keep silent until he figures his path to daylight.

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