Lawmaker says photo of him reading sex book doesn't tell the whole story

Lawmaker on the Defense After Viral Photo
Lawmaker on the Defense After Viral Photo

(WQAD) An Iowa lawmaker said a photo that was taken of him reading during a debate on the Iowa House floor doesn't tell the whole story.

A photographer snapped a photo of Representative Ross Paustian reading a book called "Sex over Sixty." Paustian clarified that the book was a birthday gag gift that he said was handed to him by a fellow lawmaker sitting next to him.

"He handed it over to me and I was kind of chuckling about it, flipping through the pages, and the gal from the Des Moines Register snapped my picture and put it on Twitter and social media," Paustian said to News 8's Chris Minor. "I was there, doing my job, listening to the debate."

Paustian has reportedly gotten some negative emails about the photo.

"Do you see it could look bad?" asked News 8's Chris Minor.

"Yeah," Paustian replied. "If I offended any of my constituents, I apologize. That certainly wasn't my intent. I'm still committed to do what's right for my constituents."

The Scott County farmer said the debate had gone on for hours and he said he was listening and ready to vote.