Best Citizen

Tammy Chapman

She didn't go looking for publicity. Tammy Chapman was no longer stripping and no longer posing for Penthouse. She was just a bartender doing her job. But when a picture of her posing with the lieutenant governor (and odds-on favorite to take on Governor Jay Nixon) was posted on the RFT website and reporters began calling, Tammy Chapman answered their questions. Yes, she knew Peter Kinder. No, they'd never had an affair. But back in the day, he'd really creeped her out — and, more recently, she said, he'd offered to move her into his campaign-financed condo. The story got picked up by newspapers from Great Britain to Los Angeles, and Kinder's campaign reverted to the classic Clintonism of "this woman" in its denial — as in, "This woman's bizarre story is not true." But only one week later, Kinder admitted to a huge chunk of Chapman's story. Yes, he had known her. Yes, he'd repeatedly visited the club where she used to strip. And yes, he'd had "romantic" feelings for her. Never mind that he used a Dean Martin song to explain his depth of feeling or that he continued to deny he'd ever been a creep; it was still vindication for a woman who spoke up when she had nothing to gain — and, in the process, changed the state's political landscape.

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