FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS - No one will argue that sitting on the Senate floor during session can get a little boring, but looking at porn is probably not the best way to pass the time.
On Thursday morning, Sunshine State News captured exclusive video of Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, looking at pornographic material on his state-issued computer on the Senate floor.
Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill.
"I'm against this bill," said Gelber, "because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida."
Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman "who happens to be a former court administrator."
"I was just sitting there, bored as they were debating the abortion bill," Bennett said.
"I opened it up and said holy [expletive]! What's on my screen? and clicked away from it right away."
Sunshine State News could not verify how long the image of four bikini-clad women with their tops exposed was open before our cameras started rolling on it, but it was up for at least three seconds before it disappeared from the screen.
Senate spokesperson Jaryn Emhof explained further on Bennett's behalf.
"There was some confusion about an email he received," said Emhof. "He thought it was an email about an item being debated on the Senate floor. As soon as he realized it wasn't he closed the page."
But the one image we caught on camera wasn't the only thing Bennett had viewed. It appears other files, including at least two videos, may have been downloaded, too. He was also caught on camera watching a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. It is unclear if he also thought that was an email about a bill being debated on the floor.
Bennett was provided with an opportunity to prove his statements to Sunshine State News by showing the executive editor and videographer the email record with a government-related subject line, but after talking to the Senate's top lawyer, he declined to let us see those records.
This revealing video comes just weeks after an investigation found a number of federal Securities and Exchange Commission employees had been spending several hours visiting pornographic websites on government-issued computers when they should have been working.
When asked if he ever looks at pornography while on the Senate floor, Bennett responded, "You'd have to be insane to do that. It all goes through a server. I don't think anybody would be doing that."