The Many Faces of Former Senator John Ensign
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BACHMANN | RICHARD
M. SCAIFE | JOHN
ENSIGN | MARK
SANFORD | SAM
GARY BAUER | DAN BURTON | | JOHN BARRASSO | DICK ARMEY | LAMAR ALEXANDER | MAX BAUCUS | GARY BAUER | THE BIRTHERS
ROY BLUNT | JOHN BOEHNER | KIT BOND | JIM BUNNING | RICHARD BURR | KEN CALVERT | ERIC CANTOR | SAXBY CHAMBLISS | TOM COBURN
BOB CORKER CHUCK GRASSLEY | SEN. CORNYN | ANN COULTER | JIM INHOFE | JIM DEMINT | BILL NELSON | PAT ROBERTSON | ADOLPH COORS
JAMES DOBSON | LATE JERRY FALWELL SEN. CRAPO | TOM DELAY | RICHARD DEVOS | DICK CHENEY | DOUG LAMBORN | THE FAR RIGHT PURPOSE
GIULIANI | GLENN BECK LINDSEY GRAHAM | JUDD GREGG | JEFF GANNON | REPUBLICAN HALL OF SHAME | SEAN HANNITY | HEALTHCARE REFORM
LARRY PRATT | WALLY HERGER | MIKE HUCKABEE JOHNNY ISAKSON | JEB BUSH | MIKE JOHANNS | JOHN MCCAIN | MITCH MCCONNEL
DICK MORRIS | NEWT GINGRICH | BILL O'REILLY | RUSH LIMBAUGH SARAH PALIN | SEN. RISCH | PAUL ROBERTSON | SEN. ROBERTS
GEORGE ROCHE | MITT ROMNEY | RONALD REAGAN | KARL ROVE | SEN. SESSIONS | RICHARD SHELBY | TOM TANCREDO | TRENT FRANKS
REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED FOR RAPE | LT. GOV. ANDRE BAUER | CHRISTIAN HIJACK | FOX NEWS MICHELLE MALKIN | MARK PRYOR
MIKE MCINTYRE | JOE PITTS | HEATH SHULER | BART STUPAK | CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTIONISTS | ZACK WAMP | FRANK WOLF
CHIP PICKERING | TEA BAGGERS | JOHN ASHCROFT | LOUIS SHELDON | WYLY BROTHERS | GEORGE W. BUSH UNOFFICIAL PAGE | THE FAMILY
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"Separation between Church and State." Who coined the Phrase?
Give up? Answer: Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding
fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the
First Amendment to that same Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Dansbury Baptist
Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
In it he said:
ARE EXTREMIST (TEA PARTY) REPUBLICANS THE ENEMY AND TRAITORS TO AMERICA? by R. Blackbird
Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are selfish, power hungry, hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its people, dishonest, avaricious, scornful of the nation's history, the dignity of its institutio
ns, its standards of political morality, and its vision of advancement for all the people. The Republicans love war as long as they and theirs do not have to put on helmets and carry guns into the fighting. They use lies to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocents and thousands of our own military service people. They love massive war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is absent.
Those Extremist Republicans hate the rest of us, which they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto us, the financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and thefts cause. They are prolific, incessant, and destructive liars. They are blasphemers for they insist that their hateful and destructive deeds are the work of God. They are apostates for they gleefully attack the poor, the immigrants, the old and the sick, of whom God has commanded all of us to be mindful.
There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is built on false premises. There is no appealing to them for honor's sake for they have lost all sense of shame and have no honor, there is no appealing to them for the nation's sake for that it what they hate the most.
Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are the enemy.
We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Senator John Ensign has made serious errors in in judgment. John has supported a Conservative Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues. It is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions.
John's office like others we called, stated that his position is that Hindu, Shintoists, or Witches aren't "Real" religions." What is a real religion, Mr. Ensign? What you have been practicing? Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known." This is a summary of information collected from several sources about John Ensign.
(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone. Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself! And remember, the Religious Freedom Coalition does not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process. BUT, we are here to expose hypocrites who abuse our trust in them and will not stand for public officials lying and CHEATING!!! This information is only for students of John Ensign)
Senator Jim Ensign and the Republican Party Supports Rape by Defense Contractors
I think that all homo sapiens can understand how the mere thought of an organization that receives government money through contract mechanisms being tangentially involved in setting up a fake tax shelter for a fake pimp and his fake prostitution ring of fake prostitutes can justifiably lead to lawmakers going absolutely cross-eyed with white-hot, impotent rage. But what happens when a similarly taxpayer-endowed contractor attempts to cover up employee-on-employee gang rape by locking up the victim in a shipping container without food and water and threatening her with reprisals if she report the incident? Somehow, it doesn't engender the same level of anger!
30 misogynist Republicans in the U.S. Senate are totally OK with rape, at least where women are concerned. Predictably in yet another routine attempt to serve their corporate masters, (this time the GOP stood by Halliburton) Republicans voted against women and for corporate contempt of rape victims.
Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work -- and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.
Instead of standing up to take responsibility for or clarifying their disgraceful votes, Republican cowards are instead attacking Al Franken, blaming him for their votes.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) accused Franken exploiting the story of Jamie Leigh Jones -- a former KBR employee who says she was locked in a container in Iraq after alleging she was raped by co-workers -- to further his political agenda.
I guess Franken held a sledge hammer over Cornyn's head and said if he did not vote against the anti-rape amendment Franken would crack it over his head.
What shameless cowards.To summarize the Republican position: As women, we are not "average Americans," and gang rape is not a "serious" issue. As women, no matter how powerful we become on our own merits, the Republican establishment will still be hoping for a man to come along and put us in our place.
Not every Republican signs onto these views -- indeed, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the Franken amendment, giving the lie to the NRSC's claim of partisanship -- but this is the undercurrent of the party's policies. This is what they're hoping to get voters to overlook when they run a Sarah Palin or a Kelly Ayotte for office. This is why Bob McDonnell's campaign for Virginia governor has been such a popular campaign stop for 2012 prospects: because of, not despite, his opposition to marital contraception and women in the workplace. This is why David Vitter (who voted against the Franken amendment) is still a senator in good standing with the party of alleged sexual morality.
You don't have to go very far beneath the Republican surface claims of equality-but-not-really to get to the rock-bottom sense that women just don't count, that our rights and our wellbeing are always subordinate to whatever interest of men they might conflict with. When it comes to it, even the (themselves sexist) notions of chivalry and protecting women come behind protecting the right of corporations to imprison their female employees to shield their male employees from rape charges and still get government contracts.
Credit new Senator Al Franken however, forintroducing an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would punish contractors if they "restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." You'd think that this would be a no-brainer, actually, but that didn't stop Jeff Sessions from labeling Franken's effort a "political attack directed at Halliburton." Franken, of course, pointed out that his amendment would apply broadly, to all contractors, because otherwise, 'twould be a bill of attainder, right? Right?
Franken's amendment ended up passing, 68-30. Here's a list of the Senators who showed broad support for Rapists and Pedophiles by voting against it: (Click on their names to find out more about them).
ADDENDUM: It's been pointed out to me that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied against the Franken amendment as well:
I guess we must cover up crimes like rape in order to save capitalism.
PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON
WASHINGTON — A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to a Republican campaign committee and companies in Nevada in a probe of Sen. John Ensign, who has been under scrutiny for his efforts to find lobbying work for the husband of his former mistress.
One subpoena went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which was formerly chaired by Ensign, a Nevada Republican, committee spokesman Brian Walsh said Thursday.
Sean Cairncross, general counsel for the group that is the campaign committee for Republican Senate candidates, said the committee has responded appropriately to questions concerning matters related to the timeframe of the 2008 election campaign.
On Thursday, a Las Vegas television station reported that grand jury subpoenas in the Ensign probe went to six Las Vegas businesses that it did not name.
According to one subpoena obtained by the Las Vegas television station, a recipient was ordered to produce documents relating to, among others, Ensign; Michael Slanker, the former political director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and Slanker's wife, Lindsey, the committee's former finance director.
The subpoena covers the period starting Jan. 1, 2008, and directs the recipient to testify March 31 in Washington, D.C., and to turn over documents. The station posted one subpoena on its Web site with the recipient's identity blacked out.
Ensign's affair and the legal problems it has engendered have derailed talk that he might make a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and forced him to resign his position as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
Asked about the subpoenas, Ensign spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher said, "Sen. Ensign is confident he has complied with all ethics rules and laws and will cooperate with any official inquiries."
The FBI and Senate Ethics Committee are investigating whether Ensign tried to limit political damage from an affair he had with the wife of one of his Senate aides by conspiring to help the aide find a new job as a lobbyist, which might have violated restrictions on lobbying by former congressional staff.
Federal criminal law prohibits congressional aides from lobbying their ex-bosses or office colleagues for one year after departing their Hill jobs.
Ensign acknowledged the relationship with Cynthia Hampton last June. Ensign helped her husband, Doug Hampton, gain employment with a lobbying firm, and Ensign's parents provided the Hamptons with a payment of $96,000 that they described as a gift.
The affair ended in 2008; Ensign is married.
Hampton told The New York Times last year that, in coordination with the senator and his staff, he played a significant role in pushing the Washington agendas of NV Energy, the largest power company in Nevada, and Allegiant Air, a Las Vegas-based discount airline. On Thursday, Allegiant Air declined to comment. In a statement, NV Energy said that "as we have said all along, we will cooperate with any federal review."
The subpoena posted on the TV station's Web site also seeks documents relating to former Ensign chief of staff John Lopez and the Hamptons.
The subpoena also seeks records regarding November Inc., a political consulting firm belonging to Michael Slanker.
John Lopez, Ensign's former chief of staff, told The New York Times last year that when he raised concerns about contacts between Hampton and the senator's office, he was designated as an intermediary to ensure those contacts complied with the law.
Lopez acknowledged that Hampton tried to lobby him, but he said that was Hampton's problem. Robert Kelner, Lopez's attorney, declined to comment Thursday about whether Lopez has received a subpoena in the case.
Michael Slanker and officials at November Inc. did not respond Thursday to messages seeking comment. Daniel Albregts, a Las Vegas lawyer representing the Hamptons, declined to comment.
Associated Press writers Ken Ritter in Las Vegas and Kevin Freking and Liz Sidoti in Washington contributed to this report.
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has come under increasing internal pressure this week from Nevada Republicans who believe he should resign due to increasing concerns that his ethics investigation will end up damaging the party in November.
"We are on the verge of great victory come November, but the most long awaited victory can quickly slip through our grasp unless we immediately put the focus back on conservative issues," Richard Scotti and Swadeep Nigam, two former Clark County GOP officials, wrote at Nevada News and Views. "We call on all true conservative Republican leaders and activists to speak out now for the resignation of Senator Ensign."
In an appearance on Nevada television, Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) also called Ensign a "wounded junior senator" and said that this was a "cause for concern" for the party.
"Will it have impact up and down the ticket for Republicans this fall? I think there is the potential for that happening," Heller added, stopping short of calling for the Senator's resignation.
Last year, Ensign admitted to having an affair with Cynthia Hampton, a staffer for his campaign and the wife of his best friend and co-chief of staff. In the aftermath, Ensign may have helped Doug Hampton find lobbyist work, as well as directed a $96,000 "gift" to the Hamptons, claims that a federal grand jury is now investigating.
Excerpt from The Huffington Post by Rachel Weiner 11-23-09
Doug Hampton, the friend of John Ensign who discovered the Republican Nevada senator was having an affair with his wife, sat down with ABC News to discuss the ongoing scandal. Hampton accused Ensign of breaking ethics laws and said he believed Ensign was still pursuing the illicit relationship.
"I think he's absolutely at this time pursuing her," Hampton told "Nightline". "He's absolutely fixated on Cindy ... He's in love with her." According to Hampton, Ensign told him, "I'm not going to apologize for how I feel. Not only am I going to pursue the relationship, you can't work for me anymore."
Hampton also accused Ensign of helping him line up lobbying clients.
"There's no doubt," he said. "Why would a client hire Doug Hampton if he didn't think he would have access to John Ensign's office? It's the only reason I would hire him."
Ensign Paid Mistress' Family $96,000
Excerpts from an article on the Huffington Post by Kathleen Hennessey, First Posted: 07- 9-09 03:43 PM
LAS VEGAS — The sex scandal engulfing Sen. John Ensign has deepened now that his former mistress's husband has revealed new details about the relationship, saying the Nevada Republican paid the woman more than $25,000 in severance when she stopped working for him.
Now, in a letter to Politico, Ensign's lawyer has revealed that the senator's parents gave a "gift" of nearly $100,000 to the family of Cindy Hampton out of private funds.
In April 2008, Senator John Ensign's parents each made gifts to Doug Hampton, Cindy Hampton, and two of their children in the form of a check totaling $96,000. Each gift was limited to $12,000. The payments were made as gifts, accepted as gifts and complied with tax rules governing gifts.
After the Senator told his parents about the affair, his parents decided to make the gifts out of concern for the well-being of long-time family friends during a difficult time. The gifts are consistent with a pattern of generosity by the Ensign family to the Hamptons and others.
Through a spokesman, Ensign has accused Doug Hampton of recently making "exorbitant demands for cash and other financial benefits."
Ensign's office has acknowledged helping Hampton get work once he left the Senate office, first as a consultant and then as a lobbyist for an airline run by an Ensign contributor.
Hampton said in the interview that attorneys for the men have been in negotiations over "millions" in possible payments from the senator. Ensign, through his spokesman, has refused to answer questions on whether any payments have been made.
Doug Hampton also worked for Ensign as a Senate aide. He claims his wife received the $25,000 payment as severance when she left her position in May 2008. Both men say the affair continued until August 2008.
Doug Hampton also provided a letter to the Las Vegas Sun that he claimed was a handwritten apology from Ensign to Cindy Hampton, a former treasurer for the senator's campaign committees.
"I used you for my own pleasure," the letter reads, later adding. "Plain and simple it was wrong; it was sin."
The letters, along with Doug Hampton's interview on Wednesday with a local television news show, mark another embarrassment for Ensign, a 51-year-old Christian conservative who abruptly came forward last month and confessed to the affair. In addition, a severance payment could pose campaign finance or ethics issues for him.
Ensign spokesman Tory Mazzola said in an e-mail that Hampton was consistently inaccurate in the statements he made on television.
Hampton learned of the affair between his friend the senator and his wife when he discovered an incriminating text message, he said on "Face to Face with Jon Ralston."
Hampton also detailed a February 2008 meeting in which he, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and others encouraged Ensign to end the affair, as well as the working relationship with the Hamptons. Hampton said Coburn and others tried to encourage Ensign to compensate the couple and help them relocate.
"These men were the ones that said, 'What we need to do is get Doug Hampton's home paid for, and we need to get Doug Hampton some money. We need to get his family to Colorado,'" Hampton said in the interview
John Hart, a spokesman for Coburn, would not comment directly on the specific advice that Coburn gave Ensign.
Coburn "did everything he could to encourage Senator Ensign to end his affair and to persuade Senator Ensign to repair the damage he had caused to his own marriage and the Hamptons marriage," Hart said.
Coburn himself lashed out at Hampton in response.
"John Ensign hasn't put me in a tough position at all," said Coburn, a housemate of Ensign's at a Capitol Hill home owned by a Christian fellowship. "The person that's deceiving now is Doug. And you all need to go do the investigation now on that side of it and quit asking us and ask what's the motivation here ...
"He is in error, and he's manipulating the situation and you are all buying it ... I was never present when a letter was written, never made any assessment of paying anybody anything. Those are untruths. Those are absolute untruths."
Doug Hampton said the men encouraged Ensign to write the letter of apology breaking it off. The senator later told his mistress to ignore the note, Hampton said.
In the Feb. 2008 letter posted on the newspaper's Web site, someone signing their name "John" says he takes "100 percent responsibility for my actions." "God never intended for us to do this. I walked away from Him and my relationship with Him has suffered terribly," the letter reads.
The two families are longtime friends. They both live in the upscale suburbs west of the Las Vegas Strip and their children attend the same school.
"Our children referred to him as uncle," Hampton said. "This is tragic."
Did Fox News Cover Up Sen. Ensign’s Cheating Scandal?
Excerpts from an article Posted 6/19/2009 on newscorpse.com
A few days ago Sen. John Ensign admitted to having an extra-marital affair with Cythia Hampton, a woman who was an employee of his campaign operation and the wife of a staffer in his senate office. In the wake of this disclosure, Ensign has apologized, resigned his senate leadership post (but not his senate seat) and floated excuses for his confession that ran the gamut from media attention to blackmail.
Today, the Las Vegas Sun has identified another twist that puts Fox News squarely in the Ensign camp as a co-conspirator to hush up the affair.
“In a letter dated five days before Sen. John Ensign’s public confession of an extramarital affair, Doug Hampton pleaded to a national Fox News anchorwoman for help in exposing the senator’s ‘heinous conduct and pursuit’ of Hampton’s wife.”
So Fox News knew of Ensign’s infidelity five days before Ensign came forward. They got the information from the husband of Ensign’s mistress. That’s a pretty good source, especially when he asserts that he had corroborating evidence. Yet Fox News failed to report the affair prior to Ensign’s press conference, and has still neglected to disclose their receipt of the letter from Mr. Hampton.
Hampton addressed the letter to Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Both she and Fox News have yet to comment on the matter. However, the Sun obtained a copy of Hampton’s letter that began…
Hampton then summarized his relationship with Ensign and gave a brief description of the affair that roiled his family. He revealed that Ensign forthrightly pursued his wife, and would not desist even after confronted by other friends and colleagues, including Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. The letter was sent to Kelly in an apparent, last resort plea for justice from someone he presumed would show fairness and empathy. He told Kelly that…
At this time there is no confirmation from Fox news that they received the letter. However, they did not deny having received it when given the opportunity. It seems improbable that a letter from a staff member of a U.S. senator, alleging that his boss and his wife were having an affair, would be ignored.
It is also curious how Ensign became aware that a major news organization was going to report the affair. Did he learn this from Kelly? That would not be surprising in the course of an investigation wherein a reporter sought comment from someone accused of impropriety. The problem is that, under ordinary circumstances, such a reporter would then publish the story, but neither Kelly, nor any other reporter at Fox did so. So if Ensign did learn of the letter to Fox News from Kelly, it was more of a tip off than a journalistic inquiry.
The Ensign scandal seems to get dirtier by the day. It is not merely a matter of his personal indiscretions, but Mrs. Hampton also received salary increases during the period the affair took place. And Ensign also gave the Hampton’s son, Brandon, a job at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which Ensign chaired.
This combination of sexual, fiscal, and political improprieties, exacerbated by the collusion of a major television news network, would be juicy fare for a sensationalistic, tabloid news enterprise. Ironically, it would be perfect for Fox News, but i wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for their report.
Is Ensign's Sex Scandal More Than a Sex Scandal?
Excerpts from an article on huffingtonpost.com by Paul Blumenthal
Posted: June 17, 2009
Yesterday, Sen. John Ensign admitted to an affair with a campaign staffer who was also the wife of Ensign's administrative assistant. The couple ensnared in this torrid love triangle is Douglas Hampton, the administrative assistant, and Cynthia Hampton, an employee of Ensign's 2008 campaign and his Battle Born PAC. We know that Ensign revealed the affair because Douglas Hampton essentially blackmailed the senator. But, were the Hampton's receiving excessive pay from Ensign during the affair period? Politico looked at the official office payments to Douglas Hampton and found some numbers that look a bit... odd:
Now, you might immediately think that $144,000 for an administrative assistant is an absurd amount, but administrative assistant is often synonymous with chief of staff on the Hill. However, if you look to the reporting period of 4/1/2008 to 5/1/08:
Hampton was paid approximately $20,000 over this one month period. At the same time, Ensign hired a chief of staff, John Lopez, ostensibly to replace Hampton. If we are to assume that Hampton's annual salary is around $144,000 -- the cap on staffer salaries is around $160,000 -- then the $20,000 for one month ($240,000 in a year) would be far higher than his normal rate of pay. Over the four months of 2008 Hampton received $101,000, far more than his rate of pay for all of 2007.
There are a few points to be made here:
1) Staff salary reporting is often not aligned with the dates shown. If you look at Legistorm, you will see dates aligned with amounts. This is often not accurate, or includes bonuses with attribution.
2) Hampton could have collected his vacation pay, sick leave and a bonus at his termination, which would make his salary appear inflated.
3) Hampton could have stayed on to train Lopez in his new job. This would explain the overlap of two employees holding the same job.
(More: While writing this post, Politico released another report showing that the son of Douglas and Cynthia Hampton was on the payroll of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) while Ensign headed the organization:
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23844.html#ixzz0ImJR74NI&C
Also, this post about whether the Hampton's were pushed to extort Ensign due to a subprime mortgage on their house is worth a look too:
Did a subprime mortgage bring down Senator John Ensign? It looks like it. Alex Pareene over at his other online home explains:
Why did Republican Senator John Ensign’s sexual dalliance with a married former staffer get revealed now? Because of subprime mortgages and the Nevada housing crisis!
Ensign’s affair was with Cynthia Hampton, his reelection campaign treasurer. Hampton’s husband was an administrative assistant, which is awkward. Even more awkward: the Hamptons are broke, and maybe defaulting on their shitty mortgage.
Alex is pointing to a Politico article that says the not extremely well-compensated Hamptons had a mortgage of $1.2 million on their Las Vegas home with an interest rate of 8%.
But it gets better. According to a TPM Muckraker discussion thread back in 2008, the Hamptons were trying to sell the house. And the thread points to an assessor’s valuation of the property which appeared to show that the Hamptons were losing a lot of their investment in the house. And here’s more from the Las Vegas Review Journal:
So if it’s true that Mr. Hampton sought a large amount of money from Ensign, could it be that as a result of losing his job in Ensign’s shop last year, he was at risk of losing his house? Working as a consultant might not cover the spread all that much, especially with the senator not up for re-election any time soon, and his possible 2012 presidential plans a long way off.
You’ve all heard the truism that bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is. Perhaps instead of a bank, Mr. Hampton saw the senator as where the money was.
Since these questions are
integral to whether Hampton was received extra pay while Ensign was sleeping
with his wife, there are important disclosure problems that need to be
addressed. They are:
FOR ENSIGN, HELL MAY BE A FURY YET TO COME!!
How Many Affairs Has He Had?!!!!
An excerpt from an article on huffingtonpost.com by KATHLEEN HENNESSEY posted June 18, 2009
LAS VEGAS — Sen. John Ensign has been quick to describe his dalliance with an aide in brief and simple terms. The affair is over. The apologies made and accepted. No questions will be answered, the married Nevada Republican said in his brief admission of infidelity.
But the first public statement from the woman once involved with the 51-year-old rising political star suggests more is brewing behind Ensign's neat account.
Cindy Hampton and her husband, a couple Ensign has described as "close friends," issued sharp remarks Wednesday through an attorney.
"It is unfortunate the senator chose to air this very personal matter, especially after the Hamptons did everything possible to keep this matter private," Las Vegas lawyer Daniel Albregts said in the statement. "It is equally unfortunate that he did so without concern for the effect such an announcement would have on the Hampton family. In time the Hamptons will be ready and willing to tell their side of the story."
The lawyer declined to answer questions.
An Associated Press review of federal records showed that around the time of the affair, Cindy Hampton, 46, received a promotion and a pay raise at one political entity controlled by Ensign and a pay raise at a second. Her husband, Doug, was an employee in Ensign's Senate office, and a golfing buddy.
Since Ensign admitted the affair Tuesday at a hastily arranged news briefing in Las Vegas, he and his staff have refused to comment. It remains unclear what prompted the unexpected announcement.
The disclosure resurrected questions about a two-week period in 2002 when Ensign abruptly dropped from public view. A person familiar with that episode, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the senator told a close associate the absence followed an earlier affair.
Ensign, in his second term, has said he intends to remain in the Senate.
He offered to resign as head of the Republican Policy Committee in a phone call Wednesday with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the party leader.
"He's accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family and constituents. He offered, and I accepted, his resignation as chairman of the Policy Committee," McConnell, R-Ky., said.
At his news briefing Tuesday, Ensign said the affair he had last year was "the worst thing I have ever done in my life."
"Our families were close. That closeness put me into situations which led to my inappropriate behavior," he said.
Ensign's office says he had carried out a consensual affair from December 2007 through August 2008 with a "campaign staffer who worked at Ensign for Senate and Battle Born PAC from December 2006 to May 2008. The campaign employee was married to an official Senate staffer who worked for Senator Ensign. As of May 2008 neither employee worked for Senator Ensign."
Neither Ensign nor his aides would name the woman or her husband, but the statement from the Hamptons' lawyer removed any mystery about her identity.
Federal records show Cynthia Hampton was on the payroll of Ensign's Battle Born Political Action Committee at $1,385.24 a month until she was appointed treasurer and her salary was doubled to $2,771.50 starting in February 2008.
Her salary also doubled at Ensign's campaign committee, where she was treasurer, beginning around the time the affair began. It went from $500 a month to $1,000 a month.
Records also show Doug Hampton, 47, received a monthly salary of $13,555 as an administrative assistant in Ensign's Senate office. He received a payment of $19,679 for his final month of employment and was off the payroll on May 1, 2008, according to Senate records.
Additionally, the National Republican Senatorial Committee made twice-monthly payments, generally $500 apiece, to Brandon Hampton, who Republican officials said was the couple's son. The payments began in March of last year and ended in August, when Ensign's office says the affair ended.
On Wednesday, reporters lingered outside the Hamptons' home, a 12,000-square-foot mansion just minutes from the Ensign family home in another private, gate-guarded community.
A housekeeper who answered the door said the Hamptons were away.
Later, Doug Hampton returned, entered the house and emerged briefly to plead for privacy before driving away. He referred questions to his lawyer.
Associated Press writers Brendan Riley, Oskar Garcia and Ken Ritter in Nevada and David Espo, Kevin Freking and Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.
Also contains excerpts from
June 16, 2009 - Sen. John Ensign's admission late Tuesday that he had an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer over the course of nine months doesn't seem likely to cause the type of wall-to-wall coverage that similar marital slip-ups have in the past.
But it should, at the very least, re-open the longstanding debate over how much attention should be paid to a politician's personal life. And when it comes to this topic, Ensign's own record of denouncing the affairs and misconducts of other pols could come back to haunt him.
During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president's conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."
'I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,' he said.
Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. "I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it's because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," he was quoted saying at the time. "He has no credibility left," he added.
At the time, Ensign was in a tight Senate race with incumbent Harry Reid, an election he would ultimately end up losing. And he didn't shy away from trying to exploit the moral trip-ups in Clinton's personal life to benefit himself and the GOP.
"It could have a dramatic effect on Democrats like (President Nixon's resignation after the Watergate scandal) had on Republicans in 1974," he said, according to a local AP article from September 14, 1998.
In fact, not only did Ensign envision the Lewinksy affair as a political boon for Republicans, he actively made it an issue in his campaign against Reid. At one point during the campaign, Ensign accused his opponent of having a double standard when it came to politicians and sexual dalliances. Reid, he argued, had been much tougher on former Sen. Robert Packwood -- who resigned from the Senate under allegations of sexual harassment -- than he was with Clinton.
"Before there were hearings on Packwood, Reid said he would vote for his expulsion," Ensign declared, the day after calling for Clinton's resignation. "In 1998, he says we have to wait until all the facts come out on Clinton."
To be fair, Ensign has taken a tough tone with regard to the sexual misconduct of members of his own party also. In 2007, he called fellow Republican Sen. Larry Craig a disgrace and urged the Idaho Republican to resign after Craig was arrested for disorderly conduct after allegedly soliciting sex in a men's airport.
But that issue was framed as a matter of law, not morality. And Ensign was not as tough when it came to Sen. David Vitter's alleged solicitation of prostitutes.
"That's one of the things that I'm proudest about our leadership is the swift action, not only calling for an immediate Senate investigation, ethics investigation, removing him from his committees but also sending the signal to him that it was probably best that he resign," Ensign said to ABC about the Craig matter at the time. As for Vitter, he added, "he has not admitted to anything. The Senate Ethics Committee would have no jurisdiction over him."
In June 2006, Ensign voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman.
A Nevada political insider told POLITICO that Ensign began an affair with a staffer several months after he separated from his wife. When Ensign reconciled with his wife, the source said, he gave the aide a severance package and parted ways.
Sometime later, the source said, Ensign met with the husband of the woman involved and had what this source described as a positive encounter. But the source said that the man subsequently asked Ensign for a substantial sum of money – at which point Ensign decided to make the affair public.
Ensign’s office did not return calls for comment, but the senator told the Associated Press Tuesday: "I deeply regret and am very sorry for my actions."
Ensign’s staff said he would be making a statement about a “personal matter” at 3:30 p.m. local time in Las Vegas.
Ensign is chairman of the GOP Policy Committee, making him the highest ranking Republican Senator in Nevada’s history. He has three children.
Ensign was absent on Capitol Hill Tuesday, skipping the weekly lunch that his committee hosts for GOP senators and its ensuing press conference where party leaders espouse their weekly message.
Word of his expected announcement stunned colleagues, were preparing for this summer’s big battles over the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor and a health care fight but now have to contend with a drama hovering over one of their leaders.
Elected in 2000, the 51-year-old Ensign has moved up the chain in the Senate. As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2008, Ensign oversaw the devastating losses to GOP candidates. But his party largely spared him of blame, casting it instead on an unpopular president who dragged down the party’s brand. Since then, Ensign has sought to articulate conservative principles and is a mainstay at GOP press conferences deriding Democrats’ domestic policies.
Ensign ran for the Senate in 1998 against Sen. Harry Reid in a nasty, cliffhanger race that Reid – now the Senate majority leader – won by a razor-thin 428 votes. Reid and Ensign have since reached a détente; neither man criticizes the other back home by name.
A staunch fiscal and social conservative, Ensign has been considered a rising star in his party, recently making headlines by speaking at events in Iowa, raising speculation about his interest in a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
UPDATE, 5:55 p.m.: Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) has acknowledged an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer in a statement released by his office. "I deeply regret and am very sorry for my actions," said Ensign. He is expected to announce the affair at a press conference at 6:30 pm tonight. The affair, which was with a woman who worked for both Ensign's re-election campaign and his Battle Born leadership political action committee, began in December 2007 and ended in August 2008. Ensign's wife, Darlene, said that the couple's "marriage has become stronger" and added: "I love my husband."
Sources in Washington and Nevada say Republican Sen. John Ensign, a rising star in the Republican Party considering a 2012 presidential bid will hold a press conference later today in which he will acknowledge an extramarital affair. Ensign, a member of the Senate GOP leadership, flew back to his native Las Vegas today in anticipation of the public announcement, sources said, missing a vote considered key to the Nevada tourist industry.
Two senior GOP political strategists, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, said the announcement was imminent. They declined to say with whom Ensign had the affair.
In February 2002, Ensign took an unexplained two week leave of absence from the Senate citing "personal reasons."
When he returned from that respite, Ensign told the Las Vegas Sun that he was "not making any comments one way or the other. I'm just asking people to respect my privacy."
Elected in 2000 and reelected in 2006, Ensign has been a leading conservative among Senate Republicans, playing a key role in demanding the resignation of Larry Craig in September 2007. Ensign called Craig a "disgrace" after he was arrested in June 2007 in an airport men's restroom on disorderly conduct charges. Craig resisted the calls from Ensign to resign but retired from the Senate last November.
Ensign traveled to Iowa earlier this month to speak at a event sponsored by the American Future Fund, stoking speculation that he was interested in running for president in 2012.
Early Life, Education, and Early Career
Ensign was born in Roseville, California to Sharon Lee Cipriani and a father whose surname was Mueller; his maternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and claims to be one eighth (1/8th) Filipino American. Ensign's family moved to Nevada when he was a child. His mother remarried Michael S. Ensign, a gaming industry executive who subsequently became chairman of the board of directors of Mandalay Bay, and who adopted John.
Ensign went to UNLV, becoming a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, Oregon State University, and Colorado State University, becoming a veterinarian in 1985. He then became a successful businessman, opening a 24-hour animal hospital in Las Vegas. He owned two animal hospitals before entering politics, according to The New York Times.
House of Representatives
In 1994, Ensign won the Republican nomination for Nevada's 1st congressional district, based in Las Vegas. He was far behind four-term Democratic incumbent James Bilbray for most of the campaign. However, Ensign gained considerable momentum after reports surfaced that a Bilbray aide stood to make a huge profit from lands legislation sponsored by Bilbray. Ensign won by 1,400 votes. He was reelected in 1996 by seven points, even as Bill Clinton carried the district by a large margin.
Ensign and Reid have developed a fairly good relationship, despite their bruising 1998 contest. They frequently work together on Nevada issues.
In April, Ensign was planning a June 1, 2009, trip to Iowa, the first in his career, causing speculation that he was mulling a presidential campaign in 2012. Given the disclosure of his extramarital affair in mid-June, his presidential aspirations were put in limbo.
Ensign is a member of the Pentecostal International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and is the only Pentecostal in the Senate. He attends a Foursquare church in northwest Las Vegas. According to The New York Times, during college at Colorado State, he became a born-again Christian and he and his wife, Darlene, were active in the Promise Keepers, an evangelical group.
He and his wife have three children.
Along with Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Senator Ensign -- a veterinarian -- was a lead sponsor of the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which makes it a felony to transport animals across state lines for the purpose of fighting. According to a press release from Ensign's office, "Fifty states currently have laws against dogfighting and forty-nine have laws against cockfighting. This bill complements these state laws."
Senator Ensign is a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus
Ensign has become a leading voice against the Kelo v. New London Supreme Court ruling, and introduced a bill that would blunt the effects of the ruling. In Kelo, the Court ruled that local governments could use eminent domain not just for public use but for any project that involves a public purpose. Specifically, the Court permitted the City of New London, CT to force a homeowner to sell her home for a parking lot for a new development of private, big box stores. The use of governmental condemnation for a private purpose caused a backlash.
In 2005, Ensign introduced legislation to create a government waste commission called the Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies. The commission would compile a list of unnecessary, outdated, wasteful, or duplicative discretionary programs, and require Congress to vote up-or-down to eliminate all programs on the list. The process is much like the BRAC process Congress uses to close military bases.
Ensign opposed the Prevention First Act. The Prevention First Act was co-authored by Harry Reid, the senior senator from Nevada, who also considers himself pro-life but has a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Ensign voted in support of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which authorized the President to use the United States Armed Forces to "deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States." This is the authorizing legislation for the invasion of Afghanistan and removing the Taliban from power.
Ensign also voted in support of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, which authorized the President to use the United States Armed Forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."
Actions in the U.S. Senate
Chairmanship of National Republican Senatorial Committee
Ensign was elected Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). As chairman of the NRSC, Ensign was charged with assembling a staff to win back the U.S. Senate for Republicans in the 2008 elections. Ensign chose Mike Slanker and Lindsey Slanker of Nevada based political consulting firm November Inc. to be the Political Director and Finance Director of the NRSC.
Ensign often expressed pessimism about the upcoming election, stating that a good night for Republicans would be the loss of just four seats. The Republicans went on to lose at least seven (possibly eight), US Senate seats in the 2008 election.
Electronic fund-raising reports
In September 2007, it was discovered that Ensign had used the secret hold rule (a parliamentary procedure within the Standing Rules of the Senate that allows one or more Senators to prevent a motion from reaching a vote on the Senate floor) to prevent a bill requiring senators to file fund-raising reports electronically from being voted upon without consideration on an amendment from Ensign that would also strengthen disclosure rules. Ensign’s amendment would force groups petitioning the Senate Ethics committee to disclose the identity of donors giving more than $5,000.
2006 Re-election Campaign
Ensign faced Democrat Jack Carter, son of former President Jimmy Carter, in the November general election. Both he and Carter won over token opposition in the 15 August 2006 primary. Senator Ensign defeated Carter in the general election held on 7 November 2006 by a 55% to 41% margin.
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