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Serious New Trouble for John Ensign

Forget another shoe dropping, think waste high hip boot.

The New York Times nails John Ensign in a new report that weaves it all together.


Ensign flashback: railing against Bill Clinton

When admitting his extramarital affair, hypocrite John Ensign made a point of saying that his “mistake” was not as bad as WJC’s. Ensign slammed Clinton, also voting to impeach, joining the Newt Gingrich club of do as I pontificate, not as I actually live. Ensign also said that “(Pres. Bill Clinton) sent taxpayer-paid staff out to lie for him, and that is a misuse of office.” Well, the tale currently unraveling puts Ensign smack dab in the middle of misuse of office territory, even though that’s where he’s been from the beginning. It makes Vernon Jordan’s involvement in helping Monica Lewinski land job look lame. Ensign was the fixer, all the while he was flouting a lobbying rules in order to save his own skin amidst doing favors for his mistresses husband’s employer.

Spending several years in Nevada, where I launched my radio show and ended up landing my hubby, I never found a single Nevadan who could tell me what John Ensign had done for their state as senator. The joke was that all he ever did was bring people in to play golf. We’ll have to see if his health care amendment changes that opinion. You can say what you want about Harry Reid, but he always works his heart out for Nevada, with voters willing to tell you just that. John Ensign cares about, well, John Ensign.

And now cheating John is being accused of misleading people who helped get him off the hook. I know, it’s simply shocking.

Early last year, Senator John Ensign contacted a small circle of political and corporate supporters back home in Nevada – a casino designer, an airline executive, the head of a utility and several political consultants – seeking work for a close friend and top Washington aide, Douglas Hampton.

“He’s a competent guy, and he’s looking to come back to Nevada. Do you know of anything?” one patron recalled Mr. Ensign asking.

The job pitch left out one salient fact: the senator was having an affair with Mr. Hampton’s wife, Cynthia, a member of his campaign staff. The tumult that the liaison was causing both families prompted Mr. Ensign, a two-term Republican, to try to contain the damage and find a landing spot for Mr. Hampton.

In the coming months, the senator arranged for Mr. Hampton to join a political consulting firm and lined up several donors as his lobbying clients, according to interviews, e-mail messages and other records. Mr. Ensign and his staff then repeatedly intervened on the companies’ behalf with federal agencies in Washington, often after urging from Mr. Hampton. …

The article details much more, including a warning from fellow Christians in his prayer group. Ensign pretended to obey, then betrayed them too.

Mr. Coburn warned Mr. Ensign that if the affair did not end, he would “go to Mitch” – referring to Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, Mr. Hampton said.

At the urging of foundation leaders, Mr. Ensign agreed to write a good-bye letter to Cynthia Hampton and send it by overnight mail. “What I did with you was a mistake,” he wrote in longhand. “I was completely self-centered and only thinking of myself. I used you for my own pleasure.”

But immediately after the confrontation, the senator called Ms. Hampton and told her to disregard the letter, Ms. Hampton said. The relationship would continue for six more months.

The report is churning up new fresh hell for John Ensign. It may not have the John Edwards super schmuck factor, but on the hypocrisy meter it rings the bell.

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