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"If propriety still has any meaning, John Ensign's career is finished."

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:38 AM
Original message
"If propriety still has any meaning, John Ensign's career is finished."
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

THE OTHER SHOE DROPS ON ENSIGN.... When Sen. John Ensign's (R-Nev.) sex scandal first broke in June, it seemed as if it were merely humiliating. Here was a right-wing Republican, who preached "family values" and touted his Christian faith, having an extra-marital affair with an aide -- who was also the wife of another aide. When we learned that the senator's parents tried to pay off the mistress' family, the controversy appeared even worse.

The question, though, was whether the salacious scandal was more than just a personal fiasco. This morning, in an impressive piece of reporting, the New York Times helps move the story from merely repulsive to probably illegal.

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. <...>

The job pitch left out one salient fact: the senator was having an affair with Mr. Hampton's wife, Cynthia, a campaign aide. 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, often after urging from Mr. Hampton.

While the affair made national news in June, the role that Mr. Ensign played in assisting Mr. Hampton and helping his clients has not been previously disclosed. Several experts say those activities may have violated an ethics law that bars senior aides from lobbying the Senate for a year after leaving their posts.

In acknowledging the affair, Mr. Ensign cast it as a personal transgression, not a professional one. But an examination of his conduct shows that in trying to clean up the mess from the illicit relationship and distance himself from the Hamptons, he entangled political supporters, staff members and Senate colleagues, some of whom say they now feel he betrayed them.


There are all kinds of ethics laws and lobbying rules intended to prevent the very actions Ensign seems to have taken. The Republican senator personally intervened with private companies to help land lobbying jobs for his mistress' husband, and then proceeded to use his Senate office to do favors for those companies that cooperated.

Indeed, Ensign assigned his chief of staff to deal with the mistress' husband directly. The law prohibits "senior aides from lobbying the Senate for a year after leaving their posts," but Ensign didn't care. "Mr. Hampton said he and Mr. Ensign were aware of the lobbying restriction but chose to ignore it."

The story is just devastating for Ensign.
It's worth taking some time to read the whole thing.

Back in July, Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas was asked for a reaction to the Ensign sex scandal. "It's not good," Cornyn said. Asked if Ensign can recover, Cornyn added, "I just don't know the answer to that."

That was three months ago, long before this severely damaging revelations surfaced.

If propriety still has any meaning, John Ensign's career is finished. Given what we've learned, his ability to function as an effective lawmaker is a thing of the past.

Steve Benen
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. One less. is at least one less.......
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. MSM: Let's talk about Letterman...
As if the two were comparable.

As if Letterman was an elected official with a sworn oath to serve his constituents.

It makes me sick that Ensign is not being held to account for his choices and disloyalties by the media.

:donut:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Well this stoopid am show, mika mouse in particular, doesn't count.
Edited on Fri Oct-02-09 07:51 AM by babylonsister
She's a hypocrite personified considering she met her husband at work. :eyes:

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and the m$m will concentrate more on a senator and less on a comedian.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. Pro Pry Itty?
Edited on Fri Oct-02-09 07:48 AM by gratuitous
What is this word Mr. Benen uses? Propriety? Applied to a Republican elected official? It is to laugh so that we may not cry. Ensign doesn't want or need to function as an effective lawmaker, he just has to look indignant and say "no" to whatever the Democrats propose. That's lawmaking in Republicanland. And, sad to say, it's effective.

Sure, he was boinking his good friend's wife, cheating on his own wife, and then turning right around and breaking Senate ethics rules. But so what? It's not like he got a blow job from an intern. It was the wife of an aide, so it's completely all right. Not just all right, but his sworn and sacred duty as a man. So now you libruls are trying to make John Ensign less of the manly man that he is! You hate the troops, you do! If you'll smear someone whose name is Ensign, it's pretty clear that you'll smear someone who's achieved the rank of ensign.

Well, John Ensign is not going to just sit here and listen to you bad-mouth . . . the United States of America! {Begin humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic}
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. Oh very recommended.
He needs to go. This is clearly a violation and he needs to resign now.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. Only RW hacks thought this was merely embarrassing
We knew this had legs from day one because it was clear there was a pay off.
Nail the bastard adn take down Coburn with him. FUCK the entire FAMILY.
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JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. "If propriety still has any meaning........"
Edited on Fri Oct-02-09 07:53 AM by JohnnyLib2

Uh-oh, I suspect it does not. We'll see what develops with this ugly mess.

REC
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
8. Who Cares...Dave Letterman And Roman Polanski Are More Important
Sis...if we've seen one consitant trait among rushpublicans, it's to never ever admit guilt or take responsibility. If there's a way to stonewall or cover-up, that's the ticket. Then lie, distort and distract the corporate media to either avoid any questions, or even better, find a distraction to draw down the light and heat.

Ensign's been a lucky bastard so far. No sooner had the revelations of his affair and pay offs come to light then Sanford pitched his tent on the Appalachian trial...a bright new toy for the corporate media to go chase.

The real problem here is the "brotherhood" inside the Senate that is protecting Ensign. We know he didn't act alone in this cover-up, Colburn has a bunch of 'splainin' to do as well. Letting this story drip drip drip hasn't really hurt Ensign...it sickened me to see his smirkin' face sitting in on the House Finance Committee debates. The lid is being held on tight on this scandal cause it rubs against too many people in high places.

There's going to be a tipping point. The devestating revelations in today's NYT story all but implicate him in federal crimes and all but begs for a DA to jump into. It's no longer an ethics thing that the Senate is loathe to go near. You've got the "brotherhood" protecting one of their own...as well as "the Family"

:hi:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Actually, the lid has been loosened. This was front page on the
NYT this a.m.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/us/politics/02ensign....

Senators Aid After Affair Raises Flags Over Ethics

Front page! :D

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/todayspaper/index.html
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. But Let's See...Let's Play A Game...
We'll keep track throughout the day...I'll stick with MSNBC (CNN optional) and let's see how stories are framed this afternoon. Wanna bet the Olympics and Letterman suck up most the airtime? Wanna bet little if anything is said about Ensign until Olbermann gets to it?

Be assured hate radio and faux will be "poutraged" about Letterman and be assured they'll find a way to tie in Obama's recent appearance and even ACORN into this. Ensign? Whose that? Nothing to see, move along...ya know Obama's a socialist, don'tcha? :sarcasm:

I've been watching WJ and not a peep so far this morning...but you can bet the ranch that had it been a Democrat, they'd have an hour "discussion" about it.

It's like this story is too toxic and close to home...the villagers are in Sgt. Schultz mode...they know nothing...NOTHING!!

:rofl:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. I'll be listening, but sadly, you're probably right.
m$nbc all over Grayson now, which isn't a bad thing.

We'll see.

:hi:
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
10. NYT Lengthy coverage:
Edited on Fri Oct-02-09 08:08 AM by mod mom
Senators Aid After Affair Raises Flags Over Ethics


By ERIC LICHTBLAU and ERIC LIPTON
Published: October 1, 2009
WASHINGTON 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.


Hes a competent guy, and hes 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. Hamptons wife, Cynthia, a campaign aide. 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, often after urging from Mr. Hampton.

While the affair made national news in June, the role that Mr. Ensign played in assisting Mr. Hampton and helping his clients has not been previously disclosed. Several experts say those activities may have violated an ethics law that bars senior aides from lobbying the Senate for a year after leaving their posts.

-snip

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/us/politics/02ensign....

HOPE THE SEX WAS WORTH IT ASSHOLE!
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peace frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. IOKIYAR
If Ensign loses his Senate seat over this, he will move straight into the wildly lucrative world of lobbying. No loss at all, and a probable financial gain.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
14. Propriety is dead.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
15. I do not believe there is a Republican left that cares if Laws were broken
or sacred marriage vows discarded. He is a Republican and that is all that is necessary. It is called Republican Values.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
16. One would think that John Ensign's career is finished, but one must take into
consideration the total stupidity of the 'hometown' voters who almost always vote for an incumbent.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-02-09 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
17. repub family values voters only apply those values to others, NOT themselves and theirs nt
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-04-09 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
18. of course, if johnny boy understood the big word, he wouldn't have had an affair
in the first place, now would he? but, according to him, he did nothing LEGALLY wrong (implying that he knew it was wrong, just not a crime)


sadly, he is a more of a jerk than I ever thought he was (and my opinion of him has always been pretty low)
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