NYTimes: Ensign Legal and Political Woes Get Worse
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 09:01:50 PM EST
Eric Lichtblau and Eric Lipton have the scoop for The New York Times:
Previously undisclosed e-mail messages turned over to the F.B.I. and Senate ethics investigators provide new evidence about Senator John Ensign’s efforts to steer lobbying work to the embittered husband of his former mistress and could deepen his legal and political troubles.
Mr. Ensign, Republican of Nevada, suggested that a Las Vegas development firm hire the husband, Douglas Hampton, after it had sought the senator’s help on several energy projects in 2008, according to e-mail messages and interviews with company executives.
The Beltway media has been doing its darndest to liken the ethical problems facing the Democrats today and those faced by the Republicans in recent years, but the differences could not be more stark. In the case of Eric Massa, for instance, within about a week of allegations of his misconduct coming forward into the public sphere, the Congressman had resigned his office. The Democratic response to the scandals surrounding Charlie Rangel were not as swift -- but nevertheless he no longer holds on to his committee chairmanship.
Yet when you look at the scandals affecting the Republican Party, both during the lead up to the 2006 elections and more recently, the response could not be more different. David Vitter, Mark Sanford and John Ensign are all still in office years and months after it became clear that they were under suspicion of impropriety.
In the case at hand, if the Republicans were serious about ethics, they would have taken steps to address the allegations against Ensign months and months ago when they first surfaced. That they haven't is extremely telling, undermining any notion that the GOP is poised to capitalize on the problems facing some Democrats in Congress.