NYTimes: Ensign Legal and Political Woes Get Worse

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.

Tags: Ethics, John Ensign (all tags)



It didn't take long for the Dems to take out Blago either. n/t


by Jeff Wegerson 2010-03-10 11:49PM | 0 recs
I was in awe of Republicans

for a while there.  They really have no shame about this sort of thing.  Honestly, I don't think it's a bad strategy.  First, you can only stay pissed about Sen. Ensign for so long, so if you can hang in there past the initial shock of revelation, it gets better.  Second, when people refuse to resign, the public generally takes it as a sign that they must not have done anything too bad.  People don't expend their mental energy disentagling these conspiracies and so they use the reaction of the people closest to the problem as their guide to how serious it is.

I'm not necessarily advocating that the Dems use this strategy, but you gotta hand it to Republicans.  They know their audience.

by the mollusk 2010-03-11 01:34AM | 0 recs
too bad Ensign is up in 2012 and not this year
Reid is going to lose this year, and for all we know this will have blown over by 2012 when Ensign's on the ballot again.
by desmoinesdem 2010-03-11 08:07AM | 0 recs


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