Family Affair: Sen. Ensign’s Parents Wrote $96,000 Check to Lover

200px-Sen_John_Ensign_official(2)Sen. John Ensign’s affair is moving from the politically damaging to the downright pathetic. Ensign’s lawyer has released a statement confirming that the $96,000 given to former aide and close family friend Cindy Hampton came from his parents.

The money was treated as non-taxable gifts to Cindy Hampton, her husband, Doug, and two of their children in April 2008 — conveying the maximum $12,000 under federal law. The motivation may not have been taxes but the need to report any gift over $12,000 — a potential embarrassment for the Senator.

In a statement, the family insisted ” 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.”

It does not quite come off as generosity. Some have suggested that the husband Doug Hampton threatened to go public if he was got given money. Hampton himself alleges a cover-up.

160px-Tom_Coburn_official_portraitThe scandal has now dragged Senator Tom Coburn (R., Oklahoma) into the muck — describing Coburn as pushing Ensign to pay money to the Hampton family.

It is still not clear if laws, or even ethics rules, were violated. There was a suggestion of $25,000 being “paid under the table” by Ensign. It is not clear if this money had to be declared for tax purposes. There has been no credible suggestion of the use of official duties or campaign funds thus far in the scandal. Of course, even without legal complications, the political complications may suffice.

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4 thoughts on “Family Affair: Sen. Ensign’s Parents Wrote $96,000 Check to Lover”

  1. What a putz, mama and dada still wiping Jr.s nose. He cant even man up about it. And he wanted to be president? What a load, he and Sanford both.

    How come republicans cannot find some actual men to run for office instead of these preppy man boys. What is going on to make republican voters vote for these schlubs?

    Anyone have any ideas?

  2. Illegal payments, perhaps not. Definitely of public interest though. The problem is when most of a party’s platform consists of religious incantation and family values, the hypocrisy of some of those most verbal on these issues becomes a matter of interest.

  3. Can I inquire was to why paying money unless it was extortion by the Hamptons is a general concern of the public? People have affairs, people feel guilt about the affairs. This is the type of stuff that keeps good people from running for office.

    I am not suggesting that all payments as hush money should be covered up. It is just a concern that I have. Gary Hart,had an affair he was dropped quicker than a frog after the revelation of the same. Why did that matter?

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