As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ensign Provided The Hush Money Already?

The John Ensign story, to me, was simply one about conservative hypocrisy on family values, and I left it at that. Now, in the wake of Ensign quitting his leadership post, we're seeing all kinds of allegations of hush money and use of campaign funds or even taxpayer-funded Senate staff funds, and now we're getting into the realm of the illegal.

The son of the couple at the center of the sex scandal that has engulfed Sen. John Ensign was being paid by National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2008 at the same time his mother was having an affair with the Nevada Republican.

Both Doug and Cynthia Hampton were already working in senior positions for Ensign when their son Brandon Hampton was hired to do “research policy consulting” for the NRSC in March 2008.

The younger Hampton, 19, was paid $5,400 before he left the Ensign office in August last year, Federal Election Commission records show.

That means during March and April 2008, three members of the Hampton family were working for Ensign. Both Doug and Cynthia Hampton stopped working for Ensign at the end of April 2008.

In addition to the son, both Hamptons saw bumps in their salaries around the time of the affair.

Reportedly, Doug Hampton sought hush money in exchange for keeping the affair private, possibly because the family lost a bundle in the housing market in Nevada. But it looks like the Senator may have already been paying the family. And payoffs with taxpayer money takes this into a whole new area.

...Paul Blumenthal has more.

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