Earlier today, my fellow contributor AL wrote about the affair Sen. John Ensign of Nevada admitted to having with the wife of one of Ensign’s Senate staffers. Putting aside the hypocrisy of Sen. Ensign having an affair while a member of Promise Keepers, or the hypocrisy of Sen. Ensign attacking others for having dalliances outside their marriages, there’s the very serious issue of whether hush money was paid to the husband of the woman Sen. Ensign had an affair with. According to Politico, Doug Hampton, the husband of the woman Sen. Ensign had an affair with, was paid about $101,000 for four months of work 2008, a far higher monthly rate than he was previously paid. In fact, Doug Hampton made $144,000 in all of 2007.
I’m not saying hush money was paid to Doug Hampton, but it’s worth noting that some initial reports of the affair by Sen. Ensign indicated he only went public with the affair after being approached for money by Doug Hampton. Sen. Ensign was widely seen as a rising star within the Republican Party – perhaps even holding presidential aspirations – but if he did in fact make a payoff to Doug Hampton or his family, it’s safe to say Sen. Ensign will have a hard time gaining any traction if he does choose to run for president.