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Ensign Defends Payments to Woman He Had Affair With

By Paul Kane

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) tonight defended payments from his political and taxpayer-funded accounts to the woman he had an eight-month affair with, as well as the salaries of her husband and their 19-year-old son.
According to a memo issued by his office, Ensign's payments to the Hampton family were all above board. In the months during his affair with Cynthia Hampton, treasurer of his political committees, Ensign increased her pay.
When her husband left his legislative payroll, Douglas Hampton received an additional $6,000, according to records with the Federal Election Commission and the Senate.

The Ensign office tonight said the additional payments to Doug Hampton were "equal to 12 days of unused vacation", not a severance package or any other form of payment to his former administrative assistant.

The Ensigns and Hamptons were close family friends from the same neighborhood in the Las Vegas area, whose children attended the same high school. Mrs. Hampton had long worked for his political committees from Las Vegas, but in November 2006 Doug Hampton moved to Washington to become a top adviser in Ensign's official, taxpayer-funded office.

Ensign's office offered no further explanation as to why he chose to reveal the affair with Cindy Hampton on Tuesday, after flying home to Las Vegas, where he has been ever since while missing legislative action in the Senate.

The Hamptons have retained a personal-injury lawyer based in Las Vegas, and have issued a statement admitting the affair. They've asked for privacy as they consider how to tell their side of the story.

The Ensign office statement, issued late Thursday, said the payments to Mrs. Hampton doubled in 2008 because of an increased amount of work responsibilities she took on for Ensign for Senate and his leadership political action committee, Battle Born PAC.

Earning $1,885 a month working as a consultant for both political committees in 2007, Mrs. Hampton doubled her pay by the end of January 2008. That increase was based on her taking on additional roles for direct mail and accounting for the re-election committee, as well as taking over as treasurer for Battle Born PAC in February 2008 after the previous treasurer was dismissed in an unrelated legal investigation, according to Ensign's office.

Upon announcing his affair with Cindy Hampton Tuesday, Ensign, through aides, revealed that it began in December 2007 and ran into August 2008.
Ensign and his wife, Darlene, separated in April 2008 and reconciled some time last July.

As the Ensigns were separating, Doug and Cindy Hampton left his political and legislative payrolls, according to Ensign's timeline and congressional records.

Ensign's aides tonight also defended the $1,000-a-month salary given to the Hamptons's son, Brandon, who worked last spring and summer as an intern at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a nearly $100 million operation that Ensign chaired in 2007 and 2008.

"He came to D.C. when his high school classes were done, and it was known when he came on that it would be a temporary hire because he was going back to Las Vegas to attend college in the fall of 2008. John Ensign was not consulted as part of the decision to hire Brandon Hampton at the NRSC,"
Ensign's office statement said.

By Chris Stanford  |  June 19, 2009; 12:29 AM ET
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And we all know how much we can trust Ensign's word, right?

Posted by: alysheba_3 | June 19, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

me thinks i smell a rat, ensign.
could be his ship is starting to think. once you have to defend yourself regarding payments you made from taxpayer funded accounts, you're in trouble.

Posted by: frieda406 | June 19, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

It's not surprising. People in glass houses, even Senators, should not throw stones. He'll be fine -- with time. Look at Gingrich, the ultimate hypocrite, who now betrays (sorry, excuse me, portrays himself) as the spokesman for Republican purity. What a laugh. These are merely men, yes, but they should be accountable for what they say and what they do.

Posted by: eileenmilt | June 19, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Ensign sounds like a real "Promise Keeper" to me. What is it about these evangelical Christians that makes so many of them be such slimy, lying, corrupt, hypocritical rats, anyway?

Posted by: MagicDog1 | June 19, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy of Mr. Ensign is almost as disturbing as his betrayal of a close family friend. If a man will betray a friend, he will betray anyone when it suits his purposes. He simply cannot be trusted and should resign.

Posted by: amasiam | June 19, 2009 6:00 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me this may not be that unusual in the hallowed halls...........

Posted by: nanonano1 | June 19, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Give the guy a break. Paying the husband for letting him have sex with his wife is reasonable.

Posted by: James10 | June 19, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Give the guy a break. Paying the husband for letting him have sex with his wife is reasonable.

Posted by: James10 | June 19, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I love it perfect.

Posted by: antonio3 | June 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

At least this scandal involves a white male Republican official sexing a *woman*. Looks as though they've decided to move beyond the Larry Craig era.

Now THAT's change.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | June 19, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The Ensigns and Hamptons no doubt the conservative republican like minded, hypocrite creeks come from the same neighborhood, and politics of perversity, rights only of their kin, preaching one thing and doing the opposite. Oh ! the same old BS of their family values, fidelity crap and all the the rest evangelical crap. The man was screwing his neighbors and assistants wife and along the way hading out cash to his mistress, her husband and son. All from political cash from the other like minded SOBs.

The worst is that his friend the Other Senator from Nevada is calling it all something personal and private. Well Mr. Reid you should be on notice that as politician go, there is nothing private about their lives. These so called elected officials, calling themselves public servants are the lowest scumbags, second best to child molesters.

On the average with 100 Senators and 435 Congressional Representative, they have the highest number of crooks, criminals, fornicators screwing other peoples husbands and wives, fiddling, lying cheating, drunks, then similar number of ordinary people in any walk of life. These SOBs really believe that they can run the country and ask the people to follow them.

Posted by: goldengate | June 19, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Lets get him under oath and see how far he can float. This lie will be far worse than President Clinton's was because there's a bribe involved with tax payer's money. It won't be the private life of a president behind a closed door.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | June 19, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

But if he didn't lie under oath about any of this, then there's nothing to Hyde, right?

Posted by: mattintx | June 19, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see a chart of how much the woman and her kid were making with the time period they were allegedly "doing it" highlighted.

Posted by: flounder2 | June 19, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Ensign, with his ability to look straight into the camera and lie without blinking, would be a good candidate to bring down and give the American voters some small sense that there is justice and decency in the political system. Oh well, just a wild and crazy thought.

Posted by: dfitzsiga | June 19, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Sometimes?

Posted by: ExpertPE | June 19, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Caint wait to hear the Hamptons' side of the story. I'm willing to bet that Doug Hampton comes out with a 'boys will be boys' statement.

Did Fox News feature this story?

Posted by: caesarganz | June 19, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not Math Major, but there's some "FUZZY MATH", going on in this "Love Triangle". Mrs. Hampton,(the Mistress), was paid $1,885 a month. That would average out to $471.00 a week. Not bad, but no Conflict, Brandon,(the Son) was paid $1,000.00 a month/ $250.00 a week. Not to bad for a High School student for summer work.
Now, for the "CLINCHER, Doug Hampton,(the Jilted Husband, Neighbor and Friend) was paid $6,000.00/ $500.00 a day, for 12 days unused vacation. That would be $2,500.00 a week, and $10,000.00 a month. " I think the Math is telling us who was Really "SCREWING" SEN. ENSIGN.....Gov. Spitzer can come back to Politics NOW!!!!

Posted by: austininc4 | June 19, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The blackmail attempt didn't work because the Hamptons clearly misplayed their hand, but soon they'll be able to get a fat book contract for million$. Ensign's career will survive and he'll continue to be supported by social conservatives despite being revealed as a hypocrite.

These are valuable lessons for our children to learn.

Posted by: bpai_99 | June 19, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

We often hear of rich conservatives who spend their summer "in the Hamptons" (North Shore, Long Island). Well, this time we have a conservative spending his time in only one Hampton. Minimalist? I don't know; ask the lady.

Posted by: MouthSore | June 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

well here we go again its so amazing the [GOP] have done it again it thoses who make all the fuss that has something to hide watch thoses who is fighting the hardest that has something to hide, you have some in the house whos has something to hide they should get off thiers high horses come out of the closet they are so afraid because the [GOP] don't want as they see it[GAYS] in the GOP that is why they are so afraid of the secrects gettin out, it alright to cheat on your spouse but, they are so judgemenally on the people that are gay but don't

Posted by: nyokadavis | June 19, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: benighse | June 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

another self-sainted radical conservative has met the enemy and it is he...sadly, he and his ilk will never get it.

Posted by: rbenn25582 | June 19, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The John Ensign "Our marriage has become stronger" Collectible Art Tile:

Posted by: frankieblacken | June 19, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

We all know that the good Senator will get off free. . as in dismissed/no charges. As some people are alway$ above the law.

Posted by: silverpeakitis | June 19, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Dear Senator Ensign: As your christian constituents like to say, "Thou shall not commit adultery".

Posted by: jeesq | June 20, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

Right. Never mind Monica Lewinsky, Fanny Fox, and heaven help us that poor girl that Ted Kennedy killed up in MA. Commie foibles go unnoticed while Republicans are held to a different standard. What a bunch of hate mongers the left is.

Posted by: ssmorehouse | June 20, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

commies eh? might be better than righteous hippocracy. See someless, when your up on your moral high horse and you step on your you know what this is what happens When you gonna wake up republicans. Your loyalty is going to corrupt fat cats pontificating morals they have no intention of following. Read your bible dude. judge not and you... well you must not have read that part.
p.s. Se u in hell!!

Posted by: destonecipher | June 20, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

i did not care when slick willie clinton got his,and i do not care about this one either. go ahead you self righteous folk,throw the first stones,and make sure you get foxnews,and the republicans,and everybody else you hate in there while you are at it.
he has wifes forgivness,and probably gods too,so i will not presume to be better than those two,bythrowing stones.
i do find it interesting though,that we have a hugo chavez wannabe tearing down this country,and the constitution,and funneling money to acorn,unions,and g e and amnesty for illegal parasites draining the economy,socialized medicine,tarp,stimulous,bailouts,billions lost and cannot be traced,and all we can find to fuss about is this mans sex life.
the poor people in iran are fighting and dying for what we have,freedom and liberty, and we are watching ours being taken away,and its ok,cause the supreme socialist leader will make it all better,when he has us all paying fifty percent of what we make to pay back the debt,and our children have no future.

Posted by: silusdogood | June 20, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

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