John Ensign And His Religious Path To Politics

Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , , ,

When religious men suddenly fall from grace and particularly politicians, it's not unresionable to assume that their overly publicized connection with the Lord is nothing more than a manufactured persona or a storyline if you will. It's their way of insuring that only one storyline remains in the minds of Americans and particularly those that are constituants who weild the power of the all mighty vote.

In the case of Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada, his connections and affiliations with everything religious and holy have left a trail of bred crumbs that are casting a far more sinister light on the political path of rightousness that he took on the way to Washington. There are more men who do not violate their marriage vows then there are that do. And among those who stay true to those vows are men who are not particularly religious. In fact, some haven't stepped foot in a church since their own wedding day.

Yet Ensign on the other hand, chose to publicly involve himself with Promise Keepers, a religious mens group that is based on seven promises. A closer look at the religious group gives it the appearance more like a "self help" group based on it's 7 principles like Alcoholics Annonymous is based on it's 12 steps. It is a way for those who have strayed onto a path of dangerous and unhealthy behavior to find their way back with the help of those suffering from the same afflictions. One of the most striking things about Promise Keepers besides their 7 promises is the chronological order of importance in which they have been placed.

Promise #1 Of course is to honor Jesus Christ. But it's Promise #2 that's amazing not just for the basic premise of the promise itself, but rather because it's the second promise in order of importance only to Jesus and well ahead of the promise to fedility in ones own marriage. Promise #2 says and I quote "A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises."

If you are so weak in spirit that you need to surround yourself with a support system to keep you from screwing around on your wife, then it's obvious that you have already done it and are trying not to do it again, or that you are doing it right now and are trying to stop. With the lid being blown off of what goes on a 133 C Street SE in Washington D.C. and that Sen. John Ensign himself is a resident and a member of "the family" speaks volumes.

This is the epicenter of where the conspiracy was hatched to pay-off Senator Ensign's mistress and that in fact, a $96,000 dollar payment was made. According to Doug Hampton who is the husband of Ensign's mistress, Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma, who also has a connection with "the family" and the "C Street" residence attempted to negotiate a pay-off to the Hampton's before Mr. Hampton went public by sending a letter to Megyn Kelly of The Fox News Channel. Shortly after Hampton sent the letter to The Fox News Channel, Ensign suddenly and unexpectedly went public with the affair.

John Ensign, Nevada Senator, copped to having an affair with Cynthia Hampton, who was for a time on his campaign staff. The television media got all worked up about it, saying things like, "This is bad news for Ensign, one of the GOP's presidential contenders." And people like me replied, "Wait! John Ensign is a presidential contender?" later adding, "Seriously, you can't possibly think this guy was ever going to be a presidential contender." And Ensign was thought to be working out all his difficulties with some group called the "C Street Foundation," which describes itself as a "Bible study group" but is actually some sort of detox facility for Congresspersons who are way into sexcapades. To assert that the $96,000 was a gift is an insult to reasonable people, but it has not detered Ensign or his consiglari from making the assertion anyway. Nor will it stop them from pulling out the bible and reminding those who they've drawn in with their religious perception that forgivness is not just a word, it's an obligation. It's what makes Jesus smile.

Ensign claims the affair continued into August 2008, months after Hampton claims it had broken up. Ensign, Hampton claims, then paid "more than $25,000" to Cynthia as "severance" out of his own pocket — an amount now known to be $96,000 paid by Ensign's casino-owning parents to four members of the Hampton family.

He also maintains that Ensign personally paid Cynthia's insurance to compensate for Doug's loss of government benefits — all while continuing to pursue a sexual affair with Cindy Hampton.
Ensign has disputed Hampton's account and has accused him of a million-dollar shakedown effort.

Some excerpts:

— "[Ensign] orchestrated the creation of November Inc. and me getting [out] of the state and getting out of his official office. He told me, basically, at the same time he said, 'I'm in love with your wife' — 'You can't work with me anymore.'"

— "He made you feel incredibly guilty if you weren't part of making this go down the way he wanted it to."

— "I hope that the [Senate] Ethics [Committee] does a tremendous investigation. ... I would hope that the government would do some things as an employer."

The payments, made in $12,000 increments, were "consistent with a pattern of generosity" by Ensign's parents, the statement said. Ensign's father, Michael, is a former casino executive who helped bankroll his son's political rise. The admission came after Doug Hampton gave a television interview to Jon Ralston, a commentator and Las Vegas television host, in which he painted Ensign as an unrepentant wife-chaser who tried to buy his mistress' silence.

Once the story about the payment hit the media, Ensign's camp disclosed that Ensign's parents had actually paid out $96,000 to the Hamptons. But not because anyone wanted this affair kept a secret! No, no! Ensign's parents "decided to make the gifts out of concern for the well-being of long-time family friends during a difficult time," and these monies were "consistent with a pattern of generosity by the Ensign family to the Hamptons and others." So, TOTALLY NOT some kind of end-run around ethics requirements at all! What grown up senator wouldn't want his mom and dad giving large sums of monies to random friends, anyway?

Mark Sanford's news conference today was unusual for lot of reasons, but here's a less obvious one: The South Carolina governor referred to "C Street," a Washington dormitory for lawmakers funded by a highly secretive Christian organization called the Fellowship. (The Fellowship is the group behind the National Prayer Breakfast, where President Obama rolled out his Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships earlier this year.) It's rare for elected officials to publicly allude to C Street or to anything affiliated with the Fellowship. But here's the exchange between Sanford and a reporter:

QUESTION: Did your wife and your family know about the affair before the trip to Argentina?

SANFORD: Yes. We've been working through this thing for about the last five months. I've been to a lot of different—as part of what we called "C Street" when I was in Washington. It was, believe it or not, a Christian Bible study—some folks that asked members of Congress hard questions that I think were very, very important. And I've been working with them. I see Cubby Culbertson in the back of the room. I would consider him a spiritual giant. The Associated Press wrote about the Fellowship in 2003. Interesting to note that Sen. John Ensign, who admitted to an extramarital affair, is also closely affiliated with the group and is a resident of C Street:

Six members of Congress live in a $1.1 million Capitol Hill town house that is subsidized by a secretive religious organization, tax records show. The lawmakers, all Christians, pay low rent to live in the stately red brick, three-story house on C Street, two blocks from the Capitol. It is maintained by a group alternately known as the "Fellowship" and the "Foundation" and brings together world leaders and elected officials through religion.

The six lawmakers—Reps. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn.; Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; and Sens. John Ensign, R-Nev. and Sam Brownback, R-Kan.—live in private rooms upstairs. Rent is $600 a month, DeMint said.

"Our goal is singular—and that is to hope that we can assist them in better understandings of the teachings of Christ, and applying it to their jobs," said Richard Carver, a member of the Fellowship's board of directors who served as an assistant secretary of the Air Force during the Reagan administration.

The house, valued at $1.1 million, is owned by the C Street Center, a sister organization of the Fellowship. It received more than $145,000 in Fellowship grants between 1997 and 2000, according to IRS records—including $96,400 in 1998 for reducing debt.Its tenants dine together once a week to discuss religion in their daily lives.

"We do have a Bible study," said DeMint, a Presbyterian who asked to move into the house less than a year ago when there was a vacancy. "Somebody'll share a verse or a thought, but mostly it's more of an accountability group to talk about things that are going on in our lives, and how we're dealing with them."

Hopefully those in the future desirous of a career in politics will see that there is no religious path. It's a slippery slope at best.