Sad but true, I am referring to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator John Ensign. Yes, I know, both are Republicans, both have been newsworthy on other issues and now I hardly know how to describe their recent behaviors, except maybe stupid, or to be kind, not very well thought out.
First, Senator Ensign. His situation, alas, is all too common in politics. It apparently involves a woman other than his wife, money and perhaps blackmail. The Senator from Nevada apparently had an affair with the wife of one of his administrative assistants who was herself a campaign staffer. Reportedly, she has received a sum of money as a sort of “severance” payment. Her husband is now allegedly making somewhat dramatic financial demands on the Senator. Sadly, it has become a he said, they said with accusations and denials flying in both directions. I suppose it is much like what usually happens when the rich and powerful have their private moments become very public.
In this case, because of Ensign’s political position, the fallout has spread even further. He has resigned from a leadership position in the party and I suspect that whatever presidential ambitions he might have had have fallen by the wayside. I hate to admit this , but there is something almost amusing about one aspect of this “mess” . A watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is considering filing ethics charges against Ensign and maybe against Doug and Cynthia Hampton who are the other side of this equation. The ethics charges would be whether or not sexual harassment took place and whether or not there was a misuse of campaign funds. So says the group’s director, Melanie Sloan.
Where is the humor, one might ask? It seems that the ethical issues involved are not the so called consensual affair but primarily whether money and/or power was misused. I suppose that in today’s society affairs and multiple marriages and the like are so common, that we scarcely notice without other issues to ratchet up their media value.
I am truly sorry for the Senator and his family and the Hampton family as well, that events in their lives culminated in such a manner. We can hope that lives and relationships and trust can be restored, at least, to some degree.
Guess Governor Mark Sanford and his situation will have to wait. My thoughts on his situation take a different tack and will need a bit of space to explore.
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