What Were They Thinking?

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.


June 25, 2009 - Posted by | Culture, Politics | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. ” Lord Acton

    It says it all.

    Comment by larrys | June 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Indeed it does.

    Comment by tarheeltalker | June 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. According to Doug Hampton, Ensign also helped him get his job at NV Energy. This chauvinistic, pompous (you know what) put me through hell when he was placed in a management position over me. He was a “must hire” that knew absolutely nothing about the position. He was the cause of my termination after he verbally abused me. When I told HR, they called me in and after 10 years of employment with no writeups or problems, they terminated ME! I can’t say I blame his wife for doing what she did if he treated her the way he treated me.
    Karma – “The total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person’s existence, regarded as determining the person’s destiny.”

    Comment by Lisa Bartlett | July 2, 2009 | Reply

  4. Most interesting comment from a very unique perspective. Has your situation ever been resolved to your satisfaction?

    Comment by tarheeltalker | July 2, 2009 | Reply

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