Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Ensign scandal is not a "Sex" scandal: it's a Corruption scandal

There are some in the mainstream media who have labeled the recent resignation of Senator John Ensign (R - Nevada) over charges he sexually harassed a staffer, paid off her husband, violated lobbying laws, and obstructed justice as a "sex" scandal (giggle). Doing so vastly understates the importance and seriousness of this story.

If the allegations against Ensign are true, he committed several serious felonies in a pattern of profoundly corrupt behavior. In the course of his actions, Ensign enlisted several others in what became a widespread conspiracy that included at least two other Republican U.S. Senators. According to the Senate Ethics Committee, Ensign and others:
aided and abetted violations of the one-year post-employment contact restriction.
conspired to violate that restriction.
made false statements to the Federal Election Commission,
violated campaign finance laws, and
obstructed the Committee's preliminary inquiry.[1]
The Senate Ethics Committee does not seem to have addressed what to me is the most serious allegation of all: that Ensign used his control over Mrs. Hampton and her family's finances to coerce her into a sexual relationship against her will. John Ensign is a sexual predator. This isn't a situation where an elected official simply exercised poor taste in carrying on a sexual relationship outside his marriage--it is not a "sex" (giggle) scandal. This story is about a pattern of really grotesque corruption and abuse of power that went on for years and was abetted by other elected officials who have yet to be held accountable for their crimes.


James Young said...

You may be right. If you are, I hope he's prosecuted.

But as someone who probably dismissed Clinton's impeachment as "just about sex," you have ZERO credibility.

The Richmonder said...

James, even you have to admit that the Clinton-Lewinsky affair was consensual. The most Clinton was guilty of was lying about it under oath after the fact. I've never defended Clinton for doing what he did. Not only was it wrong, it was poor politics--you and I both know that the coverup is almost always worst than the original bad act. Clinton committed adultery and lied about it under oath. The adultery was embarrassing but the lie was a violation of the law.

This is apple and oranges and you know that. Ensign co-erced that poor woman into her bed and then committed a long string of felonies to try and cover it up. Santorum and Coburn were both involved. Santorum is out of office and will probably never get back in. Coburn should probably also resign. Not that there would be any real long-term political repercussions: Oklahoma would just elect another Republican.

James Young said...

Consensual has nothing to do with it. The point was that Clinton committed perjury about it in an attempt to obstruct justice in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Moreover, he plainly suborned perjury as well.

Doesn't sound so much different from Ensign's behavior. You know: if you're not merely trying to score political points.

I guess some perjury is OK with you, as long as it's committed by a Democrat.

What a principled guy you are.