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.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.
conspired to violate that restriction.
made false statements to the Federal Election Commission,
violated campaign finance laws, and
obstructed the Committee's preliminary inquiry.