During the time of the affair, which supposedly started in December 2007 and lasted until August 2008, she was given a promotion and a pay increase for her performance as Ensign’s mistress. Cindy’s husband, Doug, was an official Senate staff member who worked for Ensign and he also received a pay increase.
You have to wonder if both Cindy and Doug Hampton had planned to set up and entrap Ensign. When the affair began, Cindy’s salary doubled. Doug received his bonus at the end of the tryst, receiving a $6,000 per month increase before he was removed from the payroll on May 1, 2008. Also, records show the National Republican Senatorial Committee paid the Hamptons’ son $1,000 a month, providing the Hampton family with a substantial $23,000 per month income, thanks to Ensign.
Ensign’s announcement of his infidelity was a complete shock to his supporters and the rest of the Senate members. He immediately apologized to his constituents and resigned his position as head of the prestigious Senate Republican Policy Committee.
This may not have been the first time Ensign had an affair. He dropped out of sight for a two-week period in 2002 after he told a close friend about another affair he was having.
Ensign is a born-again Christian and a member of the Christian ministry of Promise Keepers, an organization of men founded in 1990 and based in Denver, Colo.
According to its literature, Promise Keepers claims to be an organization designed to unite men to become warriors who will change the world through living and setting an example in life based on seven promises.
In 1997, it organized and assembled almost a million men at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for its “Stand in the Gap” crusade for Christianity, representing one of the largest gatherings of Christian men in modern history.
So what are some of these seven promises Ensign vowed to keep?
• A Promise Keeper takes a vow to honor Christ through obedience to God’s word.
• He is committed to perusing relationships with a few other men acting as brothers to help him keep his promise and vow.
• A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical and sexual purity.
• He is also committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.
Sounds reasonable enough to me.
Ensign has preached and defended the cause of the conservative Christian right. He had fantasized about becoming President of the United States and intended to use this same Christian political base of Promise Keepers to propel him into the White House.
I do wonder just how long the affair has actually been going on. He and the Hampton family were long-time friends and were very “close.” They lived in the same neighborhood and their children attended the same schools. Ensign says that “closeness” put him in situations that led to his behavior.
But, according to one of his seven promises, it’s that closeness to other families that provides him the opportunity to build marriages through love, protection and biblical values. Instead, he destroyed two marriages using the biblical values of deceit and adultery.
Using Ensign’s poor excuse for his infidelity, all the families and friends who live in the same neighborhood and who are close would have the same prescription to commit adultery. And who knows, maybe they do!
As a politician, Ensign isn’t alone in his indiscretions. Nevada Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons is being accused by his wife of having an affair just prior to the last year’s elections.
They join several more Republicans who also had their share of scandals during the 2008 presidential campaign. Newt Gingrich, a potential Republican presidential candidate, admitted to having an affair while he was spearheading the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Sen. John McCain has an affair and a divorce on his political ledger. Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani had a sequence of a divorce, an affair and another divorce to account for.
And let’s not forget that John Edwards admitted to having an affair while running for the Democratic nomination for president. It must be something in their political blood.
Psychology Today published a report stating that male politicians actually have fewer extramarital affairs than the rest of the population. Out of 425 male politicians who were married, only 3.5 percent were found to be involved in extramarital affairs. The national average for male infidelity is about 20 percent.
The only thing the statistics really prove is that male politicians are more discreet and have the influence to keep everything quiet.
If politicians can’t keep their marital vows or promises to their faith, how are they going to keep their word to the public? Sen. John Ensign and all politicians found guilty of cheating on their wives, family and trusted friends should resign and make room for men or women who are real promise keepers.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at farsidian2001@yahoo-.com. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.