GOP Woes

Not So Fast, Ensign

Republican Senator John Ensign somehow managed to avoid a big, public brouhaha over his affair, in part thanks to Republican Governor Mark Sanford's surprise infidelity confession. But on Wednesday, the media spotlight turned back to the disgraced politician, who admitted to a relationship with one of his former staffers, Cindy Hampton, last month. According to the mistress's husband, fellow Republican Senator Tom Coburn knew about Ensign's affair for more than a year and encouraged him to give the couple “millions of dollars” so that they could pay off their mortgage and leave Ensign’s hometown of Las Vegas. Coburn denies the allegation. Also on Wednesday, Hampton's husband said Ensign gave $25,000 to his wife as a "severance package" when they ended their affair. Hampton also turned over Ensign's break-up letter to his wife to the Las Vegas Sun.