June 17, 2009
Nevada Senator Admits Affair
Sen. John Ensign admitted yesterday that he had an affair with a staff member of his campaign.
The New York Times reports that during college at Colorado State University, he became a born-again Christian and he and his wife, Darlene, were active in the Promise Keepers. A Las Vegas Review-Journal article from 2000 says that he was attending Meadows Fellowship Foursquare Church, a pentecostal denomination, at the time.
The Republican from Nevada said that he had "violated the vows" of marriage and "the worst thing I have ever done in my life.
"If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it. I take full responsibility for my actions," he said.
Politico reports that Ensign decided to admit the affair publicly after the husband of the woman he had an affair with asked him for a substantial sum of money, a revelation that may hurt his chances for Senate leadership. Ensign consistently received high ratings from groups like Family Research Council and American Family Association for his voting record.
In 1998, Ensign called on President Bill Clinton to resign after revelations about his affair with a Monica Lewinsky. "He sent taxpayer-paid staff out to lie for him, and that is a misuse of office," Ensign said, adding that the president had "no credibility left."
After Sen. Larry Craig was arrested in an airport men's room, Ensign called for Craig's resignation.
"I wouldn't put myself, hopefully, in that kind of position, but if I was in a position like that, that's what I would do," Ensign told The Associated Press at the time.
Ensign, 51, is married and has three children. His wife also issued a statement saying that she loves her husband and that they have reconciled.
"Since we found out last year we have worked through the situation and we have come to a reconciliation. This has been difficult on both families. With the help of our family and close friends our marriage has become stronger. I love my husband."