E-mails show Ensign aides knew of affair

Aug. 4, 2009 at 10:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- E-mails obtained by The Las Vegas Sun show Sen. John Ensign's top aides at the National Republican Senatorial Committee knew last summer about his affair.

Ensign, R-Nev., acknowledged in June he had had a relationship with Cindy Hampton, whose husband, Doug, was both a close friend and a senior employee of Ensign's. The senator publicly confessed to the affair after he learned Doug Hampton had approached Fox News.

The e-mails showed some of Ensign's aides at the committee might have been distracted by the affair while they were dealing with the 2008 general election, which political observers had said could be disastrous for the GOP, the Sun said. The Republicans lost eight seats in the Senate.

Mike and Lindsey Slanker, a couple who run a Nevada-based consulting firm, November Inc., were working for Ensign. The Sun obtained e-mails sent in the summer of 2008 by both, suggesting they felt pulled in two directions by relationships with the Hamptons and Ensign.

"While we can't possibly understand what you must be going through, we struggle with being in the cross-hairs," Mike Slanker told Doug Hampton in an e-mail headlined "hey, guy." "We are happy to give Cindy space if that helps things."

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