Ensign, parents fined $54,000 for payments to Hamptons

UPDATE III: On May 19, in a letter to the FEC, Sen. John Ensign's campaign acknowledged unreported contributions to his campaign from...his parents. But, amazingly enough, the letter also takes a shot at his former treasurer and lover, Cindy Hampton, for not "previously reporting" what the senator would later claim were "gifts."  If only she had known.....

The letter is attached here.

 

UPDATE II: In case you have forgotten what the original explanation/lie was for the obvious severance/payoff/hush money, after Doug Hampton came on "Face to Face" and mentioned the payments, an Ensign family lawyer said this:

"In April 2008, Senator John Ensign’s parents each made gifts to Doug Hampton, Cindy Hampton, and two of their children in the form of a check totaling $96,000. Each gift was limited to $12,000. The payments were made as gifts, accepted as gifts and complied with tax rules governing gifts.

“After the Senator told his parents about the affair, his parents decided to make the gifts out of concern for the well-being of long-time family friends during a difficult time. The gifts are consistent with a pattern of generosity by the Ensign family to the Hamptons and others.”

 

Right.

 

I was skeptical then, still disgusted now.

 

 

UPDATE: In a letter datted May 19, Ensign's PAC treasurer rewrote history (to make it closer to accurate) and said it was now putting in-kind contributions from the ex-senator's parents on its report, noted as a "staff salary" entry for Ensign's former lover, Cindy Hampton. The letter:

 

May 19, 2013



Nataliya Ioffe
Authorized Branch Chief, Reports Analysis Division
Federal Election Commission
999 E St., NW
Washington, DC 20463

Identification:  Battle Born PAC C00364596

Reference:  May 2008 Monthly Report

Dear Ms. Ioffe:

This letter is in response to the Conciliation Agreement related to MUR 6718.

Per your instructions, this letter notifies the Commission that on April 7, 2008, Battle Born PAC and the former treasurer, Cynthia Hampton, accepted the following in-kind contributions that were not previously reported:

From Michael Ensign
16 Burning Tree Ct.
Las Vegas, NV  89113
Mandalay Resort Group/Chairman
$18,000
Purpose:  Staff Salary

From Sharon Ensign
16 Burning Tree Ct.
Las Vegas, NV  89113
Homemaker
$18,000
Purpose:  Staff Salary

The filing of this information complies with the requirements of the above referenced conciliation agreement.

Should you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Lisa Lisker
Treasurer

----

 

Just when you thought you had heard the last of the sordid tale of disgraced ex-Sen. John Ensign, who resigned in 2011 to avoid an ethics panel pummeling for events stemming from an affair with his best friend's wife who was also his wife's best friend (that never gets old): The Federal Election Commission finally has gotten around to dealing with the obvious dissembling by Ensign, who obtained $96,000 from his parents as a purported "gift" that obviously was a payoff disgused as severance.

Here's the FEC finding:

COMPLAINANT: FEC-Initiated

RESPONDENTS: John E. Ensign; Ensign for Senate and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer; Battle Born Political Action Committee and Lisa Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer; and Michael and Sharon Ensign
SUBJECT: In the course of carrying out its supervisory responsibilities, the Commission received information indicating that Michael and Sharon Ensign made and Ensign, Ensign for Senate and Battle Born Political Action Committee and Lisker, in her official capacity as treasurer for the two committees, (the Ensign Committees) knowingly received excessive in-kind contributions when Michael and Sharon Ensign made a severance payment to a former Committee staff member. The Commission found further that Ensign and the Ensign Committees failed to disclose the contributions. Ensign was a 2012 candidate for Nevada’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for Ensign and the Ensign Committees to pay a civil penalty of $32,000. The Commission entered into another conciliation agreement providing for Michael and Sharon Ensign to pay a civil penalty of $22,000.

And here's the general counsel's report that is an utter evisceration of what occurred, complete with what was said, what was true and what the Ensigns said about Doug and Cindy Hampton.