Blog — Bart Stupak

April 06, 2010

Another scathing article in hometown paper about Sen. Ensign

By CREW Staff

Last week, CREW filed complaints with the House and Senate Ethics Committees against members of Congress who resided at the now infamous C Street house operated by the Fellowship:

CREW’s complaints name Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), and John Ensign (R-NV), as well as Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Heath Shuler (D-NC), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Zach Wamp (R-TN) as members of Congress who received improper gifts from C Street Center, Inc., the entity that runs the house and is affiliated with the Fellowship, a shadowy religious organization

Senator Ensign is facing other investigations stemming the fallout from an affair he had with a woman who worked for him -- as did her husband.

A scathing article about Ensign in the Las Vegas Sun includes the complaint filed by CREW against the C Street house. It's just one of a litany of ethical and possibly illegal transgressions by the junior Senator from Nevada:

Ensign’s residence at the C Street house has led to yet more trouble, as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a complaint against Ensign and his housemates — eight senators and representatives, in all — accusing them of paying below-market rent at the house, therefore violating the congressional gift ban.

Jeff Sharlet, whose book “The Family” details the history and influence of the group, said that despite its mostly conservative membership, its theology is far from rigorous or conservative. “They want the juice of piety without thinking it through,” Sharlet said.

“It’s not that you’re allowed to do anything. It’s that what you do is not the criteria for leadership. What matters is not that Ensign is a swell guy. It’s that he’s chosen,” Sharlet said.

Although The Family is a secretive group, determining who is chosen seems relatively uncomplicated: Powerful elected and business leaders are in.

We want the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Ensign for the C Street house and his other transgressions. But, it looks like federal law enforcement authorities may get to him first:

Ensign’s days as a member of elite Washington appear to be numbered, however.

With the FBI investigating, “it’s every man for himself,” a Republican operative said.


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