Sexual Hypocrisy and the Republican Party


10-02-09, 10:00 am

Republican politicians have been caught in their own hypocrisy again. Just days after Republican Sen. David Vitter, R-La., called for an investigation into ACORN for assisting a fake prostitution ring, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel against Vitter for violating rules of professional conduct by repeatedly soliciting real prostitution, according to a statement posted on the non-partisan group's website.

In 2007, Vitter admitted to violating the law by soliciting prostitution after media reports revealed that his telephone number was included on the 'DC Madam's' client list.

Soon after, two New Orleans women told reporters that Vitter regularly visited a brothel run by a woman known as the 'Canal Street Madam' in that city in the 1990s.

In a third situation, the CREW statement added, another woman who worked as a prostitute with the alias Wendy Cortez said that Vitter was a regular client in 1999.

Neither the Senate Ethics Committee nor the local police in Washington and Louisiana have taken appropriate action against Vitter for these allegations or his apparent admission to a crime.

According to the CREW website, Louisiana's Rules do Professional Conduct provide for investigation and discipline of a lawyer who “commit[s] a criminal act especially one that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.” CREW assertd that Vitter fits this description.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “Sen. Vitter’s zeal to see ACORN criminally investigated for offering advice in setting up a prostitution ring reminded me he has yet to be held accountable for his own role in a prostitution ring.”

Nor is the Vitter debacle the only sex-related GOP hypocrisy this year. Republican Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who during a 1998 election campaign called on President Clinton to resign for his extramarital activities, also recently admitted to an affair with a campaign staffer named Cynthia Hampton in 2007 and 2008.

New details of the Ensign affair revealed that Ensign's admission may have been more forced than done out of a sense of guilt and remorse. According to new reports in the New York Times, Ensign appears to have attempted to cover up the affair with payoffs and by getting a lucrative lobbying job for Hampton's husband, Dan Hampton a close friend and top aide to Ensign.

The Hampton told reporters that Ensign offered him the job and advised him to ignore a federal law that prohibits senior aides of US Senators from becoming lobbyists for a year after leaving the job. In addition to the job offer, Ensign apparently paid Hampton thousands of dollars after he left Ensign's employ, which he said was not a severance package. The Nevada Senator also seems to have paid another $25,000 directly to Cynthia Hampton as well.

Ensign's parents also paid Cynthia Hampton almost $100,000 after they learned of the affair in an apparent attempt to cover it up. In addition, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which Ensign chaired at the time, paid the Hampton's teenage son $1,000 a month over a six month period in 2008 for work as an intern, work that is typically unpaid.

The details of the story get even sleazier. Instead of accepting the job, the woman's husband told reporters that he sought financial compensation from Ensign, a deal arranged through Ensign's close friend Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Ok. Apparently Hampton wanted $8 million to keep quiet, and Coburn seems to have told Ensign that the Hampton might accept $2 million.

When Ensign refused to pay, Hampton broke the news to Fox News. Only then did pious Sen. Ensign, so concerned about the moral condition of America when Clinton's errors were made public, come forward to confess his guilt.

Some media reports also linked the Ensign-Hampton-Coburn affair to a shady fraternity of Republican lawmakers known as the 'C Street' group. Reports suggested that the secret group of lawmakers was based out of a townhouse shared by several members of Congress on Washington's C Street.

Unlike Sen. Vitter's apparent admission to what is a crime in Washington, Sen. Ensign's affairs and apparent subsequent cover up remain under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee.