So yesterday we were told that the husband of the woman with whom Senator Ensign had an affair got severance pay. Today it turns out that the woman involved was paid more than usual for her work and -- listen up -- their 19 year old son was paid as a "consultant" by the Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
The son of the couple at the center of the sex scandal that has engulfed Sen. John Ensign was being paid by National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2008 at the same time his mother was having an affair with the Nevada Republican.
Both Doug and Cynthia Hampton were already working in senior positions for Ensign when their son Brandon Hampton was hired to do "research policy consulting" for the NRSC in March 2008.
The younger Hampton, 19, was paid $5,400 before he left the Ensign office in August last year, Federal Election Commission records show.
So, we have the NRSC -- funded by contributors to the party -- paying for this 19 year old to be a consultant.
At the same time, the taxpayers are paying salaries and then severance pay to the couple.
And there may be more payoffs.
After both Hamptons abruptly stopped working for Ensign in May 2008, reports the Review-Journal, Doug Hampton went to work for Allegiant Air, a Las Vegas-based travel company, and for November Inc., the political consulting firm that runs Ensign's campaigns and employs several former Ensign staffers.
Did the folks running that company pay Doug Hampton to help Ensign out of a jamb, to prevent the affair from being revealed? Were there any deals between Ensign and Allegiant that were part of a broader quid pro quo?
This doesn't look so much like a straight (excuse the pun) sex scandal, but a series of financial scandals.
If I were a Republican leader, I'd be worried. And if I were a Republican contributor, I'd be pissed that my money may have gone for a pay-off.
Time to follow the money.