An aide to former Senator John Ensign (R-NV) pled guilty to a misdemeanor violation yesterday, four years after he resigned from his job over a scandal that later forced Ensign to resign from the Senate. Doug Hampton, Ensign's former administrative assistant, faced charges of violating a law that prohibits congressional aides from lobbying within one year of leaving their jobs. Ensign arranged lobbying contracts for Hampton after pursuing an affair with Hampton's wife, Cynthia. The scandal, featured on the cover of Ms. Magazine last summer, eventually resulted in a Senate ethics inquiry. Ensign resigned on May 3, 2011, the day before he was scheduled to testify in the ethics hearing.
As Ms. Magazine reported, the affair was unlikely not truly consensual and Ensign continuously pursued Cynthia Hampton until she gave in. According to the article, "The Senate ethics report found 'substantial credible evidence' that Ensign's behavior constituted sexual harassment. It emphasized that Ensign had 'enormous power' over [Cynthia] Hampton and her husband, as they were both employed by him, and he ultimately forced them to leave his office because of the sexual relationship."
Doug Hampton was originally charged with seven felony counts. Under the plea bargain that he accepted yesterday, Hampton is expected not to receive any jail time and will pay a fine of $250 to $5,000.
Media Resources: New York Times 6/7/12; AP 6/7/12; Ms. Magazine Summer 2011
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .