Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Did Ensign Really Resign?


No doubt you've heard by now that Nevada Republican John Ensign, formerly the 3rd highest ranking Republican in their caucus leadership has decided to stop clinging to his political career. After vowing he would stand for reelection next November, Ensign announced this week that he's not just not running but that he's actually resigning from his seat (effective May 3). The ranking Republican on the Senate Ethics Committee, Johnny Isakson (GA), who has been part of the devastating investigation into Ensign's serial corruption, said Ensign "made the appropriate decision."

It's ironic that earlier this year Ensign introduced a bill that would require all white collar criminals-- so presumably this will cover him-- to work 50 hours a week. Creating a national prison labor force has been a goal since he went to Congress in 1995, but it makes even more sense in this economy, he said. “Think about how much it costs to incarcerate someone,” Mr. Ensign said. “Do we want them just sitting in prison, lifting weights, becoming violent and thinking about the next crime? Or do we want them having a little purpose in life and learning a skill?”

The Nevada Republican Party is certainly trying to use all the skills they've learned to take advantage of this development. Even though it might not be such a smart move in Senate seat retention, Gov. Sandoval is reportedly about to replace Ensign with his protégé, Rep. Dean Heller, who had already announced he would run for the seat.
[S]enators appointed to fill midterm vacancies have fared rather poorly when it came time for the voters to give them a verdict. Over the past 25 Congresses, there have been, by my count, 49 senators who selected by gubernatorial appointment in midterm (this excludes cases where a senator-elect acceded to office a few days early to gain seniority on his colleagues, a once-common courtesy that is becoming less so.) Of those 49 senators, only 19-- fewer than 40 percent-- won their subsequent special election.

Perhaps a bigger fear for the Nevada GOP was that deranged Teabag Queen Sharron Angle could easily win a primary to replace Heller in the House-- and then lose a general election to almost any Democrat. Aside from having Sandoval appoint Heller to the Senate, the party also gets to select a primary-free nominee for the special election to replace Heller. That way they get the teabaggers out of their hair... they hope. Angle, retired Navy Commander Kirk Lippold have already declared for the seat and both Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and state GOP Mark Amodei have been reported to be on the verge on jumping in. Republican Party thought in Nevada is that any of the males would be preferable to Angle, even though she actually won Ensign's district in her Senate race.

Angle lost the Senate race because she got slaughter in Clark County, 253,617 to 192,516. Clark County, essentially Las Vegas, is barely part of Heller's district and, although she under-performed Heller, she still beat Reid in most of the counties that make up the vast, sprawling 2nd CD. In fact, other than Washoe County (Reno) and tiny Mineral County (which saw a 855 to 822 split favoring Reid), she beat Reid in every other county in the state. It's worth mentioning that Heller won both Mineral and, more important Washoe, by big margins. Here are the county totals (not counting the parts of Clark in the 2nd CD) comparing Heller and Angle:

Carson City- Angle- 9,362; Heller- 12,470
Churchill- Angle- 5,639; Heller- 6,592
Douglas- Angle- 12,858; Heller- 14,872
Elko- Angle- 8,173; Heller- 9,443
Esmeralda- Angle- 268; Heller- 285
Eureka- Angle- 524; Heller- 599
Humboldt- Angle- 2,836; Heller- 3,627
Lander- Angle- 1,201; Heller- 1,429
Lincoln- Angle- 1,311; Heller- 1,396
Lyon- Angle- 10,473; Heller- 12,046
Mineral- Angle- 822; Heller- 1,190
Nye- Angle- 7,822; Heller- 8,817
Pershing- Angle- 915; Heller- 1,216
Storey- Angle- 1,124; Heller- 1,383
Washoe- Angle- 63,316; Heller- 80,216
White Pine- Angle- 2,201; Heller- 2,290

Thousands and thousands of voters who pulled the lever for Heller either then voted for Reid or another candidate or just didn't vote in the Senate race rather than pull the lever for Angle. And that was true in every single county, from giant Washoe, where the disparity between Heller and Angle was a whopping 17,000 votes to tiny Esmeraldo, where 17 of Heller's 285 voters just could not force themselves to vote for Angle. That's what the Nevada state party was seeking to avoid by nudging Ensign into resigning now.

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At 3:54 PM, Anonymous me said...

I can see why the party might want him to quit, but that doesn't explain why he would do it.

The accepted explanation seems to be that he had an affair, but really, so what. Senators fuck their constituents all the time, literally and figuratively, and don't resign over it. One of Louisiana's "family values" assholes not only got caught whore-hopping, but was found to like dressing up in diapers while doing it! What a pervert. Yet that was years ago and he's still in office.

What Ensign did - not only the affair but the corruption - is standard practice in Congress and everyone knows it. So what is the real reason he quit?

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not exactly sure, "me", but I think it's because a DOJ legal case is being pursued and has a great chance of being successful regarding the bribery/corruption incident with his mistress's husband's job.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

I agree anonymous but how old is the doj case? And why resign NOW after having your classless act as Senator Fuckor of two married staff fuckees who mommy and daddy paid $96k to sooth the wounds of being fucked & discard by son Senator Fuckor for two years? Kinda low even for Nevada.

Now we are all discussing the classless Senator Fuckor AGAIN and the illegal break-the-one-year lobby rule by staff fuckee who Senator Fuckor arrange the job for (the SAME one year lobbying rule that Denny Hastert avoided by Deserting IL14 early).

I am assuming there are more alleged fuckees.

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Atlanta Roofing said...

He resigned to avoid the hearing by the Senate Ethics Committee. They only pursue charges for current senators. If you resign, they don't have anything to pursue, although other entities can pursue ethics violations. Congressman Nathan Deal resigned just before the House Ethics complainf findings were to be presented.


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