Monday, July 13, 2009 | 8:38 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Despite the efforts by Sen. John Ensign’s parents to structure their $96,000 payment to the family of his mistress as a gift that would avoid taxes, they might want to have considered additional precautions, suggests the New York Times.
The Times outlines a series of steps the senator’s parents could have taken to ensure their gift to the family of the mistress, who was the senator’s campaign treasurer, was given tax-free.
The posting on the NYT’s Economix blog was just one of many over the weekend in Washington and Nevada as fallout continues in the Ensign affair.
Las Vegas Sun colleague J. Patrick Coolican considers whether Ensign will be reprimanded for the affair with the wife of one of his former top aides, given the slow pace of investigations at the Senate Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission.
Our colleagues at the Review-Journal weigh Ensign’s chances for survival here.
My story in Sunday’s paper suggests that Republicans in both Washington and Nevada have been hesitant to overtly call for Ensign’s ouster, but that the senator’s political future may be better known after tonight’s meeting of the Nevada state Republican Party’s central committee back home.
The editorial pages in Nevada and Washington are watching, waiting and asking questions.
Up north, an earlier editorial in the Lahontan Valley News reprinted in the Nevada Appeal calls the Ensign affair “another black eye on Nevada” (the governor’s marital situation being the first), but refrains from calling for Ensign’s resignation.
Similar sentiment from the Review-Journal in Las Vegas, which wrote that Ensign has “damaged Nevadans,” and said the senator “must now demonstrate to Nevadans that he can learn from his mistakes.”
The Las Vegas Sun urges the senator to tell the whole story, saying “Ensign’s fate is unclear.”
The Washington Post said this morning that the “damning details” of the Ensign affair show the need for a thorough investigation.
“Mr. Ensign should realize that no one is being served by the lingering and troubling questions surrounding his sordid affair. He should welcome any inquiry that will help put them to rest,” the Post wrote.