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Ensign’s mistress saw salary double, son was paid $5,400

Ex-campaign aide to Ensign confirms affair

Updated Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | 3:24 p.m.

Ensign Admits Affair

U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., acknowledged an extramarital affair with a campaign staff member Tuesday afternoon at the Lloyd George Federal Building in Las Vegas.

Sen. John Ensign admits affair

Sen. John Ensign holds a press conference announcing his affair with a staff member at the Lloyd George Federal Building in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

UPDATE: Ensign’s office: Woman’s husband approached media with story

The one-time mistress and campaign treasurer of Sen. John Ensign saw her salary double during the time of the affair, according to federal election documents.

Cynthia Hampton, whose husband, Doug Hampton, was a senior aide to Ensign, the Nevada Republican, was paid nearly $1,400 per month for most of 2007 as treasurer of Ensign's Battle Born Political Action Committee.

Her salary increased slightly in January 2008 but then doubled to nearly $2,800 per month in February 2008 and stayed at that higher rate through March and April, when she left the job.

She also made $500 per month in late 2007 at the Ensign for Senate campaign committee.

Hampton's 19-year-old son was paid $5,400 by a political operation controlled by Ensign, according to federal election documents.

Brandon Hampton was being paid by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, of which Ensign was chairman, for “research policy consulting,” according to the election documents.

The payments were first reported by Sun-partner Politico.

Doug Hampton received $19,679 from the senator's office for one month, between April 1 and May 1, 2008 -- a sum substantially higher than his normal salary, according to Senate records. He and his wife both stopped working for the senator at that time, in May 2008.

Doug Hampton had been earning about $160,000 annually since he started on the senator's payroll on Nov. 8, 2006. He was one of the top paid aides in the office, receiving pay equal to the senator's chief of staff.

Also today, the Associated Press reported that an attorney for the Hamptons released a statement, confirming the affair and lamenting Ensign's decision to “air this very personal matter” and said she eventually would tell her side of the story.

The Nevada political world was thrown into turmoil Tuesday when Ensign, who had been considered a rising star in national politics, acknowledged the affair with Hampton.

Ensign, whose office is not replying to requests for interviews, has said he intends to remain in the Senate, though he resigned his GOP leadership position today.

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