“In April 2008, Senator John Ensign’s parents each made gifts to Doug Hampton, Cindy Hampton, and two of their children in the form of a check totaling $96,000,” a statement on the senator’s behalf said. “Each gift was limited to $12,000. The payments were made as gifts, accepted as gifts and complied with tax rules governing gifts...The gifts are consistent with a pattern of generosity by the Ensign family to the Hamptons and others."
Senator Ensign had had an affair with Cindy Hampton while she was on his campaign staff. In addition, the senator's office confirmed that Mr. Hampton had recently demanded money and had threatened to go public with the affair just before Ensign's public admission.
Is it an old Irish blessing that goes, "May you never be subjected to the 'generosity' of the Ensign family"?
And would Emily Post consider it good manners in these situations to pay hush money not just to the cuckolded husband, but also to his children? (Though perhaps it was consistent with a "pattern of thoughtfulness" by the Ensign family to have also considered the US tax implications in advance.)