Revealed: The Sanford/Ensign Connection

June 24, 2009 11:28 a.m.

We couldn’t help noticing during Mark Sanford’s reality-show-style press conference that there’s a tie-in between this week’s GOP 2012 presidential contender sex scandal and last week’s involving Sen. John Ensign.

Sanford said that in dealing with his affair, he’d been working with a group called “C Street,” which he described as a “Christian bible study.” He said he’d been part of the group when he lived in Washington as a congressman earlier this decade.And last week, we wrote about Ensign’s own ties to C Street.

In his letter to Fox, Doug Hampton wrote about a confrontation over the affair that took place last year between Ensign, Coburn, and several other of Ensign’s”peers.” In a book about a secretive Christian group called the Family, published last year, the journalist Jeff Sharlet wrote that Ensign and Sen. Tom Coburn each at times lived in a group home for members of Congress, described as a “four-story red-brick Washington townhouse, a former convent at 133 C St SE, run by a Family affiliate called the C Street Foundation.” Both Ensign and Coburn, as well as several other lawmakers, have been involved with the Family. And in his letter, Hampton seemed to be implying that the issue had been discussed in the context of the organization.

It seems very likely that the C Street group Sanford referred to is affiliated with the C Street Foundation and the red-brick townhouse that Ensign, Coburn and others have lived at, and where the confrontation that Hampton referred to appears to have taken place.

Is it possible that Coburn and other lawmakers affiliated with C Street and the Family knew in advance about both affairs?

In any case, maybe C Street should start giving out refunds, because whatever they do over there sure isn’t working too well.

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: