I have to start with obligatory, John Ensign is a dirty rotten slug and I hope he does not run for re-election when his term expires.
But a liberal so-called watch dog group has charged that Ensign was receiving a cut rate in rent from a religious organization who run a group house and because only congresscritters could only stay there. From the LVRJ: "Sen. John Ensign was named in a new ethics complaint filed Thursday that alleges he and other lawmakers who lived in a religious-affiliated group house on Capitol Hill paid cut-rate rents in violation of congressional gift rules.
The complaint targets eight senators and House members who have lived in the stately brick rowhouse on C Street SE, behind the Library of Congress and just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The home is owned by the C Street Center Inc., an affiliate of a religious group known as the Fellowship Foundation that sponsors the annual National Prayer Breakfast and international development projects, and holds Bible study and prayer meetings on site....Research by Clergy Voice that was cited in the CREW complaint found the Capitol Hill Suites a block away charged between $149 and $259 per night for its lowest priced rooms, and that no hotel room in Washington could be found for less than $80 per night, or $2,400 per month....Melanie Sloan, a former Department of Justice attorney and executive director of CREW, said the alleged housing gift for members of Congress is an example of how the religious organization, also referred to as the Family, seeks to act as a government power broker.
"The whole point is they do like to bring government officials together, it helps them to be more powerful," Sloan said.
She said the house is different from a country club or other organization a member of Congress might join because it appears restricted to elected officials, as opposed to open to anyone with money to pay.
"It appears that, in fact, they got this exactly because they were members of Congress, not despite that," she said" ... A Protestant clergy group from Ohio, Clergy Voice, also has called for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the living arrangements, contending the owners of the home have been wrongly claiming a federal tax exemption as a church.
Clergy Voice also suggested that lawmakers who lived there should be reporting any rent subsidy as taxable income. http://www.lvrj.com/news/ensign-named-in-new-ethics-complaint-89704602.html
Clergy Voice is also a very liberal activist group that targets conservative politicians and has filed complaints against them.
First, CREW complains that only congresscritters live in this house. So what? Ever hear of college dormitories? Rooming houses for employees that work for a corporation? When I worked for an institution for the developmentally disabled, they had rooming houses similar, but not as high quality, for it's employees. So this part of the complaint is completely bogus.
Second, the rent. $950 for a bedroom and you have to share bathroom facilities and the kitchen.
CREW compared their living conditions to a hotel. Well, a hotel room has it's own bathroom and it's own privacy and you don't share it with a group of people year round, so that part of the complaint is bogus. They also said they were paying cheaper rent. Were they comparing prices from a private religious non-profit organization to a for-profit organization? Of course they were Again bogus. If you look at apartment rates from the Washington Post, those rates are not unreasonable, especially when you compare them against a for-profit company.
This is just another example of liberal activists targeting conservatives and moderates. Bogus, bogus, bogus and this complaint will not fly.
So, Sen. Ensign, finish out your term and say good bye. Get another job and stay out of the spotlight so the likes of me don't have to defend you against bogus charges.
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