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All About John

Sun reporter Michael Mishak notes that few Republicans are openly coming to John Ensign’s defense now that he’s in deep doo-doo over sleeping with another man’s wife who also happened to work for him. He also suggested that this was a blow to the Nevada Republican Party, as Ensign had threatened to ride in on his white horse and save party organization – only to be thrown out of the saddle by his unique way of defending the sanctity of the institution of marriage.

“After the 2008 election defeats,” Mishak writes, “Ensign announced something called the Republican Renewal Project, a political action committee dedicated to rebuilding the state party, which has struggled to regain its footing after years of lackluster leadership. A fundraising barbecue featuring Ensign set for Friday was canceled.”

OK, let’s set the record straight here on this point. If John Ensign was truly interested in helping to rebuild the Nevada Republican Party, he would have helped raise money for – now pay attention here – the Nevada Republican Party. Instead, he created a separate PAC of John Ensign, by John Ensign and for John Ensign’s political friends and cronies.

John Ensign has been effectively AWOL from the state and local party operations since he was first re-elected in 2006. At best he’ll show up and give a speech at Lincoln Day dinner or GOP convention. That’s it. He had no more of an intention of helping rebuild the Nevada Republican Party than Harry Reid has.

One of the main reasons so few Republicans are there for John Ensign now is that John Ensign hasn’t been there for Republicans in a long, long time. As one party Central Committee member put it to me, “John Ensign made his bed; let him sleep in it.”

No pun intended.

Ensign’s stupidity in this matter probably ends any chance whatsoever that Rep. Dean Heller gets into the race against Harry Reid. Why would he now? So not only is Ensign of no help to any Republican candidate against Reid, but now he’s actually a liability and will remain so as long as he remains in the Senate.

It was one thing when Ensign simply ignored the Nevada GOP and honored this non-aggression pact with Reid, but now his actions are directly destructive to the organization. If he gave a whit about the GOP in Nevada, he’s step down from his Senate seat and let someone else worry about representing Nevada in the United States Senate.

Or is John Ensign in the United States Senate just for John Ensign and not the people of Nevada, let alone Nevada Republicans?