Sen. John Ensign’s re-election campaign took in just $50 in contributions, from one contributor, during the first quarter of 2010, according to FEC reports. The paltry take comes as more bad news for the scandal-tarred Nevada Republican, who would run for re-election in 2012.
Disclosure reports examined by TPMmuckraker show that Robert Donald, a Las Vegas retiree, was the sole contributor to the “Ensign for Senate” committee between January and March. Donald gave two separate $25 contributions.
The Justice Department is currently investigating the aftermath of Ensign’s affair with the wife of a top aide, to determine whether the senator broke lobbying rules or other laws in trying to set up the aide, Doug Hampton, with a lobbying job, and find clients for him. A payment of almost $100,000 from Ensign’s parents to the Hamptons is also reportedly a focus of the inquiry.
Ensign, who says he broke no laws, has not said whether he intends to seek re-election. Washington GOP leaders have been non-committal about his future, while some Nevada GOPers have begun to pressure him to step down. If it became clear that Ensign was unable to raise the money to run a viable campaign in 2012, that pressure would likely increase.