Ensign rewrites history

U.S. Sen. John Ensign, who has a reputation for a competitive relationship with the truth, was caught last week misrepresenting a union election in Las Vegas in order to make the case against card check union elections. A card check is a method of organizing employees into a union under which a company agrees to recognize a union if a majority of workers sign authorization forms, or “cards.”

In an appearance on the Eye on Washington television program, Ensign claimed that 10 years ago, Las Vegas MGM Grand employees held a secret ballot election and rejected a Culinary Union attempt to organize. Later, he said, the Culinary was able to reverse the result of the election with a deal with management.

In fact, Las Vegas Sun reporter Michael Mishak pointed out, there was no such secret ballot election.

Ensign, who is a former casino manager, is the son of a casino executive who had a different stance on card checks than the senator. “His father was party to many card checks, and we commended him for it,” said Culinary chief D. Taylor.

In 2006, Ensign said he was willing to lie for a good purpose. “I happened to believe in what we’re doing over there [Iraq],” he said. “But if I didn’t, I’d lie.”

That prompted Las Vegas blogger Hugh Jackson to ask, “If the Hair-Do didn’t believe in what we’re doing over there, he’d lie about it? So how do we know he’s not lying when he says he believes in what we’re doing over there?”