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Oklahoma senator becomes affair negotiator

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Oklahoma's U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn is a big believer in not having the government solve problems, that local folks should be able to come together and work out society's problems without needing the government to intervene.

It is his philosophy that when people without full health insurance coverage are in need of medical attention, they should first go to their neighbors for help.

That same philosophy apparently also applies to negotiating sexual affairs.

Earlier this year, a scandal broke out in Washington, D.C., involving Coburn's fellow Republican Sen. Jim Ensign of Nevada, who was caught having an affair with an aide.

When the story broke, Coburn was accused of trying to work a deal to help Ensign break off the affair and keep the whole thing on the down-low. Coburn repeatedly denied the accusation, then he finally fessed up.

The New York Times confronted Coburn, an ordained deacon, with detailed accounts of what others said concerning the senator's involvement, which included working as a go-between with Ensign and the family of his assistant.

 "John got trapped doing something really stupid and then made a lot of other mistakes afterward," Coburn told The Gray Lady. "Judgment gets impaired by arrogance, and that's what's going on here."

This revelation comes from the senator who regularly gives sexually transmitted disease seminars to newcomers at the nation's Capitol; who screams about wasteful spending and more government transparency.

Who thought Tom Coburn would be the William Shatner-esque negotiator of Congress?

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