‘C Street’ Democrat: Don’t Ask Me, I Just Live There

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm

The Michigan Messenger caught up today with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who lives at the “C Street” house made famous of late by several current and former residents, including Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and former Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) — all of whom have found themselves in the middle of adultery scandals in recent weeks. Stupak did not seem particularly thrilled to be taking questions on the shadowy religious group known as “The Family,” which owns the house.

“I don’t belong to any such group,” Stupak said. “I rent a room at a house in ‘C Street.’ I do not belong to any such group. I don’t know what you’re talking about, [The] Family and all this other stuff.”

The Messenger also spoke with Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor to Harper’s magazine who lived with The Family at another house and wrote a tell-all book about the group. Sharlet said he doesn’t buy Stupak’s proclaimed ignorance of the organization’s activities.

“When I lived with The Family at Ivanwald, a house for younger men being groomed for leadership, I was told that Stupak was a regular visitor to the Cedars,” Sharlet said. The Cedars is yet another compound owned by The Family, one that hosts weekly prayer events led by former Reagan-era Attorney General Ed Meese.

Sharlet said that Stupak had much greater involvement with the group than he is admitting, noting that the congressman was “a Family-assigned mentor to one of my brothers at Ivanwald.” That Ivanwald resident, Sharlet said, “regularly left for what he and others described as mentoring sessions.”

Another reason to doubt Stupak’s denials, Sharlet said, is that members of the organization and those who live at the C Street house are sworn to secrecy about what goes on there, as fellow resident Zach Wamp admitted to the Knoxville News in the wake of the recent scandals. That makes such denials less credible, Sharlet said.

You can read the full story at The Michigan Messenger.

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