Members of the U.S. Senate don't call themselves a family for nothing. Take former Sen. Pete Domenici. Over his 36 years in office, the New Mexico Republican presented himself as a straight-laced expert on the federal budget.
Now Domenici tells the Albuquerque Journal he fathered a son outside of his marriage over 30 years ago, revealing a secret kept for decades. And it turns out the son is the grandchild of a Senate colleague, Republican Paul Laxalt of Nevada, with whom we served together for 12 years.
Statements given to the Journal by Domenici and the son's mother, Michelle Laxalt of Alexandria, Va., identified the son as Adam Paul Laxalt, a Nevada lawyer. Michelle Laxalt formerly was a prominent government relations consultant and television political commentator in Washington, D.C. She is a daughter of Paul Laxalt, who served a term as Nevada governor in the late 1960s before spending 12 years in the Senate.
"More than 30 years ago, I fathered a child outside of my marriage," said Domenici, a father of eight with his wife, Nancy.
The 80-year-old Republican, who decided not to seek election to a seventh term in 2008, citing health reasons, said he remains concerned about privacy for Michelle Laxalt, and their son. Domenici indicated he was disclosing the family matter to the Journal because he anticipated someone else was about to make the story public.
Michelle Laxalt told the paper "one night's mistake led to pregnancy" and she chose to raise the son as a single parent.
"Given the fact that both my father and the father of my child were United States senators, I felt strongly that I would make this choice according to my values and would not seek advice, input or permission," Michelle Laxalt said.
Adam Paul Laxalt is a former U.S. Navy officer who graduated with honors from Georgetown University in 2001 and from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2005, according to his law firm's website.
Via The Albuquerque Journal.