Pete Domenici, the retired New Mexico senator, announced to the Albuquerque Journal today that he fathered a son out of wedlock more than 30 years ago, keeping the child's existence and identity a secret at the behest of its mother, Michelle Laxalt. Who herself happens to be the daughter of another Senator—Nevada Republican Paul Laxalt.

Who knows what powerful pheromones waft through the air of the Senate chamber, or what prisons of lust Hill offices might be? Alas: Laxalt, a lobbyist and political consultant, describes her tryst with Domenici, a Republican who retired in 2008, as "one night's mistake [...] my interaction with my child's father consisted of telling him my decision, asking that he avail himself for health-related purposes, and asking that he agree that this remain private between the two of us." In separate statements to the Journal, both Domenici and Laxalt imply that the story was coming out soon anyway, though Laxalt's description is far the better:

Recently information has come to me that this sacred situation might be twisted, re-written out of whole cloth, and shopped to press outlets large and small in a vicious attempt to smear, hurt and diminish Pete Domenici, an honorable man, his extraordinary wife, Nancy, and other innocents.

Why after more than 30 years, would anyone insinuate pain and ugliness where joy and beauty have presided?

According to his statement, Domenici only told his family sometime last year:

My past action has caused hurt and disappointment to my wife, children, family, and others. For that I am solely responsible. My family has been aware of these events for several months. I have apologized as best as I can to my wife, and we have worked together to strengthen our relationship.

Their son, Adam Paul Laxalt, is a lawyer and ex-Marine who once worked as "a special assistant to John Bolton." He has declined to comment and "asked that his privacy be respected."

[Albuquerque Journal, image via AP]