THE COMPANY VITTER KEEPS…. When looking ahead to this year’s most competitive Senate races, most observers tend to overlook Sen. David Vitter’s (R) re-election campaign in Louisiana. At first blush, that seems odd — after all, Vitter ran on a right-wing, “family-values” platform and then got caught with prostitutes. He’s also spent the last six years fighting on the wrong side of almost every issue.

The polls, for now, show Vitter leading anyway. That may soon change.

For one thing, Vitter has chosen to fight for BP and oil companies, which might not go over well in Louisiana under the circumstances. For another, Vitter has kept Brent Furer on the payroll.

Who’s Brent Furer? He’s the Senate aide who allegedly held his ex-girlfriend hostage, “threatening to kill her, placing his hand over her mouth, and cutting her in the hand and neck.”

After drinking at a restaurant, the two returned to Furer’s Capitol Hill apartment, the report says. Furer “would not let her leave.” He “pulled on her coat, which caused it to rip,” then “pulled out a knife and stabbed [her] in the hand,” the police report says.

Charging documents allege that Furer became angry when he found phone numbers for other men in her blackberry. He smashed her phone when she tried to call 911, the records say, and he shoved her to the floor when she tried to leave, then held his hand over her mouth and threw her on a bed.

Demopoulos told police Furer “uttered the words to her, ‘Do you want to get serious.’” Then, the arrest warrant states, Furer “grabbed an unknown object and held it under her neck. The suspect asked the complainant, ‘Do you want to die?’ The complainant replies and she stated, ‘No, I don’t want to die.’”

After a 90 minute standoff, Furer made her promise not to call police, and then allowed her to leave. She fled to a friend’s house, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. A slash on her chin took eight stitches to close, the police report says.

Brent Furer now receives taxpayer money to oversee women’s issues for Sen. Vitter. I wish I were kidding, but there’s nothing funny about this.

Vitter is well aware of Furer’s transgressions. Vitter is also well aware of the fact that Furer has been arrested on four other occasions — three times for DUI, and once for cocaine possession. Indeed, at present, Furer remains wanted on an open warrant in Baton Rouge.

The ABC News report noted, “Those who have had encounters with Furer say his presence on Vitter’s payroll raises serious questions about the senator’s judgment.”

You think?

Update: That was quick — Furer resigned this morning.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.