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A Baucus scandal?

by: Jay Stevens

Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 12:49:40 PM MST

This will probably be in the papers tomorrow, you think?

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus' office confirmed late Friday night that the Montana Democrat was carrying on an affair with his state office director, Melodee Hanes, when he nominated her to be U.S. attorney in Montana.

Hanes withdrew her name from consideration to move to Washington DC.

Update: Emptywheel:

...while we're getting all scandalized about Baucus's bad judgment, let's talk about the bad judgment that did hurt taxpayers, rather than the one that almost did: the way in which the revolving door on his committee staff made it very easy for the insurance industry to write the Senate's health care reform bill. I'm much more offended-and directly affected-by the fact that former Wellpoint VP Liz Fowler wrote the Senate health care bill than I am that Baucus nominated, then withdrew, his mistress for a plum job.
Jay Stevens :: A Baucus scandal?
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A Baucus scandal? | 13 comments
In the Washington Post today and on AP (0.00 / 0)

I'm not interested in politician's private lives, affairs, girlfriends, drinking binges, or otherwise. I am not part of Prude Nation.  But I'm always intrigued with the question of "why now?"  What about the timing of this?

Right now crony capitalism is all the rage and perfectly legal.  So what's the fuss?  

Mere Nitpickery (0.00 / 0)
I'm sure, but can people stop using the words nominated and appointed to describe what Sen. Baucus did?  Senators don't nominate.  They don't appoint.  They recommend.  In this case, as one of a group of three.  

Unless the relationship was really a secret, I can't see either the President nominating or Baucus' colleagues confirming a candidate where this kind of situation exists.  Ms. Hanes did Sen. Baucus a great favor by sparing him floor debate on this issue (which would have been preceded by a whispering campaign).  She should have done the favor when he asked her if she'd accept the nomination, but the appeal of a position like that would cloud the judgment of pretty near everyone.  (Not to say that everyone would take it.  Just that they'd be cloudy.)

Bad idea certainly.  A lot of us males live in glass houses when it comes to criticizing a guy for thinking with his [insert euphemism of choice], but really, this is why a man of his position has a staff: they're supposed to be able to steer the member away from mistakes like this.

(I suppose years from now we'll be favored with the full story; maybe multiple versions.  For the present, though, I'm chalking this up as a boneheaded thing to do, but no danger to the Republic.)

Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.

Emptywheel is right (0.00 / 0)
on the mark....Baucus has long had a revolving door with his staff and firms lobbying Congress...the Fowler thing is much more dangerous than trying to get a girl friend appointed to a US attorney post...

But I don't expect the state media to give the Fowler issue too much ink...unless they smell blood?????

Yes, I agree. I mentioned Fowler on Jay's (0.00 / 0)
last blog post "Stumbling towards the future"
I usually don't give a rat's ass about affairs.  I consider them personal.  I am more angry about a Wellpoint ex executive, Liz Fowler,  writing a terrible industry loving health care bill for the Senator.  But these stories just keep piling up making voters just stay home.  And that is not good for democracy.  

That's my concern. Liberals usually need inspiration and optimism. Progressives need...well...progress. Now Washington looks like every town or city in America that is run by the real estate banker crowd.  It's hardly inspiring.

[ Parent ]
i am sure that ms hanes is a fine person (0.00 / 0)
and i wish the both of them much happiness.....in their personal lives.

but what concerns me is this pattern of total lack of discretion on the part of our senior senator using his position to feather the nests of his personal friends, ex-staff members and the ceo's of health insurance companies without any apology or even bothering to issue believable press releases. someone needs to inform ty that we are not dolts here.

max and his staff seem to be comfortable treating montana voters like idiots. it's embarrassing to be treated this way by our senior senator. and it makes montana a laughing-stock. that is something most montanans do not take kindly to.  

My opinion of Max is this (0.00 / 0)
he has always considered himself superior to your average Montanan....perhaps being born with a silver spoon in his mouth is the reason...and this has pretty much led to Max doing whatever he pleases in the Senate with zero regard for the folk back home...

Bush tax cuts
A shitty health care plan
Revolving door staff-lobbyist
A watered down climate bill
and on and on and on....

The only reason Democrats in this state give him any support is because Max calls himself a Democrat...and they are too chicken shit to call him out.

A Corrupt politician? (0.00 / 0)
Say it aint so! People, a little thought experiment. Imagine for a moment this was not a democracy. How much of what we know about the spectacle known as "politics" suddenly makes sense?  

Ms Aruhndahti Roy says it much better: "What happens now that democracy and the free market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximizing profit?"

We get corruption.

Max is Max - (0.00 / 0)

Don't be too hard on Max -

The Dems were all excited to pass a bad health care bill, and he (Max) has managed almost by himself to take charge for a while, delay, postpone, and twist the whole issue until now there is almost no public support for it, and whatever bill they pass will have no really bad measures in it.

We owe him for that at least, right?

NONE ISSUE - no legs (0.00 / 0)

...But what is interesting is who tipped off the Media...? that's the story of possible tempest in the baucus teapot.

And eric coobs you'd have to be an imbecile to think the Baucus give away to the Insurance Cartel is a step in the right direction. Baucus is a virulent form of bacteria that needs to be eradicated.

  Look what he did for the desimation of SEIU and Insurance Reform he picked Jim (name slip) to head the SEIU in Montana to push for sinking Single Payer in Montana. Gawd i hate Baucus...and Baucus lovers.

  It's also important to note Stevens is reading a real Progressive in Marcy Wheeler IE the Emptywheel - maybe after a long time something Progressive will rub off on to Stevens, and Centrist in the West blog.

   Now it's time to STOP and REJECT BERNANKE ! Notify all Senators and thank Sanders and Bunning for their Rejection to the End of Bernanke.

"Left" and "liberal" are mutually exclusive terms. If you are a "liberal" you can't be Left. "Liberal" means you want a kinder gentler capitalism. "Left" means you are anti-capitalist.

tip off? (0.00 / 0)
Did there have to be? Were the nominations secret? All someone would have to do is compare who Baucus nominated with the name of his new live-in girlfriend, and then do the math.

[ Parent ]
Just like Conrad (0.00 / 0)
Like Conrad Burns before him, "Max" has gone native in Washington D.C. His constituents in Montana have a higher moral character and a stronger sense of personal responsibility and professional ethics than he has.
Die-hard Democrats will defend him just as die-hard Republicans defended Burns. Neither man was worthy of anyone's loyalty.
If we reward him with re-election, then we're the fools.

A Baucus scandal? | 13 comments

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Purely Hypothetical, of course, but - The best candidate for the Republicans for US Senate is:
Corey Stapleton
Dennis Rehberg
Marc Racicot
Champ Edmunds
Steve Daines
Harris Himes
Kreyton Kerns


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