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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baucus Nominated Girlfriend For U.S. Attorney

There's a small but growing scandal involving Max Baucus.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is defending recommending his girlfriend for appointment as Montana's U.S. attorney.

Baucus said the he and former state office director Melodee Hanes began dating when they were both separated from their spouses. The Montana Democrat said they did not have an affair.

In a statement issued by his office Saturday, Baucus said he recommended Hanes to become Montana's U.S. attorney because she is a highly qualified prosecutor who tried more than 100 jury trials, and said she is widely regarded as an expert in child abuse prosecution.

Baucus and Hines are now living together. Hines eventually took a post within the Justice Department. Furthermore, Hines worked in Baucus' office when they began dating.

There's of course several problems here. First, it's highly unprofessional, though not unprecedented, for a U.S. Senator to date a member of their staff. Second, there was a clear conflict of interest here. It's obvious that Baucus didn't make it clear that Hines was his girlfriend when he nominated her. These conflicts must be disclosed.

This scandal is about a lot more than whether or not Moledee Hines was or wasn't qualified. Even if she was, this was a cynical political ploy. It's exactly these sorts of conflicts that people are sick and tired of. If you're going to nominate your girlfriend, that's something you must disclose.

Of course, it's exactly the sort of scandal that the MSM seems to have little interest in. That's because following Baucus' name there's a D. So, don't expect this to get much traction anywhere but non traditional media. Baucus is of course at the center of the health care debate.


Anonymous said...

You seriously believe the only reason nobody's talking about this is because Baucus is a Democrat?

For one thing, I find the idea that "nobody is questioning it" to be rather suspect. I for one have seen at least two articles about it on the front page of over the past few days.

In any case, I doubt many Democrats would mind if Baucus was dragged through the mud. This kinda reinforces in their minds that only conservative Democrats are corrupt.

mike volpe said...

I didn't say no one is talking about it. It just happened. I said I don't expect anyone to talk about it.

Your perspective on the world is peculiar. I'm pretty sure, despite you commenting anonymously, who you are every time. I appreciate the commentary but you have some very peculiar views.

Given that Charlie Rangel is first in scandals among Dems right now, I'm not sure how any liberal Democrat could think that only "conservative" Democrats are corrupt. Corruption is NOT ideological. Any Democrat that thinks it's good for their party to have a member be dragged through the mud is a fool.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Baucus that appears on the list of doanation recipients that the Dr Chacko has proudly supported when she worked in Montana???
Small world, isn't it.

mike volpe said...

That is the same Baucus. Keep in mind that Dr. Chacko lived in Montana at the time. She was attempting to get federal funding for a scheme to house and sell a type of radioactive material.

Anonymous said...

I was at a fund raiser for Baucus in Butte and Chacko was there with her lap dog husband. I was surprised that she was there given her relatively recent arrival in Butte. She was smarmy and unctuous as ever. She really does know how to "win friends and influence people", albeit with a diabolical, self-serving intent.