Et Tu, Baucus?

The question is timing. Why is Max Baucus, the Senate master of health care reform, telling the world on a Saturday morning that he “is currently in a mature and happy relationship with Melodee Hanes,” adding that “They are both divorced, and in no way was their relationship the cause of their respective divorces.”

Well, yes, congratulations and all that, but why is the Senator’s office sending out this particular Hallmark card in the midst of weekend sessions to iron out the kinks in a 2000-plus page bill to reform American health care?

The answer may relate to another bit of news in the statement that Ms. Hanes was nominated in March by Baucus for the position of US Attorney in Montana. She didn’t get the job, withdrawing because “she had been presented with other opportunities she couldn’t pass up,” one of them moving in with Baucus in Washington and taking a Justice Department job after being “awarded the position based solely on her merit.”

Ms. Hanes’ career has been on the upswing as she earned $126,541.50 in 2008, according to Senate records, mostly as Baucus’ State Director/Senior Counsel, with a bit extra from advising the Senate Finance Committee, a distinct improvement from the $53,999.88 she drew down in 2004 as his full-time Field Director/Counsel.

But with trillions at stake, why should Americans care about such loose change and any insinuations about loose behavior on the part of one Senator?

Read the rest of this entry.

  

Author: ROBERT STEIN

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4 Comments

  1. As with any ethical (or other) infractions allegations, Republican or Democrat, this should be investigated..

    A Democrat

  2. “Why is Max Baucus, the Senate master of health care reform, telling the world”

    “The question is timing.”

    The answer may be in the timing. Think back to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and revelations about Livingston and Hyde (not to mention Gingrich), as the end was approaching. I suspected then that the Clinton administration was fighting back, and it wouldn't be surprising now if Obama or Emanuel or someone working with either was who informed the media and the public. And just as the end game for health care legislation is approaching.

  3. It seems she was qualified to be appointed an United States Attorney. But it doesn't say much about Baucus's political judgment that he recommended his girlfriend. Certainly it would not be unsual for a Senator to recommend one of his staff.

    I don't really see that there is much to investigate. It wouldn't even satisfy as a sex scandal. Baucus isn't one of the Bible thumping moralizers trying to tell others how to live that some of his fellow Senators are

    It doesn't make any sense for the White House to try to discredit Baucus. He is the pointman for health care reform for the Democrats in the Senate having written the bill. Most likely he heard someone was going to break the story and he decided to get ahead of it to minimize its impact.

    It's amazing that this is considered a scandal and the fact that Baucus let a person who had been the lead lobbyist for Wellpoint, a health insurance company, actually write the health insurance reform bill merits hardly a mention by our hard working press.

    http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/september/wellpoi

  4. It's amazing that this is considered a scandal and the fact that Baucus let a person who had been the lead lobbyist for Wellpoint, a health insurance company, actually write the health insurance reform bill merits hardly a mention by our hard working press.

    I think that would fall under the oxymoron “old news”. The lobbyist influence is obvious. The negotiations themselves have been hidden, but everyone knows that they're going on.

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