Senator Max Baucus Admits That He Had Romantic Relationship with Former Staffer When He Nominated Her For U.S. Attorney Position

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has admitted that he was romantically involved with a former staffer when he recommended her earlier this year to become the next U.S. attorney for Montana. Baucus only recently separated from his second wife, Ty Matsdorf, and had a romantic relationship with his former staffer Melodee Hanes starting in the summer of 2008. He nominated her for the appointment in March but they later agreed to withdraw the nomination when they moved into the same house.

The Montana Democrat insists that his relationship with his girlfriend had nothing to do with his decision, even though he did not reveal the personal relationship at the time. This would seem a basic ethical requirement if you are going to push your girlfriend for a high appointment. I also fail to see why Hanes was one of the best candidates for this position.

Her background is not without experience but would not naturally make her a candidate for the top federal prosecutor position. A graduate of Drake, she did work as a prosecutor with the Yellowstone County Attorney’s office for three years from 1999 to 2002. She also served as a prosecutor from 1986 to 1998 for the Polk County Attorney’s Office, Des Moines, IA. To her credit, that is a good deal of litigation experience, though it is not in the federal system. The question is whether such experience would make her a natural choice for the top spot in the state. She also spent a few years in private practice after law school.

This is her resume: Hanes-resume

You can also download her cv at the DOJ site, click here.

However, his spokesman insisted “Senator Baucus recommended each of the three candidates based solely on qualifications, and merit, knowing whichever one the White House selected would serve Montana well.”

Hanes began working for Baucus in 2002 and left his office for the Justice Department earlier this year.

For the full story, click here.

40 thoughts on “Senator Max Baucus Admits That He Had Romantic Relationship with Former Staffer When He Nominated Her For U.S. Attorney Position”

  1. He has nominated ,
    yes but most important question no one is discussing is that is she qualified for this job ? What is her past record ?
    Does this incident has done injustice to someone else who was qualified ?

  2. I hear that Harry Reid is so laid back because he had an affair with the energizer bunny, and that John Boehner is orange because he is color blind.

  3. Well, we have heard about people a’goin’ postal.

    Now, ever’body is a’goin’ Tiger Woods…

  4. Honestly, I think this headline is needlessly sensationalistic. Affair is a bit strong and tawdry for an ongoing, long term relationship between two adults. Ensign he is not. Of course, the inability to understand that nominating your girlfriend to an important post says just as much as you need to know about Max Baucus. I’m just a little upset Reid didn’t hold it over his head in order to get some concessions on HCR. If only Democrats really understand how to play this game.

  5. Ah, politicians! They provide me with so much fodder for my light verse.

    Clerihew about Max Baucus

    Senator Max Baucus
    Of the “slap and tickle” caucus
    Considered Melodee Hanes
    To be one of his Capitol gains.

  6. The morals some of these elected “REPS”makes one want to puke.

    And they are telling us what we need and don’t need.


    That’s Laughing My Bollocks Off (Ha Ha Clunk Clunk)

    I hope he finds out that his med’ insurance “Doesn’t cover you for that sort of thing Sir” when his wife gives him a John Wayne Bobbitt.

    That should teach him a thing or two.

  8. “Let’s see how your roving penis plays with your fundie base.” Will it really bother them? Will Huckabee’s releasing a murderer because God told him to really bother them? Or are these people masters of cognitive dissonance (in other words, utter hypocrites)?

  9. But no phone calls were made or conversations over lunch were had.

    Please, nal.

    We’re talking about one of the scummiest of the Senate here. No one should reasonably infer that nothing untoward happened simply because a third party was involved.

  10. From Baucus Nominated Girlfriend for U.S. Attorney, Aide Says

    “Her name was one of six that was submitted for review by Senator Baucus to an independent, highly respected Montana attorney who reviewed the applications. After an extensive evaluation of all the applicants’ qualifications, Ms. Hanes was one of three applicants the third-party reviewer recommended for consideration.”

  11. SO what. If she was qualified and it was an appointment process, so what.


    Way to go, Max! You hypocritical sack of lobbyist owned crap. Let’s see how your roving penis plays with your fundie base. Doh! But isn’t that what go you in trouble now? It’s a Catch-22, but it makes me giggle. The day you go home for good can’t come soon enough, Sen. Obstructionist Neocon Fascist.

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