Baucus: “I Went Out Of My Way To Be Up And Up” On His Romantic Relations With Staff Member

It is a good thing that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) represents Montana and not Minnesota, here. New details have emerged in the ethics scandal surrounding the Senator. Baucus allegedly gave his girlfriend Melodee Hanes a nearly $14,000 pay raise in 2008 when he started his romantic relationship and later took her on a taxpayer funded trip to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Even without the romantic connections, I have been a long critic of the foreign travel of members of Congress which are little more than publicly funded vacations, here. They have increased with the Democrats who appear completely unconcerned about criticism that they are bilking the federal treasury for thinly disguised vacations and shopping trips.

Other details have emerged that may cause problems for Baucus. He insisted publicly that Hanes decided to withdraw from consideration as the new U.S. Attorney (with Baucus’ important support) when their relationship became more serious. However, reporters are now saying that the decision was made shortly after they confronted Baucus with the story at the Missoulian and said that they were about to make it public. Remarkably, the Missoulian never ran the story in March.

Baucus is opposing any ethics investigation into this conduct, insisting “I went out of my way to be up and up.” It may not matter much. The ethics committees in both houses have historically been dismissed as paper tigers. The rules and process are designed to vindicate rather than investigate members.

Baucus’ office insists that the salary increase was in line with other staffers. Around the time of the increase and the start of the relationship, Baucus had separated from his wife Wanda.

For the full story, click here.

13 thoughts on “Baucus: “I Went Out Of My Way To Be Up And Up” On His Romantic Relations With Staff Member”

  1. Well, Robguy,

    If he does oppose gay marriage he should as Montana is very conservative and broke back mountain may have been the straw that broke the camels back….or was it heath ledger?

  2. Surely it’s a good thing that staff working in the same area or building are friendly to each other. It’s good for morale and, when you meet at the coffee machine, surely a small kiss or a slight caress can’t do any harm.

    We do need more love in the world of that I’m sure. Who knows, encouraging it in the workplace might lessen America’s penchant for violence!

  3. lottakatz,

    That is a good point. I do not understand—when caught in “transgressions”—why politicians and governmental officials do not simply state that they erred, state the unadulterated (or adulterous) facts instead of using idioms—such as Baucus said—that further open their acts to even more ridicule.

    If congresspersons and “civil” servants are *doing* people on the government’s dime, they can hardly be doing the “peoples” work that is their main job in the first place.

  4. Baucus: “I Went Out Of My Way To Be Up And Up”

    Poor choice of words Senator, you should have spent that money on a good Press Secretary.

  5. “Baucus’ office insists that the salary increase was in line with other staffers.”

    What Baucus neglects to mention is how much head bobbing “in line” at his crotch was involved in order to get the comparable salary.

  6. Having been around the block a time or two, I bet that Ms. M enabled Mr. B. to keep it Up and Up by asking if there was *anything* she could do to help Up the Ante…

  7. I wonder if Melodee can name that tune in 2 nuts? Maybe she’ll need cigar lessons from Monica to name that one…

    I am sure she’ll need not a Hymnal to wear those Hanes.

    One last retort. What happens to the Melodee when the senator wears out the Hanes? Will he go to Fruit of the looms?

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