Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) didn’t tell White House or Justice Department officials involved in the Montana U.S. Attorney selection process that he was in a personal relationship with one of the candidates he’d recommended, according to news reports over the weekend.
Montana’s senior senator didn’t reveal his relationship with Melodee Hanes to Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) or to Dana Christensen, a Kalispell, Mont., lawyer who screened six candidates for the post, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I’ve known Max a long time. I’ve known Mel Hanes a long time. But I did not know that they had a relationship,” Christensen told the Wall Street Journal.
What isn’t known is whether Baucus’s former chief of staff, Jim Messina, was aware of the relationship. Messina is a White House deputy chief of staff. Messina and White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
We were the first to report Friday that Hanes withdrew earlier this year as a finalist for Montana U.S. Attorney to live with the senator in Washington.
Hanes, who worked on Baucus’ Senate staff from 2003 to June 2009, is now a political appointee at the Justice Department, serving as acting Deputy Administrator for Policy in the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The DOJ office supports research, training and programs for juvenile justice programs throughout the country.
Hanes was one of six Montana U.S. Attorney candidates who Baucus forwarded to Christensen for review. Christensen then narrowed the list down to three candidates: Hanes; Mike Wheat, a Bozeman, Mont., lawyer; and Michael Cotter, who has since been nominated for Montana U.S. Attorney. Baucus and Tester then reviewed the three finalists and sent them to the White House for final consideration.
A Position for a Submission
There was an old Senator named Baucus,
Who’s late midlife behavior got raucous,
All the girls on his staff
Would often whisper and laugh,
When he’d invite them to bed for a caucus.
Soon Max saw what blind men can see,
The fact that old guys don’t get it for free
If you want to impress ‘em
So that you can undress ‘em
Tell her you’ll make her the U.S. Attorney!
When the press learned about Max’s scheme,
They decided to play on his team,
So they kept the story quiet,
‘Til Max couldn’t deny it,
Then the hypocrites started to scream.
They pretended that they didn’t know
That Max left his wife for a pro,
But they’d known for a year,
And soon Montana would hear,
They were shacked up in Max’s chateau!
So the next time you do something rash,
And you don’t want your dentures to gnash,
Remember - the Senator who gets lecherous,
Causes the press to get treacherous,
So don’t pay with a job, just use cash!
Charles Ulysses Feney