The Billings Gazette is reporting that “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, was romantically involved with a former staffer when he recommended her earlier this year to become the next U.S. attorney for Montana…”
Baucus, a major proponant of health care legislation, and his former state director, Melodee Hanes, began their relationship, according to the paper, in the summer of 2008 after Baucus separated from his wife.
Baucus submitted Hanes’ name, along with five others, to a third party reviewer who submitted three names, including Hanes’, to the White House. President Barack Obama, possibly forewarned, chose Mike Cotter rather than Baucus’s girl friend for the position, which will supervise the prosecution of federal crimes committed in Montanba and its seven Indian reservations.
Roll Call, a Washington DC publication, reported that the Baucus-Hanes relationship nvegan in the summer of 2008, almost a year Baucus and his wife, Wanda, were divorced in April 2009. The two separated in March of 2008, according to the report, when Baucus began dating Hanes, who is also divorced and now lives with Baucus in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
There have been no reports that the former Mrs. Baucus took after the senator with a golf club upon hearing of his liason with Hanes while the senator was yet pledged by his marriage vows to abide with his wife till death do them part.
And there is no word as yet from U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd on the question: Will this hany-panky affect passage of the Health Care bill both he and Baucus have championed?