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Ooopppps, they did it again? Another Congressman using taxpayer money for his Girlfriend?

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, gave a nearly $14,000 pay raise to a female staffer in 2008, at the time he was becoming romantically involved with her, and later that year took her on a taxpayer-funded trip to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, though foreign policy was not her specialty.
Late last Friday, Baucus acknowledged his relationship with Melodee Hanes, whom he nominated for the job of U.S. attorney in Montana, after it was first reported on the website But he said that Hanes withdrew from consideration for the job when the relationship became more serious. The next day, he dismissed calls for an ethics investigation, saying, “I went out of my way to be up and up.”

Answer Question

Asked by grlygrlz2 at 1:51 PM on Dec. 11, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • How do you think we, as Americans can demand BETTER from our elected officials?

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 1:51 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Link:  Baucus used public money to favor Melodee Hanes as their relationship turned personal in 2008.


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 1:53 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • No mercy, no bailouts, no excuses. They shouldn't get special treatment, or be able to pay thier way out of a punishment any other citizen would have to face for the same crime.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:55 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I just have to wonder what the Ethics committee considers to be unethical? Does the Senate have an Ethics Committee? I know the House of Reps does, but they don't seem to be very vigilant at rooting out these sorts of problems. We need to know more about who we are voting for, and get them out if they do stuff like this. We have to start taking responsibility for who we vote into office.

    Answer by 29again at 2:13 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Kick him in the balls and send him on his way. I don't care he who he wants to get it on with, but stealing from tax payers is beyond wrong.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 3:30 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Well, there has to be the kind of penalty that will be incentive enough to keep politicians "in line." I say, when they are found to have utilized taxpayer funds for their own personal gain (ie: dalliances with, and frivolous purchases for girlfriends, family members or themselves, or bribes/payoffs, etc.) it should mean the IMMEDIATE end to their political careers (the next in line would at least temporarily assume the position now vacated); they should have to pay back every penny taken; AND pay a fine. They would then be permanently barred from pursuing any other political office.

    Since most politicians are in it for the money or the power, I think penalties need to strip them of said money and power. There can be no exceptions. I think if a politician KNEW in advance, that if caught, it would mean an immediate end to their careers, it would be incentive enough.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:16 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

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