December 16, 2009


Sen. Max Baucus and his live-in girlfriend, Melodee Hanes, were in the news recently when it was discovered that the senator had nominated his former staffer for the position of U.S. attorney in Montana (she later withdrew her nomination). When the story broke, Justice Department spokesman Tracy Schmaler said that Hanes was a “political appointee” at Justice: In June, Hanes became the acting deputy administrator for policy in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The curious fact about that revelation is that this particular position has in the past been a career slot, not a political position. . . . In other words, the girlfriend of Senator Baucus has been placed in a position usually occupied by a career civil-service employee in what the Justice Department’s spokesman acknowledged was a “political appointment.” So is the DOJ inspector general — who was quite active during the prior administration — going to investigate this obvious political abuse of the civil-service rules? Don’t hold your breath.

It’s like they’re all a bunch of crooks or something.

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