Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus was romantically involved with a former staffer when he recommended her earlier this year to become the next U.S. attorney for Montana, a spokesman said.http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/12/05/us/AP-US-Baucus-Girlfriend-Nominated.html?_r=2
The Montana Democrat and his former state office director Melodee Hanes began their relationship in the summer of 2008 after Baucus separated from his wife, Ty Matsdorf told The Associated Press late Friday.
Baucus nominated Hanes for the U.S. attorney post in March. But she later withdrew, saying she had been presented with other opportunities she couldn't pass up.
The Senate leader who's been a major proponent of Democratic health care legislation had submitted six names to a third-party reviewer, who whittled those to Hanes and two others. Matsdorf said the senator sent the three names to the White House with no ranking to select a nominee.
Matsdorf said Baucus' relationship with his girlfriend had nothing to do with his decision.
The Baucus committee wrote the pending Senate healthcare reform bill.
You have to ask if he was "romantically involved" (a very nice euphemism) with anyone lobbying on healthcare, and if that effected his work on this issue, too.