“Reid…is as petty as Mansfield was grand.” Those were the words of conservative commentator George Will comparing current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to former US Senator, Ambassador, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana.
Will was lauding the bipartisan effort by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) to reform the tax code, an effort which has been severely undermined by Sen. Reid.
Here’s an excerpt from his latest op-ed:
Today, the main impediment to tax reform, aside from Baucus’ risk-averse colleagues, is Majority Leader Harry Reid, who Baucus insists, emphatically but implausibly, is a friend. Reid, who is as petty as Mansfield was grand, deplores partisanship but resents Democrats like Baucus who practice bipartisanship. Reid says he did not even read the Baucus-Hatch letter, and insists tax reform “can’t be revenue neutral; it can’t be even close to neutral.”
“It’s early,” says Baucus equably. Actually, it is late in this legislative year, and elections are next year.
Meanwhile, Senator Baucus is being questioned for his role in the affair after a millionaire lobbyist, and former Democratic legislator from Texas, appears to have convinced the US Forest Service to shut down a popular road near Bozeman.
Here’s a message sent out via Twitter from Democratic consultant Bob Brigham:
The front-page real estate @bozchron gave @LLundquist feature on new @maxbaucus scandal: http://t.co/gTIOsc7CEK #RevolvinDoor #MTpol #MTsen
— Bob Brigham (@BobBrigham) August 11, 2013
What was Brigham referring to? Laura Lundquist has the story of Stan Schleuter’s land purchase for The Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
Baucus spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue agreed that it was standard practice for federal agencies to keep the senator’s office informed and said that Baucus has played no direct role in the negotiations between Schlueter and the Forest Service.
Records show Baucus met one-on-one with Schlueter in January 2008 and March 2009, but no details of those meetings are available.
Then, in the summer of 2009, Schlueter hired Kuehl.
Kuehl worked for Baucus from 1997 to 2000, and was the senator’s chief of staff for the last year. Then he was a partner in the Clark Group, a policy and regulatory consulting group specializing in the National Environmental Policy Act.
For more- click here to read the full, lengthy piece by Lundquist.
Brigham has called on Democrats to encourage Baucus to step down earlier than his post-2014 election departure so that Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) could appoint a replacement ahead of the election.
But don’t expect Dems to bail on Baucus too soon,here’s what Roll Call reported when it comes to Baucus’ continuing fundraising efforts:
The Democratic source said Baucus has already helped raise $200,000 for the state party this year, and Saturday’s event is expected to bring in more than it ever has before on the party’s behalf. The annual event has also previously raised money for the campaigns of Baucus and Tester.