WHO: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
WHAT: Baucus is under fire for nominating his live-in girlfriend and former staffer, Melodee Hanes, as a U.S. attorney.
WHY IT HAPPENED: Hanes’ name was submitted, along with two others, in March, before she moved in with Baucus, but was then withdrawn later that month after they decided she would take a job in Washington, D.C., so they could live together. Both Hanes and Baucus were separated from their respective spouses at the time.
WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA: Baucus’ actions do not necessarily break any laws, but the appearance of favoritism is impossible to ignore. The move also harms the reputation of Hanes, who Baucus defended as a “highly qualified prosecutor” who would have served Montana well.