Burns indictment on ice until after the election?

Well, here’s an interesting rumor that’s worth passing on to you: an indictment is waiting in the US Justice Department for our very own Conrad Burns.

Rumors flying out of the US Justice Department say that…new indictments in the Jack Abramoff bribery scandal are now prepared, but are being held back until after Election Day…The two about to face the music are Senator Conrad Burns of Montana and Congressman John Doolittle of California according to sources inside Justice…

But far beyond that, the last thing the Republicans need is more news stories about corruption in Congress. The question know is,  have Bush and Rove interfered in an ongoing Justice Department investigation because of a political agenda?

So it looks like somone’s playing politics with the US Justice Department, and it ain’t the Democrats. Well, I’ve been saying for months that Burns is likely headed for the ‘pen, and it looks like his time is approaching.

It’s ironic, then, that Burns’ supporters are touting seniority as the reason we should vote for him. Take Brad Franklin’s endorsement of Burns in the Sidney Herald:

Conrad is on the committee on appropriations; committee on commerce; committee on science and transportation; committee on energy and natural resources; committee on small business; and the committee on aging. Max is on the finance committee; environment and public works committee; and the agriculture, nutrition and forestry committee. Denny is on the committee on appropriations. I have not included their sub-committee positions.Finance and appropriations committees in Washington, D.C., relate to financial benefits received by all Montana residents.

We, in Montana, cannot afford to lose the above positions, of which, the first criteria is longevity/seniority. Consequently, as I see it, we must re-elect Conrad Burns and Denny Rehberg in November 2006, and Max Baucus, if he runs, in 2008.

Remember, all you Republicans and Democrats, we have people in majority and minority positions of power, no matter if the majority is Democrat or Republican in the Senate.

Why would any Montana voter, regardless of political preference or whether you like or dislike the candidate personally, vote to lose our envious positions in national politics?

Besides being completely amoral, this line of thinking was well countered by Matt in a post today about this very issue of seniority. Basically he argues that both Burns and Baucus aren’t much longer for the Senate so in 8 years (tops!), we’ll have to start fresh anyway. Why not start building seniority now before Baucus retires?

Of course, if Conrad wins the election, it appears that this is the most likely scenario:

Burns Gets Reelected, Gets Indicted, Resigns: In this scenario, we’re in the absolute worst case we could be. Whoever gets appointed to finish Burns’ term doesn’t go in tied with his or her fellow newly elected Senators for seniority, they’re always a step behind. That will matter. And there’s no promise from caucus leadership for a seat on approps, so kiss that committee behind, if it’s truly a big deal to you.

Remember, if Burns loses his office, it’s the Governor who gets to name his replacement. If appropriations are your gig, it’s better to vote for Tester and allow him to racking it up right away rather than wait until Burns dons the orange jumpsuit.

Posted by touchstone


  1. Funniest piece of fiction I’ve read this week.

    After 18 months, lots of noise, and lots of ink, when will you realize that there’s nothing there?

  2. You’ve got to be joking, Eric. Seriously. If you look at the indictment against Ney, you’ll see it’s for almost identical behavior that Burns and his staff are accused of.

    I know you like Burns, I know you’re a GOP man all the way, but don’t you really even have the tiniest little shred of doubt that your man isn’t honest?

  3. Jim Fleischmann

    Yup, Eric. You and your friends over at the Burns Campaign only have to maintain your “all this speculation and nothing’s there” game face for less than two weeks.

    Reminds me of the guy who claimed to be a clean man because he’d been arrested 34 times and no convictions.

    Whether he’s convicted or not, your guy just doesn’t pass the smell test.

  4. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    VIVA KARMA! Send some soap on a roap to the dope! Funny, but I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Conman. I only wish he’d take Dope Rehburp and Racicrotch WITH him to the big house.

  5. cass

    “Sydney” Herald? You’re not from here, are you?

  6. Damn that spell check! Thanks for the correction.

  7. I’ve certainly lived here long enough to know better, Cass.

  8. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

    Cass, is Sidney even IN Montana? I thought we ceded that to North Dakota loooooooooong ago.

  9. You don’t think that if there was really something there that the Democrats couldn’t have exploited it by now?

    You’re pumping a dry well.

  10. I’m curious what kind of apology you’ll craft if or when Burns is indicted. Because if he is, you’ll be responsible for misleading Montanans on the eve of an election. You can be partisan all you want — that’s fine by me — present your views, spin the rhetoric, but you also should be subservient to the truth.

    In other words, with Burns goes your credibility.

  11. cass

    Wow, this rumor really has wings!! Not.

  12. cass, before you bloviate you may want to check the TPM Cafe’s record on accuracy in predicting who’s going to get indicted.

  13. readbetween

    Hey! This post inspired me to write a little note to the Herald. And what do you know, they printed it.

  14. Don’t forget, Jay, we’ve got a $5 wager on this issue!

  15. I have not forgotten! I’ve got until Jan 1, correct?

  1. 1 mtpolitics.net » Draining the Swamp

    […] Wunderbar. I dislike corruption as much as anyone, and I hope that we got rid of some corrupt folks in the elections. But I don’t think that anyone, with the exception of Tom Delay and some staffers, has actually been indicted and/or found guilty of accepting bribes. (Leopold-like claims to the contrary that indictments are imminent ANY DAY NOW, I’M SERIOUS! I HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY.) […]

  2. 2 Friday resignations are always the biggest bombshells « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] you wonder why the Abramoff investigations dried up right around the […]




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