“Ms. Hanes was awarded the position based solely on her merit.”
—– Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) spokesman Tyler Matsdorf, “explaining” that although the Senator’s state office director, Melodee Hanes, and Baucus were in the midst of a year-long romantic affair when the Senator submitted her name to President Obama as a candidate to be appointed U.S. attorney in Montana, the nomination was completely unrelated to the relationship.
This clearly calls for..
An Ethics Alarm Pop Quiz!
1. Who believes this?
a) Duhhh, I do!
b) Absolutely nobody.
c) Senator Baucus.
d) Melodee Hanes
2. Which of the following official ethics principles for U.S. Government employees does Senator Baucus’ appointment violate?
- Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.
- Employees shall not use public office for private gain.
- Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.
- Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards promulgated pursuant to this order.
a) All of them.
b) All of them but…no wait…yeah, all of them.
c) Every damn one of them.
d) It’s a trick question: Senators only pretend to work for the government.
3. News that a senator had an affair with a staffer and rewarded her with a U.S. attorney nomination…
a) Raises a prima facie case for quid pro quo sexual harassment.
b) Describes a “hostile workplace environment” for other female employees.
c) Suggests that Marion Barry should be a U.S. Senator.
d) All of the above.
4. How stupid does Max Baucus think we are?
a) So stupid we’d get fired by M&Ms for throwing away the “W”s.
b) So stupid that when you give us a penny for our thoughts, you get change.
c) So stupid, we spend hours staring at orange juice cartons because the label says “Concentrate.”
d) Even stupider!
[Quiz answers: 1-b, 2-a, 3-d, 4-d ]
If you got more than one wrong, you should consider moving to Montana.