Monday, March 13, 2006


The Burns rumor-mill

Pogie over at Intelligent Discontent found a Daily Kos post predicting that Conrad Burns would retire within ten days. It's completely speculative, but it sounds...well...true. Here's why. First, the rumor. Burns resigns. Current MT rep., Denny Rehberg, runs for the Senate. Former MT legislature house speaker, John Mercer, runs for Rehberg's seat. Why would Burns resign? For starters, Roll Call (via Great Falls Tribune) reported today that the Department of Justice pulled personal financial records of a number of Congressmen and their staffers, all of whom have had ties to indicted lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. Burns is among the investigated Congressmen, as are three former staff members. Second, the sentencing of Jack Abramoff begins March 29. Abramoff's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has promised to "name names" during the sentencing. There's also some evidence that the fiddler is tuning his instrument in the Burns resignation two-step. As Pogie again astutely noticed, John Mercer has resigned his seat on the Montana Board of Regents, which effectively clears the way for a run at the House seat, if vacated by Rehberg. This is probably the best chance the Montana Republican party has of keeping both the House and Senate seats. With a date with an orange jump suit in his future, Burns' reputation has nowhere to go but down. Rehberg is a high-profile Montana Republican and the favorite to remain in his House seat. Still Rehberg winning the Senate race is no gimmie, and his abandoning his House seat will throw that race wide open. Especially considering the damage to Montana Mercer wrought during his tenure in the legislature. It could be that the Democrats win both seats, especially if they go about the election the right way. Democrats: think BOLD.
I'm just sayin', but if Montana Democrats were thinking bold, then Morrison wouldn't be favored over Tester.
Hey the primary ain't over yet. It's still early. Plus it's not too late to get the message to the Dems that we should be hammering our issues.

This probably deserves its own post...
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