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Friday, December 16, 2005

MT-Sen: Burns to Return Money, Missoulian Says "Don't Run Again"

Posted by DavidNYC

Score one for the Hotline blog. From the Helena Independent Record:

U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., will return the estimated $150,000 in campaign donations he has received from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his co-workers and tribal clients.

Nevermind the absurd turnabout from just two days ago:

"There's nothing to return, the money has been spent," [Burns spokesman James] Pendleton said.

Of course it was there to return - Burns had over $700K cash-on-hand. That's gotta sting! But even worse for old man Burns is this editorial from the Missoulian:

Montanans in general and the GOP in particular will be best served if he doesn't run for a fourth term and, instead, orchestrates a dignified passing of the baton.

Of course, if Burns does decided not to run again, that would probably make life more difficult for Democrats, since the MT GOP can probably find a stronger (or at least, not as ethically compromised) candidate. However, what this kind of talk does in the short term is make it harder and harder for Burns to raise money. If the media starts to fret that Burns is not a viable candidate, it might wind up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted at 12:00 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Montana | Technorati

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Wow. What a turnaround. I certainly agree that the best outcome for Democrats would be Burns attempting another run. If he does, this will be a very competitve race for the Democratic challenger. Hopefully Tester.

Posted by: KansasNate [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 16, 2005 02:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Of course, if he retires, then I assume the Republican Rep (Rehberg?) would run. That would mean an open seat for the house. It is conceivable that we could then sweep the whole Montana Congresssional delegtion, as well as holding the Governernship and the State house!!!

Posted by: exlogcabin [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 16, 2005 03:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I suspect the editorial will make it near-impossible for Burns to exit gracefully. Well, I suppose he can always claim infirmity or a sudden raging need for more face time with family.

But even if he does take the money and not run, a good feisty Dem candidate will have ample opportunities to make Burns and whoever tries to replace him into posterboys for the Republican culture of corruption. "Replacing Burns with Xxxxx is like replacing a mosquito with a tick. You want to be rid of corruption, you have to get rid of the dirtpile where it breeds."

Posted by: DaveW [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 16, 2005 04:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment