Conrad Burns...one of the Worst Senators
Posted by deer_slayer (+488) 16 years ago
From TIME Mag....


The Worst Senators
Daniel Akaka
Wayne Allard
Jim Bunning
Conrad Burns
Mark Dayton


Conrad Burns: Shock Jock
America's Worst Senators
SUBSCRIBE TO TIMEPRINTE-MAILMORE BY AUTHORArchive: The Return of War Bonds?

Posted Friday, Apr. 14, 2006
Conrad Burns should not be on anyone's list of worst Senators. As the Republican chairman of an Appropriations and a Commerce subcommittee, he has plenty of power, and he has used it over his 17 years in Washington to bring $2 billion to Montana.

Yet the former Marine is in trouble. For starters, he is serially offensive. In the last campaign, Burns called Arabs "ragheads" and had to apologize. In 1994 he played along when a rancher made a demeaning comment about African Americans. Last month he told a woman, within earshot of the media, that he was looking forward to getting "knee-walking drunk." Says staff member Matt Mackowiak: "Montanans know Conrad [and know that] he likes to crack jokes." Yet Burns' approval rating has dipped to 38%. As for legislating, the former farm-radio broadcaster's record over three terms are meager: Asked what his greatest successes over two decades were, aides touted a cell-phone measure that requires providers to route emergency calls to the closest hospital and another that opens the satellite spectrum to public auction.

Burns' real problem, however, is not with making law but with staying on the right side of it. Federal investigators are looking into his ties to Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who has admitted bribing lawmakers. In 2003 Burns got the Interior Department to make a $3 million grant to a rich, Michigan-based tribal client of Abramoff's; Burns also received $150,000 in contributions from Abramoff, his co-workers and his clients over the past five years. (Burns has since given those funds to charity.) In an April article in Vanity Fair, Abramoff said, "Every appropriation we wanted [from Burns' committee], we got ... I mean, it's a little difficult for him to run from that record."
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 16 years ago
Some senators are "show-horses" others are "work-horses". Burns is a "work-horse". After all Burns has used "his 17 years in Washington to bring $2 billion to Montana". Isn't that what government is all about. How much did the slacker Baucus bring to Montana in the time he has been there?

Thank God for Senator Burns. Without him thousands of indian children wouldn't know how to read or write.


[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 4/17/2006).]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 16 years ago
Thank you Mr. Bonine! To think of all of the time I've wasted debating Rick - and you summarize one of my key points so succinctly and seemingly without effort (or intention).

It's perfectly acceptable for a senator to be crooked as long as he gets the job done? Brilliant! Such standards we have!
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12372) 16 years ago
Yeah. Some Indian kids in Michigan got a school their tribe didn't qualify for because it was so rich because Jack Abramoff paid Connie Burns to get the school. What a wonderful accomplishment. Burns also got the several hundred thousand bucks from the feds for "Sky Point" in Billings, one of the biggest wastes of money in recent history. Yes surruh ee, he may be the most corrupt man in America but he's our corrupt hack, so we should be proud of him.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18248) 16 years ago
Those indian children have also learned how to deal blackjack and service slot machines.
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Posted by Kelly (+2816) 16 years ago
He just substantiates the quote from "The View from Down Under"... see separate thread.
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Posted by Van (+559) 16 years ago
The hillbilly, Cotton mouthed, Missouri, cooperate pig has prostituted himself to the highest bidder for the last time. Vote for anyone but this laughing stock. Not since Judy Martz has anyone embarrassed Montana so badly. Send the Hee Haw wannabe back to the show me state.

Have you heard his ads lately-if you do not vote for him then you are voting for liberal, communist, Hollywood, Kennedy, pinko, fagot, vegetarian, socialist, rag head, Jew loven homos. It is not quit that blunt but darn close.
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Posted by Morhead (+123) 16 years ago
WOW VAN!!!!!!

How do you really feel???

try to say that five times fast, NOT.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10255) 16 years ago
>>Burns is a "work-horse". After all Burns has used "his 17 years in Washington to bring $2 billion to Montana". Isn't that what government is all about.

I've been mulling this over for a couple days - I kept thinking I was reading it wrong, but that just doesn't seem to be the case.

If I set aside all that's disturbing about this and just examine on it's "merits" - then this is it what it seems to boil down to:

- - Cornad is nothing more than a "working HOrse".
- - The voters of Montana are nothing more than "procurers".

If that is what government is all about then shouldn't we put an honest, professional HOrse out to work the senate floor for us? Shouldn't we just cut to the chase and send someone like Heidi Fleiss to the senate?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18248) 16 years ago
Better than Heidi Fliess, how about...

Sen. Jack Abamoff, R-MT.

That guy seems to have a knack of bringing the bacon home.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 16 years ago
Hal: I said it sarcastically. I guess I thought that the non-conservative point of view about the relative success of a congress person was how much federal money they brought back to the state and do they belong to the correct party.

Maybe I over-simplified. (Add that to the oxymoron list )

Would you think differently about Mr. Burns if he had brought back a load of cash for historic preservation and tourism?

I would not vote for him because he did not keep his term limit promise.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 4/19/2006).]
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Posted by Matt Schmitz (+93) 16 years ago
Exactly the perfect point Richard. Burns got elected by telling us that John Melcher was a career politician, and that is was time for new blood. His promise to term limit himself was nothing but hot air, quite similar to his radio adds. Time for this career politician to go back under the rock he crawled out from under. I don't have a problem with some of his issues, and he has done lots for Montana, but how many times are we going to re-elect a man that looked us in the face and lied to us?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6121) 16 years ago
I find it funny that Conrad Burns has stated repeatedly that Jack Abramhoff's contributions ($150,000) never influenced his voting. Great! So instead of being corrupt, he's a thief? Much better, Conrad.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10255) 16 years ago
Perhaps all of this will prove to be all be a moot point, if Cornad's new career move pans out for him.

http://www.geocities.com/...lywood.gif
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 16 years ago
Wow! Two laughs in one day from non-conservatives.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10255) 16 years ago
>> Would you think differently about Mr. Burns if he had brought back a load of cash for historic preservation and tourism?

Richard,

I don't believe I could think differently about the man whatever he spent the money on. Like many things in life - I don't have a clean and clear answer to your question. In different times - in different circumstances - I would feel more comfortable about the money itself. Right now I think the cost of that money is too high (both in monetary terms and in terms of what Cornad does to get the money). But even if it were "free money" - I don't believe I could feel differently about Burns.

First . . . let's assume that the man is pure as the driven snow when it comes to his personal finances. Unlike some on Capitol Hill, I have NEVER saw even the slightest hint he is lining his pockets through his influence in the Senate.

Now . . . Let's pretend that the money he's paid by influence peddlers has no influence on his actions in the senate. Let's pretend that he HAS met an influence peddler or two that he didn't like. Let's pretend that he is not responsible for the actions of his aids and employees as they cozy up to influence peddlers in D.C.

Even with that assumption and those pretenses, I will still work hard to unseat the man.

Why?

As you point out, he gave what sounded like his word / promise that he would not seek and second term - then he weaseled on that, claiming that wasn't really what he meant. For all I know (for all I suspect) he knew he wasn't being honest when he made that promise. He began his career in the Senate by lying to us. On the whole he's become everything that he said Melcher was . . somehow these things were supposed to be "wrong" then, but they're just peachy now.

Why?

He's a racist, bigot and sexist (and his own words are ample evidence of that). And yes I know, his aides and spin-doctors tell us that when Cornad says these things . . .well Montanans don't care, `cause they're just like Cornad.

Well that it is a bunch of hooey - and I really, really resent it. I'm not like that, nor are 99% of the Montanans I know. We see evidence of that quite often here at milescity.com when some cracker pops up with a racist or sexist remark and gets shut down- most Montanans are not like Cornad.

Why?

Even if money doesn't buy his vote, he's way, way less than honest when he claims that he always does what's right for Montana and Montanans. Agood example of that came in another thread when we discussed his action in sponsoring legislation on asbestos and Libby. (I can dig up other examples if needed - it's not difficult)

Why?

He stood by claiming to be "holier than thou" in his first re-election campaign when "out-side" groups launched one of the dirtiest smear campaigns in Montana election history against Jack Mudd. Oh yes, Cornad was quick to assure the voters that those "outsiders" weren't acting at his specific request. But he wasn't man enough to stand up and tell them to knock it off. Nope - he was content to profit from those "bad outsiders".

Why?

Because of what those billions Ol' Cornad bring home costs our Nation. Yes, it's good (in the short term) to have those dollars - but look at the costs as the deficit soars. Highway dollars for Montana . . . well to get those dollars what kind of deals are cut and promises made so that others on Capitol Hill can bring bacon home to their states? That's just not good for Montana nor the Nation.

And look at the other costs. Highway dollars for Montana . . . well to get those dollars what deals are cut and promises made to support the Neo-Cons and the rabid right who have hijacked his own party? That's just not good for Montana nor the Nation.

Why?

He's proven that he's a man of situational ethics . . and when push comes to shove, that's the same as being a man of no ethics.

Perhaps in his mind the ends justify the means. Perhaps as he's currently telling us in his ads and direct mailings that bringing money home to Montana is all that matters. Perhaps he is a good little Heidi Ho.

Personally, I think it's the power. I think that's his "ends."

Cornad got to D.C. and got some power and that's his payoff. He's not enriching himself in his dealing with the influence peddlers and in the deals he cuts. Those are the means to buy elections. Power is the end goal and the means of staying in power justify his actions. If it involves spending $6,000,000 to win an election in a state the size (and affluence) of Montana, then he seems willing to do whatever it takes to have $6,000,000 to spend.

Whether my personally hunch about the power is right or just hooey, I'll do what I can to get the vote out against the man. And fortunately, this election cycle the Democrats have a good man to run against him, whomever wins the primary.

(hope this makes a bit of sense and isn't too full of typos, I pounded it out in a hurry . . . my apologies if it's a mess)
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