Max Baucus was first married in 1975, to Ann Geracimos. They divorced in 1982.
Baucus had one child with her, a son named Zeno in 1976.
Zeno’s parents would divorce when he was only about 7-years-old. Geracimos would go on to work for the Washington Times.
I’m guessing that Zeno probably did most of his schooling in D.C. and not Montana, but I don’t know.
If you go by the age range, Zeno probably graduated from high school in 1994.
We do know that he followed the tradition of his grandmother and his father by going to Stanford.
He graduated and headed to Georgetown Law School. His father’s name and connections likely helped.
Again going with the age range, Zeno probably finished up his schooling in 7 years, or around 2001. He would have been around 25-years-old.
After that it was a job as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney in Helena, a job likely secured by Zeno’s last name and the fact that his dad was still in the Senate.
Zeno Baucus was a Managing Associate at the Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe Law Firm in Washington, DC, “just a stone’s throw away from where daddy works,” Breitbart mentioned in 2009.
The site goes on to tell us that Zeno specialized in “complex civil litigation, regulatory investigations, securities enforcement and litigation, antitrust matters, and corporate criminal defense.”
All of that while daddy was heading up the Senate Finance Committee.
In 2014 Zeno worked as a prosecutor on the case of Jordan Graham, the Montana woman that pushed her newlywed husband off a cliff in Glacier National Park.
Zeno married Stephanie Denton in June 2008 on the family ranch north of Helena.
The Tennessean grew up an “Air Force brat,” graduated from Emory College and then Harvard Law School, then became a D.C. lawyer with the “boutique firm” Kirstein and Young.
Here she is on Twitter.
A year after marrying Zeno, however, she’d moved up in the world, to Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison with the U.S. Department of Justice. She later got into public relations.
Yep, nepotism in action.
Kinda like the same nepotism that Max worked for his old girlfriend, Melodee Hanes, when he got her a job in the Justice Department’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program.
The Justice Department was quick to note that Hanes had been hired “for her qualifications,” and not just because Max was fucking her (by 2011 they were married, Max’s third attempt at the practice).
I assume that’s why Zeno’s wife was hired at Justice too – because of her qualifications, not because it was part of her father-in-law’s dowry.
Zeno has been handed things his whole life, whether he knows it or not.
His last name is Baucus, and in Montana that counts for something. Counts for something in D.C. too, the town that Max learned the bribery and corruption game in.
So how far has the apple fallen from the tree?
To me, Zeno would make a fine addition to the ranks of the country’s Wall Street Democrats.
That’s why I think Zeno would be a great candidate for establishment Montana Democrats to support if they want to further destroy the Party.
- What do we need progressives for?
- Why worry about Bernie supporters?
- Who cares about those that aren’t fond of corruption?
Nope, they’re not really important. The cities will carry the Dems through. Everything is peaches ‘n cream.
That’s about the only takeaway I’d have if Dems actually chose Zeno for the upcoming special election.
I’d just assume not choose Zeno for anything.
Let him rise of his own accord and where that happens – in the MT Legislature.
Let him run for office like all the rest of us.
At 40-years-old, Zeno had the same idea.
“Zeno Baucus was considering a run for attorney general last year,” someone said to me via email recently. They also mentioned that Zeno “does not have a good reputation at the US attorney’s office in Billings.”
I called up the Billings Office to ask about that, but I was referred to the Helena office.
I called them up, got the right woman, and left a message on her machine.
So far I’ve received no response, nor am I expecting one.
And that’s all I was able to find out.
Yeah…not a whole lot.
You’d think someone that wants to be in politics would get more information about themselves out there.
I dunno…to a family like the Baucuses, that might be a liability.
To me, who Zeno’s daddy was is certainly a liability, not a benefit.
I think I’ll just come out and say right now, I’ll never vote for Zeno Baucus because of who his daddy was.
Max Baucus was a terrible man for Montana.
Sure, Max Baucus had his successes.
- In 1982 he stood against the move to strip federal courts over much of their authority.
- He helped strengthen federal drinking water standards in 1986.
- The next year he started raising concerns about the ozone.
- During the 2000s he got CHIP reauthorized.
- In 2003 he got a $400 million drug benefit plan attached to Medicare.
That 2003 vote is one Max might regret. It caused him a lot of problems, mainly with South Dakota’s Tom Daschle.
Daschle was majority leader and took just as much from the same corporate groups as Baucus did. To his thinking, Max’s vote was a no-no, especially considering how much they were indebted to that industry.
In the end Baucus came out on top, as Daschle was defeated by John Thune in 2004.
Harry Reid took over as Senate Majority Leader after that and he and Baucus got on well. Reid actually gave Baucus the job of fighting Social Security privatization, something they won.
“I remember President Bush came to Great Falls, Montana, and I set up a meeting with seniors at the same time, just across town, just right in his face,” Baucus remembered. “I relished the opportunity to beat down privatization flatly and squarely.”
The problem with Max was always the money.
Much of the cash Baucus used to get reelected in later years “comes from the industries most affected by his committee’s legislation.”
In 2008, for instance, Baucus raised “$800,000 from securities and investment firms, $565,000 from the insurance industry, and $462,000 from the pharmaceutical industry.” All told, 90% of his funding comes from out of state.
Baucus had always been good at campaign fundraising. According to Open Secrets, a site that tracks candidate fundraising and spending, Baucus raised from the following from 1989 to 2014:
- New York Life Insurance: $113,925
- Goldman Sachs: $93,750
- Wells Fargo: $93,150
- American International Group: $86,000
- Ernst & Young: $83,811
When it came to industries, these were who Baucus raised the most from during those years:
- Lawyers/Law Firms: $1.8 million
- Securities & Investment: $1.7 million
- Insurance: $1.5 million
- Health Professionals: $1.2 million
- Lobbyists: $1 million
In total, $15.4 million of Baucus’ fundraising came from individual donors, or 51% of his total, and $13.6 million came from PACs, or 45% of his total.
It was the same when he was a congressman in the 70s and Tom Judge was governor.
Judge didn’t like Baucus, and that goes back to more than just some August 1977 public forum in Butte where Max’s first wife Ann poked fun at Judge.
Max didn’t show up for that meeting, mainly because he and Judge were both viewed as rivals for Metcalf’s Senate seat when it would be up again the next year.
There were rumors that Metcalf wouldn’t run, but it never came to that. In January 1978 the 67-year-old Metcalf’s heart gave out and he died at his Bitterroot home.
The seat was now wide open, but before Max could get his campaign up and running for it, Judge one-upped him by appointing Paul Hatfield to the seat.
Hatfield was a good man, but not a good politician. He had no chance against Baucus in the primary that year, as was proven the case.
Judge never ran for the seat, mainly because he had his heart set on a third term as governor. That third term never came about because Ted Schwinden defeated Judge for the job.
By then, Max was firmly ensconced in the Senate and would stay there for another 34 years.
It’s no secret that Max Baucus and Brian Schweitzer don’t have the best of relationships.
Why is this?
I wonder if it has something to do with Schweitzer’s decision in 2000 to take Montana seniors up to Canada to get cheaper drugs.
Even as late as 2010 Schweitzer was advocating getting our drugs from Canada, something that could wipe out 40% of the state’s $100 million prescription drug bill.
This was not something Max liked, for the main reason that those giving him money didn’t like it. Same is true of our other corrupt Senator today, Jon Tester.
That’s why Max threw America under the bus by getting rid of the single payer option for healthcare.
With that one move, Max did more to pave the way for Trump than anyone did.
With that one move, Max allowed for the creation of the mess that would become Obamacare.
Like Racicot and deregulation, future Montanans must never forget this.
What’s even worse is that Baucus knew how much he’d fucked the country over. He even had the audacity to say as much.
Baucus got in hot water in 2013 when he started speaking out against Obamacare, a plan he’d help draft. He called it a “train wreck” and his party pounced.
“Max Baucus was a major roadblock to popular progressive reform,” the Progressive Change Campaign Committee wrote, a group trying to launch a “Draft Schweitzer” campaign to defeat Baucus in 2014.
Co-founder of the group, Adam Green, went further, saying that “Baucus has a history of taking millions from Wall Street, insurance companies, and lobbyists – and then turning his back on the people of Montana.”
Baucus was up to $5 million in his 2014 reelection war chest when he suddenly announced his retirement.
I doubt it.
I know a lot of people like to point to Max’s days, and that’s fine.
To me, that’s like pointing at all the accomplishments a killer or child molester made before they were caught.
And what caught Max?
Obamacare, and his refusal to give us the single payer option that would have prevented the previous few years of cluster-fucks over Obamacare.
But Max had to stay cozy with Big Pharma and all the insurance companies that donated tens of thousands of dollars to him over the years.
Why’d he have to do that?
So Zeno would have a future in politics.
It’s pathetic. Here’s a sad, washed-up old man coming back from China that thinks his years of corruption will somehow pave the way for his son.
And why shouldn’t he think that?
For years in this country we’ve turned a blind eye to the corruption, the money grubbing, and the downright lies that our politicians subject us to.
We do this for the sake of the Party, whether that Party might be Dems or Republicans.
It’s easy to understand why President Washington warned us against these vile associations.
These politicians are more dangerous than murderers or child molesters for the simple reason that they hurt more people, ruin more lives.
Max Baucus was a wildly corrupt politician. Just follow the money.
And now we think the best route forward is to elect the offspring of that corrupt class?
Shame on us.
We should be looking elsewhere for talent.
How about using office talent to cultivate rural connections? Throwing some shiny-shoed D.C. lawyer like Zeno at rural Montanans is not a winning strategy.
I can understand why on the Zeno Baucus front – it’s like James Conner said, securing the empire.
But why are we doing it this way?
Why aren’t we cultivating talent in our regional offices, talent that can later be used to win important offices?
For instance, why aren’t Senator Tester’s staffers going out into rural areas, meeting people, taking issues, and making connections?
They’d be getting their names out there, and in a few years they could run for a legislative seat or even a statewide.
Are we doing this?
I remember researching Baucus and reading that he didn’t allow any of his staffers to run for office themselves.
That was something that sidelined Mike Cooney’s career.
Perhaps this is the wrong approach, one that we’re still on and all because it was ingrained into us by people like Max Baucus.
Right now the Dems in Montana are on the ropes and they need to try all kinds of new approaches.
I like the idea of using congressional staffers as a way to cultivate connections and build name recognition in the rural areas.
I don’t like the idea of stuffing cronies into those staffing positions, cronies that will follow the same kind of corrupt Washington pay-to-play and business as usual environment there.
Alas, that’s what it’d probably come to.
I hope it doesn’t come to Zeno Baucus vs. the GOP candidate in the upcoming special election.
I’ll either vote Republican or just stay home if that’s the case.
To me, Max Baucus’ style of politics points to everything that’s wrong with this country.
His son would be no different.
Zeno Baucus has no political future in Montana.
Montana Democrats should see that quite clearly.