Conrad Burns: Family Man

Jennifer McKee continues her outstanding reporting on the corruption and cronyism that keeps swirling around Senator Burns. Ths time? A million dollar contract for a company that subsequently named both Senator Burns’ daughter, Keely, and a former Burns chief of staff (and obstructor of justice), Leo Giacometto, to its board.

The Burns people (through Jason Klindt) claim that their was no connection between the appointment and that no money changed hands. Of course, just how many corporations are desperate enough for board members that select people two years out of medical residency? Apparently, only companies like Compressus, behold to the Senator for federal funding, and the Northern Rockies Consortium for Space Privatization, also a Burns-Giacommetto beneficiary.

Two things stand out about the article. The first is the number of times that Burns staffers would not respond to questions. Perhaps they couldn’t think of an easy way to connect the issue to Jane Fonda, but the silence is damning. Why won’t they provide the contract between Keely Burns and Compressus? Why, after releasing a press release trumpeting his role in getting the money in 2003, will Burns not talk about it now?

The other issue, of course, is the growing sense that everything is for sale with Senator Burns. I know that Eric Coobs and the Burnsbots will say this is just more election year politics, but at what point does common sense kick in? How many shady deals does Burns have to become involved in before the pattern beats you over the head with its obviousness?

The man and his staff are corrupt. We can do better.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • It’s ridiculous that Burns’ gets so many perks for his family, friends, lobbyists, and former staff but Montanans get–what–scandal, embarrassment, and disappointment.

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