Max Baucus

Max Baucus
Enlarge picture
Max Baucus


Preceded by
Succeeded by

BornNovember 11 1941 (1941--) (age 67)
Helena, Montana
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseWanda Minge
Alma materStanford University
ReligionUnited Church of Christ

Max Sieben Baucus (born December 11 1941) is the senior United States Senator from Montana and is a member of the Democratic Party. Baucus is currently chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and 10th Longest-serving current Senator.

Personal life

Baucus was born Max Sieben Enke in Helena, Montana to Jean Sheriff and Canadian-born Stephen Enke, Ph.D., an economist and demographer.[1] Baucus graduated from Helena High School in 1959. He is an alumnus of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, He earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a law degree from Stanford University. He married Wanda Minge in 1983, and has one son, Zeno, from his previous marriage to Journalist Ann Geracimos.

He began law practice in Missoula, Montana, in 1971. He was Executive Director and Committee Coordinator for Montana's 1972 Constitutional Convention.

Montana State Legislature

In 1973, Baucus was elected to the Montana State Legislature. He was a state representative from Missoula until his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1974. He was re-elected in 1976. Baucus was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 7, 1978 for the term beginning January 3, 1979, but was subsequently appointed to the seat by Montana's Democratic Governor Thomas Lee Judge on December 15, 1978 to fill the brief vacancy created by Senator Paul G. Hatfield's resignation. He has served consecutively ever since.

United States Senate

Enlarge picture
Sen. Baucus along with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), left, entertain the media after a meeting at the White House with President Bill Clinton.


Senator Baucus is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, which he last chaired from 2001 to 2003. Baucus is also a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Senate Agriculture Committee, and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Baucus is a moderate member of the Democratic Party, frequently breaking with them on the issues of taxes, the environment, and gun control. Baucus voted for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. He has usually voted against repealing the portions of that bill and more recent tax cut bills that benefit upper income taxpayers. Baucus voted in favor of the Brady Bill and the first ban on semi-automatic firearms, but has since switched positions on gun control, opposing most new gun control laws. In 1999, he was the only Democrat to vote against an amendment by Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that sought to "regulate the sale of firearms at gunshows." Baucus voted for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which made it harder to declare personal bankruptcy. In 2006, he voted for a constitutional amendment prohibiting the physical desecration of the American flag. On other issues, Baucus is more in the mainstream of his party. He is very pro-choice and receives 100% ratings from NARAL Pro-Choice America and other reproductive rights advocacy groups. He opposes the United States embargo against Cuba and the restrictions on travel there. He was one of 26 senators to vote against the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. Despite his mixed record on environmental issues, Baucus has opposed opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. Baucus also favored a bill that will require online pornography sites to have a .XXX domain, together with Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)

Baucus is a strong supporter of Israel. In the Senate, he is one of the largest career recipients of pro-Israel Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions, $319,348 up to 2006.

Controversies

The 2002, Montana elections got national attention when Baucus' opponent, state senator Mike Taylor, accused Baucus of having implied that Taylor was gay in a campaign ad. However, the ad was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, not by the Baucus campaign. The ad, which alleged that Taylor had embezzled funds from the cosmetology school he once owned, showed footage from the early '80s of Taylor massaging another man's face while wearing a tight suit with an open shirt.[2] Taylor dropped out of the race and Baucus won with 63% of the vote.

In 2006, Baucus returned $18,892 in contributions from groups connected to Jack Abramoff.

Iraq War

Senator Baucus had voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 but has joined the Democrats in the Senate in demanding the phased withdrawal of the Levin Amendment (no firm deadline). But he voted with a majority of Democrats against the Kerry Amendment (firm deadline for withdrawal).

It was reported August 1, 2006 that Senator Baucus' nephew Marine Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus was killed in combat[3] in Al Anbar province, Iraq, on July 29. Phillip Baucus, a 28-year-old resident of Wolf Creek, Montana, had been a member of the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force[4].

On January 10, 2007, the day of the Bush presidential address on "The New Way Forward", his plan to increase troop levels in Iraq, Baucus spoke against the increases and called for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.[5]

2008 reelection



Senator Baucus will seek re-election in 2008, in a state that has been undergoing political change since 2004 when it elected highly-popular Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer, and then Democratic Senator Jon Tester in 2006 by a slim margin. The state was the only one in the U.S. to switch a chamber of its legislature to Republican control in 2006.

Electoral history

2002 Montana United States Senatorial Election

Max Baucus (D) (inc.) 63%
Mike Taylor (R) 32%
Bob Kelleher (Green) 3%


1996 Montana United States Senatorial Election

Max Baucus (D) (inc.) 49.5%
Dennis Rehberg (R) 44.7%
Becky Shaw (Reform) 4.7%
Stephen Heaton (Natural Law) 1%


1990 Montana United States Senatorial Election

Max Baucus (D) (inc.) 69.8%
Allen C. Kolstad (R) 30.2%


1984 Montana United States Senatorial Election

Max Baucus (D) (inc.) 56.9%
Chuck Cozzens (R) 40.7%

Footnotes

External links

Articles
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Shoup
Member from Montana's 1st congressional district
1975 – 1978
Succeeded by
John Patrick Williams
United States Senate
Preceded by
Paul G. Hatfield
Senator from Montana (Class 2)
1978 – present
Served alongside: John Melcher, Conrad Burns, Jon Tester
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Pat Moynihan
Chairman of the Senate Enviornment and Public Works Committee
1993 – 1995
Succeeded by
John Chafee
Preceded by
William V. Roth, Jr.
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by
Charles Grassley
Preceded by
Charles Grassley
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
2007 – present
Incumbent


United States Senate

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President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R
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President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D
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President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R
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President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D
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Members 100
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