Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bayh Will Continue To Trade On Public Service To Enrich Self

Sen. Evan Bayh and his wife Susan have become multi-millionaires during the past 22 years through their service on corporate board memberships despite the fact neither of them have any business experience. It's obvious he and his wife used his positions as Indiana governor and U.S. Senator to parlay a massive private fortune for his family. It should come as no surprise to Hoosiers that he would continue in that tradition of self-enrichment after he leaves public office. According to the Indianapolis Star, the career politician will become a senior adviser to a giant financial firm, Apollo Global Management:

Former Sen. Evan Bayh has joined a financial firm as a senior adviser, Apollo Global Management announced Friday.

The company, based in New York, describes itself as "contrarian, value-oriented investors in private equity, credit-oriented capital markets and real estate."

The company says it raises, invests and manages funds on behalf of some of the world's most prominent pension and endowment funds, as well as other institutional and individual investors.

As of Sept. 30, 2010, Apollo had $57.8 billion of assets under management.

Bayh, who left the Senate on Jan. 5, will have responsibility for policy issues, according to the announcement.

A company spokesman said he could not comment further on Bayh's position . . .
Senators are banned from directly lobbying their former colleagues for two years after leaving office, although they can advise on federal policy or lobbying strategy.

Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, said Bayh's move shows that former lawmakers can still get handsomely rewarded for representing narrow special interests even if they're not directly lobbying.

"This is not uncommon," Levinthal said. "This is the way of Washington to a very large degree, where people who are one day working on behalf of the public interest are turning around and cashing in their expertise and their know-how and their Rolodex and representing a special interest."

The nonpartisan center is tracking the hiring of lawmakers who left Congress this year.

At least five of the 19 senators who left are working in the government relations industry, according to the center. They include former Sens. Bob Bennett, R-Utah; Kit Bond, R-Mo.; and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who are working for lobbying firms.
Not surprisingly, Apollo lobbies Congress on banking-related issues. Bayh served on the Senate Banking Committee while serving in the Senate. Apollo has received significant investments from the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds, which has close to a 10% stake in the company. The SEC has recently started probing whether large American investment firms are violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in doing business with sovereign wealth funds. Apollo owns Harrah's casinos, which owns the Horseshoe riverboat casino in Hammond, Indiana and the Horseshoe Southern Indiana riverboat casino in Harrison County. Riverboat gaming first became legal during Evan Bayh's tenure as Indiana governor.

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