Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bayh Spending Leftover Campaign Funds On Himself

When Evan Bayh left the Senate last year, he had well over $10 million in leftover campaign funds. At the time of his departure, he said he was leaving the Senate because Washington had become too partisan and he wanted to spend more time with his family and take a new non-political job like running a university. Instead, he stayed in Washington where he has taken jobs with a big D.C. law firm that lobbies Congress, a New York City private equity firm with international ties and Fox News as a commentator. Together, the jobs provide him an annual income well north of $1 million. Nonetheless campaign finance records suggests he is using his leftover funds to pay for personal travel-related expenses rather than donating it to other candidates or charities. The Northwest Indiana Times Christine Kraly has the story:

According to a report filed last month with the Federal Election Commission, Bayh's campaign committee spent nearly $10,000 on various expenses during the first quarter of this year, after he left his Senate seat.

Generally, Bayh cannot, as no candidate can, use the money for personal expenses.

Bayh said, "We bend over backwards" not to violate the FEC's personal-use rules.

Campaign funds, according to the FEC, may be used only "for purposes in connection with the campaign to influence the federal election of the candidate."

Bayh began 2011 busying himself with new, private careers. In January, he became a partner at prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm McGuire Woods.

Also that month, New York City private equity firm Apollo Global Management announced Bayh would join as a senior public policy adviser.

And last month, Fox News touted it had hired Bayh as a commentator and analyst for the upcoming 2012 elections.

From January through March, Bayh spent $9,834 on travel, organization dues and other expenses.

About $1,200 of that went to air fare, $1,558 paid for hotels and $550 went to train fares.

The campaign committee covered smaller bills, including for meals in Virginia and Indianapolis, and $74.57 for cab fares in New York.

Bayh said some of the expenses were for travel and other costs spent in a hectic December, as he wound up his time in office. Some later were billed and paid for into the new year, he said.

"We are well aware of the prohibition on personal expenditures," Bayh said. "I was pretty active in December."

Part of what kept him active in New York that month was joining with other politicos -- including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Florida Gov. Charlie Christ -- at an event for No Labels, an alliance formed by officials frustrated with partisanship.

Some of the expenses in his latest FEC report paid for that trip, wherein he also appeared on CNBC, he said.

"You're going to see practically none of that nature going forward," he said. "Going forward, I'd be surprised if I did one politically related event a month."

As for donating the money to other candidates, Bayh tells Kraly he's not too keen on that after he gave $1 million to U.S. Sen. Brad Ellsworth's failed Senate bid last year. "Bayh said he felt 'a little bit burned' after giving $1 million to U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., to back his U.S. Senate bid, only to see little additional support from the national party," Kraly writes. "I don't want to see a repetition of that," he said. "I'm going to kind of wait and see. What I won't do again is get heavily involved in a race" if there is not greater support of the candidate, he said. As always, it's always about Evan first.


rohshack147 said...

As I have always said it boggles the mind that Bayh was able to fool hoosier voters that he was worth anything in the Senate. He is if anything overated. Read Deadline Indianapolis. Dick Cady doesnt exactly paint a pretty picture of him or the Delaney's. I only hope Evan never tries to run for office again. Thanks also for your post about his possible voter fraud. It is very enlighting. Keep up the good work Gary!

P.s. Dick Cady also points out in his book that many of the problems that the Teachers Retirement Fund and PERF have had are due to Bayh's incompentence as a Governor. Just wanted your thoughts on that.

Rick Wilkerson said...

Wow, Bayh feels burned after giving $ to Ellsworth's campaign? That's just stunning on so many levels.

After all, it was Bayh's ill-timed decision to retire from the Senate that forced Democrats to appoint a replacement candidate rather than have a lively primary that would have generated more support and significant name ID for whichever candidate won.

I am sure I'm not alone in feeling that Bayh burned Indiana Democrats last year. Sad to see the former Senator believing it's the other way around.

Advance Indiana said...

Yes, Bayh was very interested in directing PERF funds to Hilbert at Conseco, wasn't he? And building leases to Browning, who flew Susan to Chicago for shopping trips. It's disgusting that not one local mainstream media outlet in Indianapolis, including his long-time employer the Star, has done a story on the publication of Cady's book. Not even Nuvo, which sent its top people to area strip clubs to review them but couldn't find time to review a former contributor's book that sheds the kind of light alternative newspapers typically want to seen shined on public officials. Then again, Nuvo is owned by a McKinney, and Cady's book was not well-received by the McKinneys and their insider friends.