Monday, June 06, 2011

Why Is The Media Giving Evan Bayh A Pass On His Voting Residency Problem?

The media horns have been out to gore Secretary of State Charlie White over whether he broke Indiana election law by not voting in the correct precinct in his home county where nobody disputes he resided at all times. For that, Democrats are seeking to have him deemed ineligible to hold the office to which he was overwhelmingly elected by Indiana voters last year, and a special prosecutor has been successful in getting a grand jury to bring criminal charges against him. The media should be asking how former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh could still be casting votes in Marion County if they truly believe White has committed such an egregious offense.

Bayh did not seek re-election to the Senate last year. He now works as a D.C. lawyer, a senior policy adviser for a New York-based private equity firm and a Fox News contributor. He and his wife, Susan, still live in a $3 million home in suburban Washington where they principally resided while he served in the U.S. Senate. Yet Bayh cast an absentee vote in Indiana's May 2011 municipal primary election using a residence for a cheap condo on Indianapolis' northside he claims as a principal residence, even though neighbors have never seen any sign he actually resides in the condo. According to Marion Co. tax records, the condominium located at 1142 Canterbury Square is valued at only $58,200. Because the Bayhs claim the condo as their principal residence and receive a homestead exemption on it, their annual property tax bill this year is only $274.22.

Contrast Bayh's actions with those of Dan Coats. After Dan Coats gave up the Senate seat to which Evan Bayh was elected, he decided to remain in the nation's capital where he worked as a lobbyist. Coats then switched his voting residence to Virginia after he left the Senate in 1999 where he and wife maintained their principal residence. Coats shifted his registered voting address back to Indiana last year after he rented a home on Indianapolis' north side in preparation for his return campaign bid to win back the Senate seat he gave up to Bayh when he chose not to run for re-election in 1998. So why is Evan Bayh being given a pass once again by the media for thumbing his nose at Indiana's election law? He is no longer in Washington on the people's business. He's living and working there exclusively for his own personal benefit. He cannot claim a voting residence in Indiana if he does not in fact live here.

As I've previously pointed out, Evan Bayh flagrantly violated Indiana election law by claiming a registered voting address in Indiana after he had moved to Washington to work for a law firm after graduating from law school in Virginia. He even claimed a tax deduction on his federal tax return for the cost of his move to Washington. Republicans challenged Bayh's bid to become Indiana governor in 1988 based on the fact he had not resided for a period of at least five years in Indiana before seeking the office as required by the Indiana Constitution. Notwithstanding overwhelming evidence that Bayh had given up his Indiana residence to work in Washington, a trial court ruled nonetheless that he was eligible to run for Indiana governor because he had always intended to maintain his permanent residence in Indiana the court concluded. His personal intent trumped the facts. Apparently that same deference doesn't apply to Charlie White.


rohshack147 said...

Personally Gary I think Charlie White appears guilty of voter fraud. But like you and Prof. Ogden I think it is unfair to train all this fire and media attention at him when Dick Lugar and Evan Bayh are let off by the media without comment. I remember hearing about Bayh and the voter residency issue when I was a kid. Ann Delaney claims it is just much ado about nothing. But as you and Paul have pointed out she isnt exactly that ethical herself. Ironically Frank O'Bannon said publicly the challenge to Bayhs residency was legit. It is not often reported that Frank thought very little of Bayh. I do hope that you will post some more stories about Bayh and his ethics problems. What is funny is he tried to engage in various privitasation schemes similar to Daniels but nobody even batted an eye at them. Although I still think the media has went way to easy on Daniels and the whole FSSA sideshow!

CircleCityScribe said...

What would Fat Ed Treacy say about a Democrat committing voter fraud?

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Well, that's a completely different story, Indy4. Don't try to confuse us with facts. That's yesterday's news. We must always look ahead. The ends justifies the means.
etc. etc. etc.

intlresdw said...

It's apparent there is a double standard in the Hoosier State. Evan Bayh is just one of the perps who get away with anything illegal and illicit that they want. Everyday people who aspire to public life are held to a much higher standard. The "parking ticket" felonies that Herr Sigler trumped up with his sleepy, toady Grand Jury are a perfect example of how the judicial system stinks! Sigler is also not as innocent as he makes himself out to be. Stay tuned!