Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Should Start Speaking to His Wife: The $796,000 Payday for One Stock Trade

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) appears to have a major conflict of interest and it is about time he starts talking to his wife about her business activities. The link below contains photos of two of their three homes. The 1000 square foot condo in Indiana is worth less than $60,000, and neighbors have not met the couple.
In Washington, DC the Senator lives in a residence currently assessed at $2,297,050 in an upscale neighborhood. The home is in the name of his wife Susan, “a professional Director,” who serves on numerous corporate boards. The couple also owns a $2.1 million beach-front home in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) was in a similar situation in 2004, and it contributed to his defeat. Daschle’s DC home was listed as his principal residence on tax forms, instead of the very small rural house he owned next door to his mother.
The contrast between the South Dakota cottage and DC mansion was staggering. Bayh has not made the same mistake, and the Indiana condo is listed as his principal residence.
I am not outraged by the residency issue, and Republicans are guilty of the same behavior. Bayh’s probable GOP opponent, former Sen. Dan Coats, was out of Indiana for many years. Former Senator Mark Hatfield (R) listed an Oregon hotel room as his address while he resided in one of the finest homes in Georgetown.
The 2004 GOP Senate candidate against Barack Obama was clearly not an Illinois resident, and proved that immediately after his staggering loss. Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy did not have strong ties to New York, and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) claims his residence is an 800 square foot place in Cumming rather then the palatial homes he owns in northern Virginia and the Bahamas.
Senator Bayh’s approval rating is down, and this is especially true among independent voters. He avoided town hall meetings last summer when opposition mounted to the Obama agenda, and claimed he was too busy to meet with tea party organizers in Indianapolis.
Bayh’s GOP opponents will probably not make residency an issue, but political activists are starting to ask questions about his income, and this will not go unnoticed by the news media. For example, how does a Senator who earns $174,000/year and pays $43,000 in private school tuition and employs a full time nanny live in a $2.3 million home?
How has he gained so much wealth while working as public servant for the past 24 years? He has not inherited money, so how does he have a net worth between $4.3 million and $5.1 million? The only assets he owned when he first filed his candidacy for Indiana Secretary of State in 1986 were a very modest condo and a four year old BMW.
The answer is his wife Susan Bayh who never responds to questions regarding her professional life. She is an attorney who began serving on 14 corporate boards starting in 1994. She is now listed as a director of eight businesses, and is not otherwise employed.
Senators are not required to file specific financial reports. They only have to list their spouses income in broad ranges. We do not know Susan Bayh’s exact income, but what we do know is more than enough to raise eyebrows.
Her compensation from just one of those companies, WellPoint, was in excess of $350,000 in 2007. This is well above the median amount paid to directors of the largest U.S. corporations. In 2006, Susan Bayh was able to purchase 20,000 option shares from WellPoint for a price varying from $35.93 to $44.18 per share and sell them the very same day for a quick pre-tax profit of $796,000.
She earns more than $1 million/year in director fees and collected more than $1.7 million in exercised stock options from just two of the companies. According to the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, “Her actual income from exercising stock options is higher, but the details are not publicly reported.”
Susan Bayh serves on boards in the insurance, pharmaceutical, health insurance, banking and broadcasting industries. The newspaper listed several votes by the Senator which had a positive impact on the companies on which his wife serves.
When questions were raised by the Ft. Wayne paper, Bayh responded, “The reality is I don’t even know the people who run the vast majority of her companies. I’ve never even spoken to them. The reality is, we don’t talk about stuff that she’s involved with.”
The Center for Public Integrity says “Given that she has a high-profile role with corporations which could benefit from the legislative actions of her husband, there is definitely a potential for a conflict of interest.” Watchdog organizations Public Citizen and the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights echoed those concerns.
The issue of Susan Bayh’s employment was raised in a minor manner during the Senator’s 2004 re-election campaign. Bayh supporters responded by saying he was not one of those “fat cat Republicans.” Lets hope he makes that charge this year because listed below are the residences of some of his Democratic colleagues. Of the 10 wealthiest lawmakers, eight of them are Democrats.
Senators and the value of their primary residence:
John Kerry (MA) – $253 million
Jay Rockefeller (WV) – $82 million
Mark Warner (VA) – $74 million
Frank Lautenberg (NJ) – $48 million
Dianne Feinstein (CA) – $43 million
House of Representatives
Jane Harman (CA) – $112 million
Jared Polis (CO) – $71 million
Harry Teague (NM) – $41 million
Photo link to the Bayh homes and other residency documents:
http://frugalhoosiers.com/?p=7051

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The Battle for the U.S. Senate: Will Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Be The Man in the Arena?

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the Chairman of the House Republican Conference, now has to make the most difficult decision of his political career. Should he give up his safe Congressional seat and the number three position in the GOP leadership to challenge Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)? Pence appears to have an bright future in the House of Representatives, but it is always difficult to turn down the glamour of the United States Senate. For example, Trent Lott (R-MS) was in line to be Speaker of the House, but left his number two position as the GOP Whip to successfully run for the Senate in 1988.
Bayh is a former two term Governor who is now completing his second term in the Senate. His father Birch Bayh (D-IN) served in the Senate from 1962 until he was defeated by Dan Quayle in 1980. Evan Bayh has won five statewide elections while Pence has never been tested at the state level.
Pence, 50, is understandably reluctant to give up a secure GOP Congressional seat. He was defeated by an incumbent in both 1988 and 1990 before finally winning an open seat in 2000. The Congressman would instantly achieve national fame if he knocked off Bayh, but a loss would mean this rising star would go back to obscurity of Columbus, Indiana. If he does run his campaign theme would almost certainly be “No More Bailouts,” which is a position he adopted during the Bush Administration.
Yesterday Pence attended a meeting at the National Republican Senatorial Committee where he was presented with the most recent polling data. The Congressman trails Senators Bayh by only a few percentage points, but all of the popular issues are on the side of the Republican. Bayh has always portrayed himself as a moderate, and is a former Chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). He still points with pride to the $1.6 billion tax cut he implemented as Governor.
The problem is that he has been on Capitol Hill for 12 years and now it is difficult to run away from his voting record. His recent votes on the health-care legislation and the stimulus are particularly unpopular, and Bayh has been urging his party to move to the center.
A new book reveals that Barack Obama almost named Bayh as his 2008 running mate. Bayh still has a 50% approval rating, but between May and January his ratings dropped by nearly 25 points. The Senator’s biggest advantage is that he has $12.7 million in cash-on-hand, while Pence has just $463,000. President Obama won Indiana by 1%, and the state has voted Republican in 10 of the last 11 presidential elections.
Pence has to soon make a decision because the filing deadline is February 18th. He has already emerged as a champion for conservatives on a national scale. The Congressman previously served as Chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. In 2003, when the House debated the Medicare prescription drug entitlement, Pence led a gang of House conservatives who valiantly opposed it. He said Republicans had lost their way by promoting big spending initiatives.
One of his best assets is that he is a former radio broadcaster and an excellent communicator. He is able to make persuasive and effective arguments. If Pence runs this will instantly become one of the top Senate races of the 2010 election cycle, and Pence would receive considerable fame if he emerges as the Democratic dragon slayer in Indiana.

Will Liberal Democrats Listen to the Message From Massachusetts?

Republicans throughout the nation are thrilled with the victory of United States Senator-elect Scott Brown. Only 11% of Bay State voters are Republicans, and this seat has been in Democratic hands for 57 years. Brown will fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy and be the first Republican in the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.
No one is claiming the Bay State is turning Republican but voters did send a profound message. Democratic elected officials are asking themselves if they can not win in a state which they carried by 26 points in 2008, where in the world is it safe for a liberal to be a running for federal office in 2010?
Brown raised over $12 million online which a a new record for a Senate candidate. He raised about $1 million/day during the final week. In claiming victory at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel last night, Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) said:
“I thought it was going to be me against the machine. I was wrong. It’s all of us against the machine. You have shown everyone now that you are the machine.” Predicting a cascade of election surprises throughout the nation, Brown said, “Let them take a look at what happened in Massachusetts. What happened here can happen all over the country. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere, and they know it.”
If Democrats now moderate some of their views it would be a boost to their outlook in the 2010 election. There is a battle underway between liberal and moderate Democrats, and health care is now the focal point. The reactions of some prominent Democrats and journalists to Brown’s victory appear below:
Terry McAuliffe, former Chairman, Democratic National Committee, “This is a giant wake-up call. We have to do a much better job on the message. People are confused on what this health care bill is going to do.”
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA): “It would only be fair and prudent that we now suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI): “It’s probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate.”
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN): “Many of our people are in denial, but if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope they will wake up. We can not have the furthest left elements of the Democratic Party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country. . . Moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message. They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D-Boston): “I never thought I’d see the day when a Republican replaces Ted Kennedy. I think Scott Brown caught the wave of anger that’s out there, and the wave of anti-Obama.”
Former Mayor Raymond Flynn (D-Boston): revealed after the vote that he had supported Scott Brown. He said, “People feel like their vote is being taken granted with this powerful, one party state, and with one-party government in Washington. People want a little coalition, and a little respect… I don’t know how you regroup from something like this. There are going to be a lot of problems in the Democratic party from here on out.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D-KY): who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat, “The President is especially unpopular in eastern Kentucky. An Obama visit would not help Democrats.”
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “It is really time now for Democrats to shift their attention to issues that will enjoy broad public support.”
Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL): “When it happens in Massachusetts, it really throws us a curve. It’s a big deal for a lot of members here.”
Politico: “Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying Obama would throw his support behind Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts — and lose all of them. Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying he would celebrate his first anniversary without having gotten health care, financial regulation or energy legislation signed into law. And that less than 50 percent of the public would hold a favorable view of his presidency.”
The New York Post editorial entitled “Heck of a Job, Brownie!”: “This is the fifth time in three months that Obama has focused his star power to effect political and policy outcomes — losing each time. It didn’t work in Virginia and New Jersey, where he roller-skated in for Democratic gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds and JonCorzine last November. Or in Copenhagen, when he popped in to tout Chicago as host for the 2016 Olympics.
“Or in Copenhagen again, last month, at the global climate-change conference. And now this. . . Brown won. Coakley lost. But, obviously, so did Obama. Here’s hoping the president understands why.”
The New York Times: “What happened in Massachusetts on Tuesday was no ordinary special election. Scott Brown shocked and arguably humiliated the White House and the Democratic Party establishment. . . States do not come more Democratic than Massachusetts, the only one that voted for George McGovern over Richard Nixon in 1972. . . Most ominously, independent voters seemed to have fled to Mr. Brown in Massachusetts, as they did to Republicans in races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey last November. It is hard not to view that as a repudiation of the way Mr. Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have run things.”
The Los Angeles Times: “The Democratic Party’s defeat in Massachusetts on Tuesday — the loss of a single, crucial Senate seat — will force President Obama and his congressional allies to downscale their legislative ambitions and rethink their political strategy.”
Dr. Stuart Rothenberg, GOP political analyst, “This is the biggest political upset of my adult life.”
I am also wonder if some prominent Democrats will now retract some of their comments about the moderate Brown. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Brown a “far-right tea-bagger,” Chris Dodd (D-CT) said he was a”right-wing radical,” and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) claimed he had “right-wing views” and “radical record.”

Several Key Senate Democrats Probably Want the GOP's Scott Brown to Win the Massachusetts Special Election

If State Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) wins the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy on January 19th, several Democrats might be relieved. The Senate balance would become 59 to 41, and a few moderates would no longer be on the hot seat. They would not be pressured to provide the crucial 60th vote necessary to pass the health care reform bill and other legislation.
Among lawmakers who might breath a sign of relief if the GOP’s Brown wins are Senators Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Joe Lieberman (CT), Kent Conrad (ND), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Evan Bayh (IN).
These lawmakers worked as a team to stop the House passed version of the public option.
Lieberman spoke for many of them, “If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today.” The Senators won on the public option, Nelson and Landrieu cut lucrative side deals with Majority Leader Reid, but since then the lawmakers have had to cope with outraged voters back home.
Nelson is running 30% behind Gov. Dave Heineman (R-NE) in a hypothetical 2012 matchup, and has said it was a mistake to take up health care this year. Lincoln is 10 points behind her GOP challengers, and Lieberman has seen a 25% drop in his approval rating. It is no wonder all of these Senators are far from happy with the health care bill which passed the Senate.
The pressure on them to once again vote in favor of health care reform is enormous. Every one of these Senators has already made statements questioning the fiscal soundness of the bill. The lawmakers are also well aware of the gimmicks used to get the bill through the Senate. The increased taxes go into effect immediately but people will have to wait until 2014 for benefits. They also realize the bill is not deficit neutral, nor will it save money in the long run.
Finally, if Brown does win on Tuesday he should thank Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) was in office when Kerry began his 2004 presidential campaign. Democrats thought Kerry could win the presidential election, and they did not want Romney to have the power to appoint a Republican to fill a Senate vacancy until 2006. They changed the law to require a special election rather than a gubernatorial appointment in the event of a vacancy. If the law had not been changed Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) could have immediately appointed a Democrat to fill Ted Kennedy’s vacancy.

The Isolationist Republicans: John Hostettler and Rand Paul

We desperately need more Republicans in the U.S. Senate, but in Indiana, Kentucky and Connecticut I may be forced to support the nominees of the Democratic Party. A paleoconservative is running in Indiana (John Hostettler) and two radical libertarians are running in Kentucky and Connecticut (Rand Paul and Peter Schiff). I am an enthusiastic Republican but I am an American first, and I could never feel comfortable about candidates who are dangerous to our national security interests.
I watched former Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) for a long time on the House Armed Services Committee, and on the most important votes he crossed over to help the anti-war lobby. He is a complete isolationist.
There is no difference between Hostettler, Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore on foreign policy and national security issues. In 2002 he was one of only six Republicans to vote against the Iraq war resolution. His book, “Nothing for the Nation: Who Got What Out of Iraq” is total lunacy. He is a disciple of Pat Buchanan and says we were in Iraq because of the influence of people “with Jewish backgrounds.”
There is a primary but as a former six term Member of Congress, Hostettler would have to be considered the front runner. His book also claims we intervened in Iraq because of oil. Two weeks ago the Evansville newspaper quoted him as attacking Obama because the President had abandoned the anti-war lobby.
The Republican “accused Obama of abandoning his anti-Iraq War views. ‘The one person, the one person who can get us out, who has unilateral authority to get us out, doesn’t want to,’ he said.” Many of Hostettler’s appearances have been sponsored by “Veterans for Peace.”
Many of the observations in the “Hoosier Hopeful” article in the isolationist “American Conservative” magazine are accurate. It says Hostettler “is unapologetic about his disagreements with neoconservatives. ‘The neocons know what a Senator Hostettler would mean,’ he says. ‘They would rather have Evan Bayh as the lead sponsor of sanctions against Iran, bringing us to the brink of war or a Republican who would do the same thing.’ Hostettler argues, ‘They want to mold the Republican Party’s image on foreign policy, and I am not of that mold.’ . . . Foreign policy is likely to remain a hotly debated topic in the general election, where the probable Democratic replacements for Bayh are all centrists not known for their antiwar views. But first, Hostettler will have to get there.”
I would also very reluctantly have to support a terrible liberal Democrat to take over a Republican U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky if Rand Paul wins the GOP nomination. I am a solid Republican but I can not jeopardize America’s national security interests. Rand Paul is the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and he shares many of his father’s isolationist and anti-military policies. Nevertheless, he has been endorsed by former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). The website Too Kooky for Kentucky http://www.tookookyforkentucky.com explains a few of Rand Paul’s wacko views. Kentucky is the home of Fort Campbell, Fort Knox and the famed 101st Airborne Division. An isolationist may win the GOP primary, but not the general election in this pro-military state.
Kentucky is a swing state. The Democrats will have plenty of ammunition to emphasize Rand Paul’s radical views and this will allow them to capture the center, and win the election. The traditional GOP unity breakfast will be very difficult after Paul’s primary victory. I am sure some prominent Kentucky Republicans will cross over to endorse the Democrat. If Rand Paul did make it to the Senate he would be the true RINO (Republican in Name Only).
Rand Paul has completely scrubbed his website, and all of his comments on things such as the Patriot Act have been taken down. His father also hid his record when he came back to Congress and defeated the GOP incumbent.
This strategy could work for Rand Paul in a GOP primary, but not in the general election. Rand Paul devoted 2008 to his father’s campaign and all of his past statements will be used against him. I would feel far better about Rand Paul if he would just tell us where he disagrees with his father. He is not going to do that because all of his money is coming from libertarians throughout the nation.
If Rand Paul wins the far left will ask him to be the lead co-sponsor on all of their legislation to dismantle the programs that protect us. We have already seen it in the House with the alliance between his father and the loony Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). The difference is that Rand Paul would have a lot more power. Their first objective would be the passage of the “bipartisan” Barbara Boxer/Rand Paul bill to dismantle the Department of Homeland Security.
We only have 40 GOP Senators and we can not afford to lose any of them. However, in this instance, it will be necessary. Under no circumstances could I ever support Rand Paul or John Hostettler.