Jerame Davis

Evan "Scrooge" Bayh - Hoarding Millions

Filed By Jerame Davis | October 26, 2006 5:18 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Democrats, Evan Bayh, House of Representatives, Senate

So, finally, John Kerry coughs up some of his leftover 2004 Presidential campaign war chest to be distributed to Democrats in tough fights across the country. $500K, is chump change considering he has between $12 million and $16 million depending on who you ask. But still, at least he's finally coughing up something.

However, still on the penny-pincher's list is our very own Senator Evan Bayh. Bayh, who is sitting on something north of $9-10 million, hasn't turned over anything to the DSCC or the DCCC according to AmericaBlog and DailyKos.

WTF, Mr. Senator? Your presidential aspirations are such that hoarding every penny of the money you've raised, even if it means choking the life out of potential Democratic control of Congress? If we lose, do you not understand that we will remember this in two years?

At the blogger lunch I attended with you, Senator Bayh, you stated that the most important way to check the runaway lunacy of the Bush administration was to assure the taking back of the House by Democrats. Why, then, will you not share some of your incredibly large campaign coffers with other Democrats to help ensure that win? We're close enough that we could possibly even take back the Senate, which was not even a thought to consider at the blogger lunch, yet you won't even help fund races in your own house of Congress.

Shame on you!


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we all know this blog loves to generally trash Bayh...no need to mention that he has given $25,000 to the Indiana House Democrats, $100,000 to the Indiana State Party for direct mail pieces to turn out the vote, and he has raised or given about $20,000 each to Ellsworth, Hill, and Donnelly...oh, and he is doing ads all over the place and is spending lots of days driving thought the state with the Congressional candidates...but who cares about that...bilerico loves to trash Evan Bayh!

Wow, whatever. That's a great trick you've got there... You should be able to make quite a bit of money doing that whole mind-reading thing... I'm amazed that you're able to figure out what each and every contributor thinks about Evan Bayh from one person's post.

As for the blog trashing Bayh, I don't know that it's necessarily a true statement. I, personally, criticized him for dodging my question about SJR7 at the blogger forum - which is a valid criticism. Don't say you can ask any question and I'll answer - and then not answer. And I dearly mean - NOT answer. As in "NO" answer - at all. :( "I'll get back to you" never happened. Sorry, but Stump the Congressman is a fun game to play...

Personally, I find that this blog "trashes" on conservatives and Republicans more than Bayh. If this is "trashing" on him, he'll never make it to President - cuz it's a wide nation - and opinions get a lot worse than mine (or Jerame's!).

Bayh is my Senator. He claims to be from my party. He doesn't act like it a lot of the time. I think I have a right to criticize him. I've voted for him twice and I don't feel I've gotten my vote's worth.

For example, I've contacted the Senator on many occasions to express my view on X, Y, or Z. Invariably, I get a letter from Bayh that says next to nothing but a rehash of the issue I've contacted him over. But he thanks me for my input and tells me he'll keep it in mind down the road. If there has been a vote, he does, at least, tell me how he's voted.

On the other hand, when I contact Senator Lugar, our Republican Senator, I always get a thoughtful reply that has substance. Often, though not always, Lugar takes a position, tells me what he thinks, and doesn't mind if we disagree.

Every time I've met Evan Bayh it has been pretty much the same thing. All fluff, no substance. I hate to say it, but Lugar is a better Senator than Evan Bayh. And let me say, I'm no fan of Republicans.

He needs to back off his presidential ambitions and work on being a good senator and a good Democrat. I want to support him, he's from my party...But I just can't.

It's up to him, not me. It's not about bashing him...It's about calling him on the carpet for bad choices he makes. When he acts like a Democrat I can support, I'll stop saying negative things about him.

I've learned never to trust anyone who begins their argument with "We all know that..." That's usually what people say to lend credence to an argument they know is weak. Sorta like whatever's, who rattles off money totals that Bayh has supposedly spent on Indiana candidates (because, you know, the only congressional seats in play are in Indiana) without bothering to notice how lame even $145,000 looks compared to the $500,000 others in his position are committing and especially compared to his $9 million warchest.

Furthermore, I live in one of those competitive districts and I haven't seen Bayh yet, aside from the one fundraiser he did for all 3 candidates at the same time (my, how generous). Nor have I seen any Bayh commercials.

Besides, the issue is whether Bayh gave any money to the DCCC or the DSCC, which he hasn't. Looks to me like he's going all Scrooge on us at a relatively freakin' important point in American politics.

Rick Sutton | October 27, 2006 8:57 AM

Interesting post. THANK YOU

You're entitled to your opinion, Jerame and Bil, but no senator could get elected in Indiana with views too far left. And Dan Burton, with no credible challenger, continues to raise millions and spend almost none. For that I guess we should be happy.

Evan is an old friend, and we disagree on much. But we agree on more, and I'm proud to call him my senator.

But tell me the bigger mind-screw please:

Sen. Lugar, now chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, refuses to use his substantial influence and power, to reign in this ridiculous Iraqi war. Wasting power, especially when the entire Senate and the country know how Lugar feels, is disgusting. No number of well written letters can change that.

He's just waiting out this president, and he's almost done. That is sad, for his constituents and for the world.

That my party could/would not find an opponent is sad. And that's a polite word.

"We all know that..." much like "We hold these truths to be self-evident"?

Chris Douglas | October 28, 2006 1:40 PM

Personally, Rick, I think Lugar does use his influence, but it doesn't appear on the headlines, which is why he is ranked as highly effective. I THINK the fact that the Democratic Party hasn't run anyone against him could potentially telling in another way. Namely, I think Democratic Senators such as Biden have generally found that he offers a level playing field and that he is a model of the old form of Senator.

Were he to beat a drum publicly, I'm not sure he would be getting the point across effectively, only adding to the cacophony.

Even with her infirmities and manifest faults, I find it possible to find some positive things about Julia Carson, because I do feel she has backed the gay community when the chips were down, sometimes when it appeared she alone was willing to speak supportively of the community. She has stretched for us. (Mind you, looking forward, I think Eric Dickerson would have a more positive effect regardless of which Party controls Congress, separating this individual race from the broader picture for a moment, in the manner that I described in an earlier post...)

Evan Bayh, on the other hand, is rated low in effectiveness, mainly I suspect because of his focus on presidential ambition over accomplishment as a Senator. (Just as he focused on Senatorial ambition over accomplishment as Governor.) Bayh has in no way stretched for the glbt community, instead serving more as an obstacle until the very last moments, when a conservative vision of glbt rights came to interfere with his presidential ambitions.

Evan Bayh strikes me very much as George W. Bush: An empty vessel into which may be poured whatever policy wine is helpful to securing a base of voters. It just happens that the particular base he is courting is Democratic. The danger of both of these individuals, I think, is that they both bring very little of substance. I wouldn't trust Evan Bayh with either Foreign or Domestic Policy any more than I trust George Bush Jr, and I am no supporter of George Bush Jr in either realm.

This blog has lost all credibility on political issues, anyway. The blog owner himself has been rightfully banished from serving as a lobbyist for Indiana Equality due to their understanding of his ineptitude...honestly, you people do not have even the slightest understanding of the nuances of politics and I highly recommend that you consider sticking to things like "Songs for Sunday" or other quirky political cartoons instead of trying to provide any sort of educated political commentary...via this post and the following comments, you have proven that you not only do not understand why Democrats have had ANY influence in this state (Bayh-style Democratic politics) nor do you have the basics of representative democracy (i.e. you must be elected before you can do anything) mastered. "Jerame" - or whoever he actually is - is, sadly, highly uneducated on Indiana politics when he chooses to make the only man who has made Democrats even partially viable in Indiana (Senator Bayh) a target for clearly unresearched criticism!

To yeah and Whatever! (because I know you are the same person.)

First, let me say, you should probably stay off the blogs while you're in the Senator's offices in Washington. Those Senate.gov IP addresses are hard to miss. You've logged onto this blog repeatedly from there and your home here in Indianapolis to boost Senator Bayh and trash anyone who dare speak ill of him.

Secondly, perhaps you should get your facts straight before you start spewing them forth. Bil never was a lobbyist for Indiana Equality. That's never what he was employed to do, never was on the table. Besides, he has always worked for Lambda Consulting, not IE. IE is one of the accounts to which he has been assigned.

Someone who is as smart as you claim to be should have checked the public records to see that Bil has never registered as a lobbyist. Tsk tsk.

And besides, if you honestly knew as much as you proclaim about this blog and it's owners, you'd know that Jerame is my name, I'm pretty well known around town, and I don't ever try to hide my identity behind a multitude of silly aliases.

Could it be, perhaps, that since you are employed by the Senator, you don't want everyone knowing the despicable tactics you are employing in his name?

As for your thoughts on Bayh and how great he has been for Indiana politics...I say BULLSHIT!

I would argue that Evan Bayh's brand of politics is exactly what is wrong with the Democratic party in Indiana. He's made it OK to be wishy-washy on the hard issues and never take a stand. He's made it easier to be on the wrong side of what are supposed to be core party values.

Evan Bayh's politics keep him in office, they don't help our state, our country, or the party.

I think I'll leave it to the reader to decide who is credible - the anonymous huckster writing salacious accusations that aren't backed by facts. Or me, the guy who writesregularly in his own name on this blog with facts as evidence and clearly delineated opinions.

gee...it is frustrating when folks make comments about people we respect and admire without telling all the facts or being fair in their analysis, isn't it? :) all I've ever asked of this blog is for fairness and balance...if you want to criticize something, do so fairly. but also offer some balance and mention a good thing once in awhile....

hum, yeah, and Whatever,

Could you just stick with one alias? It's getting hard to keep up!

So, now you're saying it's OK to be disingenuous in your arguments because you perceive your opponent to be doing so? *sigh*

Look, I'd like to say nice things about your boss. I would. He needs to give me reason to. I think I'm being fair when I report the facts. I think I'm being honest when I report what I think of the good Senator.

I said before I'd be happy to keep voting for him as Senator. I think he's letting his presidential ambition get in the way of effective leadership. When I can backup with facts the opinions I hold, I think it's perfectly fair to report that.

Evan Bayh is a nice enough guy. I've always been pleased to speak with him personally. What I haven't always cared for is how he chooses to be a Democrat, a Senator, and a politician in general.

You have much more influence with the Senator than I do. I think you do yourself and Democrats at large a disservice by enabling him. You're not working for the future POTUS. You're working for the junior senator from Indiana.

Just check the facts:

Look at Bayh's HRC scorecard. Compare it to others.

Look at the contributions the All American PAC has made to Indiana Candidates, progressive candidates throughout the nation, and, yes, even the DSCC.

Look at the judicial appointments he made as governor and their voting records today.

Check out how many days he has spent campaigning for Indiana candidates.

And check the latest WISH-TV poll that shows his approvals in Indiana at 64%, ahead of Lugar by 1%. Also, note that 57% of the respondents support the idea of him running for President. Voters are not stupid or ill-informed.

Finally, I wish you would have been at the 4th Annual Evan Bayh Service Leader's Summit this Saturday to see the amazing group of young people who Senator Bayh gathered from all around the state to put them through a day-long seminar on community service. Didn't really make the news - but his speech was inspirational.

There - now you have what you asked for - a reason (actually several) to say something nice.

It was a reasonable criticism that he should release some of the funds raised by the Evan Bayh Committee. But you completely missed all that has been done by the All American PAC. That was my point. We can always take information thrown at us, report one side, and make it seem sinister and evil. In fact, that's what negative campaigns are all about - something Senator Bayh does not do.

A more reasonable and mature attitude will prove that there are always 2 sides to every story. I fully recognize that blog posters are not bound by the cannons of journalistic ethics, but since you offered your comments about what you believe I may do for a living, I would offer the same to you. Consider fairness and balance in your posts.

No one is working for a future POTUS as that is a fundamentally unknowable fact. Only the voters will decide who that is and that will take place on election day. The great thing about this country is: It's not the politicians who run anything, it's the people. Fortunately, most of the seem to think he has done a good job for them.

Finally, an olive branch, although I really do think you're off base about Senator Bayh, I admire the fact that you are engaged in the process. I'd take an engaged criticizer over the apathetic any day!

That's it from me on all of this! :)

OK...I can see your point. Here's the rub...

I don't get press releases from the Senator's office. I mainly report on what I see personally from or read about the Senator. I encourage you to drop me some more press on him.

I also encourage you to post more facts, like above, when we do report the negative stuff. I'm open to having my mind changed...

But throwing more firebombs in the comments isn't helping out Senator Bayh. We get a lot of readers. If you feel a Bayh post is giving him the short shrift, post some facts. Tell us what we missed. Don't just tell us we suck and don't know jack about politics.

Thanks for reading, nonetheless. I hope you'll stay engaged in the discussion as we move forward.

What have you missed... let's see...

Bayh's paying for 50 campaign workers across the country for 3 months at $1000/month... That's $150,000 right there... not including room/board, transportation and training...

All America PAC has given thousands of dollars to dozens of candidates across the country...

Sen Bayh has been to 25 different states campaigning for local candidates over the past year... How much do you think that cost?

Over the next week Sen Bayh will be criss-crossing the state campaiging for Indiana candidates over the last week and All America PAC will be focused on that with the "Hoosier Election Wire" featuring posts from "correspondents" across the state reporting on events.

Has he given to the DSCC or the DCCC? No... but that's like whining that someone isn't a good Catholic because he gave to a local charity instead of donating to Rome.