Evan Bayh and the Indiana Constitution: A Hoosier Politics Hypocrisy BOGO

Mar 22 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Look at me! I'm going to be rich!

Yes, a BOGO: buy one, get one free. These offers are all over the conservative political landscape, whether you are to look at the Republican Party itself or the Tea Party, and it can be found as well in conservative democrats.

The two pieces I have in mind as I sit down to write this is the example of the Indiana Republican Party and another Indiana subject, former Senator Evan Bayh, alleged Democrat and servant of the people.

I’ll address these issues separately.

Indiana’s situation is not making the news, generally being overshadowed by events in Wisconsin (a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) and in the Dictatorship of Michigan, but the threat to Democracy is every bit as real here.

For example, the Republicans who claim to be the champions of the Constitution are as careless of it here in Hoosierdom than nationally. For example, one of the problems that drove Democratic senators into self-imposed exile was the school voucher issue.

According to House Bill 1003, state tax dollars would go to religious schools. But according to Article 1, Section 6 of the Indiana State Constitution, that’s not legal. That clause says in unequivocal terms: “No funds shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of religious or theological institutions.”

You can’t get plainer than that, not that the Constitutionality of an issue has ever been a barrier to the party of hypocrisy.

Then we have Evan Bayh, who, after serving two terms in the Senate, said he was done with Congress, that “There are better ways to serve my fellow citizens. I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress.”

But Evan Bayh did not return to Indiana to working for the people or to help the citizens. He went to work for McGuire Woods LLP, a big law firm who, incidentally, does not serve the people or the citizens of Indiana. No, McGuire Woods serves the corporate interests who are crushing Indiana’s people underfoot:

“Principle clients served from our Washington office include national energy companies, foreign countries, international manufacturing companies, trade associations and local and national businesses” according to the firm’s website.

One of Bayh’s areas of practice is “Corporate Governance”:

Since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted in 2002, many new and complex requirements have been imposed on public companies in connection with their corporate governance and their public reporting obligations. As we were doing before the Act came into the picture, McGuireWoods monitors and keeps clients up to date on developments in this area. We have wide experience advising boards of directors and their committees on the full range of issues they face, including fiduciary duties, implementing appropriate corporate governance procedures, selecting independent auditors and overseeing executive compensation issues. A number of our partners serve, or have served, on boards or as general counsel, and we are strongly positioned to bring strategic perspectives to our clients’ governance issues.

Recent representative work includes:

  • Representation of numerous public companies in development of governance guidelines, audit, compensation and nominating committee charters, and corporate codes of conduct in response to Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related requirements.
  • Representation of private companies and nonprofit institutions considering voluntary adoption of corporate governance standards similar to those imposed on public companies under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Representation of public companies in connection with successful requests for SEC no-action letters and negotiations with shareholder proponents for withdrawal of shareholder proposals.
  • Representation of boards of directors in considering appropriate responses to shareholder proposals receiving substantial shareholder support.

He then signed on as a senior adviser to Apollo Management Group (NASDAQ:AINV). According to NNDB, Apollo Management is a

Private equity firm founded 1990 by Leon Black. It also operates as Apollo Advisors or Apollo Investments. The company acquired Borden Chemical in 2005, soon to be spun off as part of Hexion Specialty Chemicals. Apollo also owns General Nutrition Centers. Announced it would acquire Realogy in 2006.

Apollo says of itself,

Apollo Investment Corporation (NASDAQ: AINV) is a leading provider of subordinated debt and equity capital to middle-market companies. We generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. Apollo Investment Corporation is managed by Apollo Investment Management and its corporate governance is provided by an independent board of directors. The company is registered with the SEC as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, which provides the company with structural advantages, including public liquidity and an advantageous tax structure.

Our portfolio is comprised primarily of investments in subordinated loans and senior secured loans of private middle-market companies with equity interests such as warrants or equity co-investments. The value of our portfolio is determined by independent, third-party firms.

Not a lot of service to the people there either.

But it got worse the other day: Evan Bayh signed on as a FOX News contributor. Not many will see this as an altruistic move, though Tim Malloy at The Wrap suggests that adding a “high-profile Democrat” like Bayh will help Fox “bolster its claim to fair and balanced coverage.” And that’s more important than ever going into the 2012 election season. That, however, explains only FOX’s motivation.  Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress probably has Bayh’s own motivations nailed down, that “his main plan was to get rich as a lobbyist. Today we learn that he’ll also be acquiring a secondary gig as a conservative television pundit.”

Note that there’s considerable synergy between Bayh’s job at McGuireWoods LLP and his Fox gig. This way business enterprises hoping for regulatory favors or subsidies from the federal government can hire McGuireWoods not only to take advantage of Bayh’s influence and knowledge on the Hill, they’ll also be gaining on on-air television spokesman, presumably one whose client affiliations won’t be disclosed to the viewing public. And since as best we can tell Fox has no journalistic standards, it’ll be an ideal venue for peddling whatever nonsense he likes.

Ezra Klein, Washington Post columnist reminds us that Bayh once complained of the “corrosive system of campaign financing” as a threat to the body politic, but now he works on behalf of that system of campaign financing. He said “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology” was ruining the Senate.

Who is more unyielding in their ideology, more partisan, than FOX News?

Ezra Klein tried to interview Bayh in the wake of his FOX News treason, but he declined. “In our last interview,” Klein writes, “Bayh complained of the poor opinion the public had of him and his colleagues. ‘They look at us like we’re worse than used-car salesmen.’ Yes. They do. And this is why.”

 

 

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