October 24, 2016

Evan Bayh Fundraised With Bank Lobbyists On The Same Day He Voted For Bailout

A devastating new Politico story on Evan Bayh’s actions regarding the bank bailout is raising new questions about how closely tied he is with major financial firms and their lobbyists. On the very same day Bayh voted to give the banks over $700 billion, he hosted a fundraising lunch that featured many bank lobbyists:

“One of the engagements — which included lunches, dinners and golf outings — happened the day of the Wall Street bailout vote. On Oct. 1, 2008, when the Senate voted to approve the $700 billion rescue package, Bayh held a ‘Lunch with Supporters’ that included lobbyists for the financial services industry, his schedule shows. Other meetings with industry lobbyists and officials took place in the weeks and months up to and following the bailout vote.”

Adding to the shadiness surrounding Bayh’s actions, he subsequently joined the board of a bank that received $3.4 billion from TARP:

“Since leaving the Senate in early 2011, Bayh has served on the board of Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank, which received $3.4 billion from the ‘Troubled Asset Relief Program.’ The bank later repaid the money with interest.”

Bayh’s out of touch hobnobbing with lobbyists extended to the exclusive golf clubs of the DC metro area. A couple weeks before the TARP vote, Bayh hit the links of Chevy Chase Club with two Wall Street executives. According to reports, Bayh has long coveted a Chevy Chase Club membership, even though it comes with a $80,000 membership fee:

“There were other engagements with financial industry representatives before and after the TARP vote. Bayh’s calendar entry from Sept. 21, 2008 shows a golf outing at the Chevy Chase Club with two Wall Street executives. On Dec. 3, 2008, Bayh had lunch with Michael Petrie, who was chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Bayh’s schedule shows. The Mortgage Bankers Association PAC donated $2,500 to Bayh’s leadership PAC that month.”

These shocking new developments follow reports that Bayh broke Senate ethics rules in 2010 during his shady job search. Bayh’s time in the Senate is starting to look like one long period of self-enrichment for Bayh. Indiana deserves better.