September 28, 2016

Former U.S. Attorney Files Ethics Complaint Against Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh’s day just got so much worse. Earlier today, Politico hammered the longtime DC resident with a piece describing the many ways that Bayh sold out Indiana to make big money in DC. Now Bayh’s facing the heat of an ethics complaint from the nonpartisan Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust.

FACT, led by former U.S. Matthew Whitaker, leveled the charge that Bayh is illegally coordinating with the DC-based Senate Majority PAC by highlighting the ads that the Harry Reid-connected SuperPAC should run:

“According to the complaint, Bayh’s Senate campaign website includes an inconspicuous page, “Hoosiers Need to Know,” which instructs outside groups on what television ads they want the super PACs to run. They even go so far as to identify the specific media markets for those ads. Once the desired ads are run by outside groups, the information under the “Hoosiers Need to Know” tab is then updated with new instructions.”

As former U.S. Attorney Whitaker points out, Bayh’s actions are a deliberate circumvention of our nation’s campaign finance laws:

“’By instructing super PAC’s to run ads on his behalf, Evan Bayh and his campaign are deliberately trying to undermine our nation’s campaign finance laws,’ said Matthew Whitaker, Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT). ‘Public or not, candidates are clearly prohibited from requesting, either directly or indirectly, a super PAC to run certain ads or republish candidate campaign materials.’”

Significantly, Bayh is only the latest in a series of Senate Democratic candidates who have engaged in these potentially unlawful actions. Bayh’s actions are that of a longtime DC politician, exactly why he’s had such a hard time at the polls recently.