Friday, October 21, 2016

Evan Bayh Failed to Stay at His Indiana "Home" During Last Year in Office

The Associated Press reports:

Evan Bayh says that his Indianapolis condominium has long been his home, and that he has spent “lots and lots” of time there since deciding to run for his old Senate seat. But a copy of his schedule shows Bayh did not stay overnight there once during his last year in office in 2010.
The schedule provided to The Associated Press shows the Democrat spent taxpayer money,
Former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh
campaign funds or let other people pay for him to stay in Indianapolis hotels on the relatively rare occasions he returned from Washington, D.C.
Since unexpectedly entering the race in July, Bayh, whose primary residence is in Washington, has struggled to explain whether Indiana is home. During an interview with WLFI-TV in August he tried to put the issue to rest, but gave the wrong address for his condo, which is listed on his drivers’ license and voter registration.
“I’ll always be a Hoosier,” Bayh said last week. “We own our condominium. Period. From time to time I would stay someplace else, but our condo has always been our home.”
Bayh stayed at Indianapolis hotels roughly a dozen times in 2010, though taxpayers paid only a few hundred dollars because campaign funds or other people helped pick up the tab.
When asked last month how often he has stayed at his condo during the campaign, Bayh said: “I haven’t kept track, but lots and lots and lots.” He also accused his opponent, Republican Rep. Todd Young, of “using this as a distraction.”
The Associated Press article also details how Bayh appears to have used taxpayer money to help fund his job hunting trips he took while planning to leave the Senate in 2010.

Of course, if the Indianapolis condo is not Bayh's residence, which does not  appear to be the case, he is committing a felony every time he uses that address from which to vote.   This has been a practice by many Indiana politicians, of both parties.  Republican Senator Richard Lugar voted using the address of a house he sold decades earlier.  (Lugar also stayed in Indianapolis hotels when he would come back to the Hoosier state.)  To this day, both Bayh, Lugar and their families continue to vote using Indianapolis addresses where they clearly do not reside, despite the fact they both left the Senate years ago.

It is reprehensible that Bayh and Lugar, and other politicians, routinely get a pass on the issue, while former Secretary of State Charlie White was prosecuted as part of a bipartisan witch hunt for on one occasion allegedly voting someplace other than his residence.


Greg Wright said...

Paul, A complaint was filed with the Senate Ethics Committee regarding then Senator Lugar's staying at a hotel when he visited Indpls.

LamLawIndy said...

IMHO, IC § 3-5-2-42.5 should be amended to require that a candidate for federal office demonstrate that s/he has spent a minimum number of days per year in Indiana.

Pete Boggs said...

The Scar doesn't base endorsements on any virtue. Their "endorsement" of Young is clear indication that Bayh's got clearcut residency & lobby issues that Gannett can't clear for him; part of a Bayh gone era...

Paul K. Ogden said...


The problem is that would likely be viewed as adding or modifying a qualification to be a U.S. Senator and there are federal court decisions overturning these types of state laws. A couple that come to o mind is an attempt by states to impose term limits on members of Congress and to require that congressional candidates live in the district in which they are running.

Of course, there are matters that are a lot more gray...such as Congress or the FEC passing laws/regulations that require that presidential candidates file certain financial disclosures or states requiring that presidential candidates meet certain qualifications to get on the ballot.