Job hunting substantial part of Bayh’s last year
Evan Bayh spent substantial time during his last year in the Senate searching for a job in the private sector, even as he cast votes on issues of interest to his future corporate bosses, according to the former Indiana lawmaker’s 2010 schedule, obtained exclusively by AP. The Democrat held more than four dozen meetings and phone calls with head hunters and future corporate employers over the months, beginning just days after announcing his surprise retirement from the Senate on Feb. 15, 2010, through the remainder of that year as his term came to an end. Bayh is now running to get his old seat back and help his party retake Senate control.
Announcing his retirement, Bayh claimed he’d grown fed up with the gridlock and that it was time for him to “contribute to society in another way.” Two days later, on Feb 17, Bayh was on the phone with a job headhunter. In the months to come, Bayh met and talked repeatedly with headhunters at more than a half-dozen recruiting firms, and with officials at Apollo Global Management, Marathon Oil Co, and three other companies he would work with after his retirement: the McGuireWoods law firm,
Leading Authorities, Inc speaker’s bureau, and the investment firm RLJ Companies. At the same time the Senate was weighing major pieces of legislation, including the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill and an extension of the Bush tax cuts, and in some cases Bayh was casting votes that seemed to align with the interests of his future employers. Under the Senate’s self-policing rules, it may all have been perfectly allowable.
A 2007 law requires senators to file a disclosure with the secretary of the Senate within three days of beginning negotiations for private-sector employment. But after the law went into effect, the Senate Ethics Committee defined negotiations as employment discussions that occur after a job offer has been made. So Bayh would not have had to disclose his job meetings to anyone, as long as they occurred prior to a solid offer. “It’s outrageous,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen who helped Democrats write the ethics language intended to eliminate conflicts of interest. “What we were unaware of at the time was how Congress would manipulate the rule so that they really don’t abide by it.” — AP