One in five staffers who worked for former Sen. Evan Bayh (D., Ind.) went on to become lobbyists, one of the highest rates among Democratic Senators who served with him in Congress, records show.
Bayh, a Democratic senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011, announced his campaign to regain his old Senate seat in July.
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Bayh has faced criticism since entering the race because of his post-Senate career as a corporate lobbyist in Washington, D.C. His staffers, likewise, went into lobbying at a high rate.
Between 2000 and 2010, 42 staffers from his Washington, D.C. Senate office moved through the revolving door to lobbying—one of the highest numbers of any senator, according to data from Legistorm. Bayh had a total of 198 staffers during those years, meaning that 21 percent of his staffers became lobbyists.
At least five others who worked for Bayh in other capacities, such as on committees, also became lobbyists. Those who passed through the revolving door lobbied for the likes of Northdrop Grumman, the American Financial Services Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.
When Bayh announced his intention to retire from the Senate in 2010, he knocked the institution in an op-ed published in the New York Times and called for vast reforms.
"Meeting America’s profound challenges and reforming Congress will not be easy. Old habits die hard. Special interests are entrenched," Bayh wrote.
Bayh fondly recalled his time teaching at Indiana University’s Graduate School of Business, saying he would like to return to a similar job after leaving the Senate. "I want to be engaged in an honorable line of work," he said in an interview with the Washington Post.
However, Bayh did not go back to teaching after leaving Congress. Instead he became a corporate lobbyist and joined the boards of banks and equity firms.
Almost immediately after leaving the Senate, Bayh became a senior adviser at Apollo Global Management, a New York-based private equity firm.
He also became a partner at the Washington, D.C.- based law firm McGuireWoods LLP in January 2011 where he works as a senior adviser.
Patrick G. Martin, who was Bayh’s legislative correspondent from 2009 to 2010, joined Bayh at McGuireWoods in April 2011. Martin is a vice president at the firm and a senior adviser to Bayh.
Martin was registered to lobby on behalf of Hill-Rom, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, and the Cook Group Inc., all companies based in Indiana, where Bayh is running for Senate. Martin declined to comment.
Bayh also joined the boards of Fifth Third Bank and Marathon Petroleum.
These positions proved to be lucrative for Bayh. The former senator has raked in more than $3.7 million from the board appointments in cash, stock awards, and other compensation, the Indy Star reported.
"Evan Bayh is a textbook ‘creature of Washington’ so its predictable that a guy running for the Senate while still working for a lobbying firm would have so many former staffers that followed in his footsteps," said Ian Prior, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund. "It should raise red flags in Indiana that Beltway Bayh is more likely to be influenced by D.C. lobbyists than voters in a state where he’s only been a handful of times in the last decade."
Bayh’s communications director did not return a request for comment.