Evan Bayh Drops the Other Shoe

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

When Evan Bayh announced he was retiring from politics because the Senate had become a disfunctional pit of partisan rancor and he wanted to be “engaged in an honorable line of work,” I didn’t really believe him. Still, signing up with a private equity firm and then Fox News was a little more blatant on the cashing-in front than I expected. And now Andy Kroll passes along word that the other shoe has dropped:

Bayh has signed on with one of the most corporate-friendly, anti-environment shops in all of Washington, DC: the US Chamber of Commerce. According to an internal memo penned by Chamber president Tom Donohue, Bayh, along with former Bush White House chief of staff Andy Card, are now part of the Chamber’s anti-regulation messaging team, doing “speeches, events, and media appearances at local venues.”

The Chamber’s hiring of Bayh, a big name in Washington circles, will only help its efforts to delay or kill new regulatory legislation in Congress….Bayh and Card, the memo says, will help the Chamber push this pro-corporate agenda in Washington and beyond.

Fine. Bayh is tired of living like a peon and wants to make some money while the making is good. And the best source of money for an ex-Senator is the bottomless checkbook of the U.S. corporate sector and its cheerleaders.

Like I said: fine. But no more sanctimonious speeches and op-eds, OK? I really don’t think I could stomach that.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest