Bayh Still Sitting on $11 Million War Chest

Posted April 15, 2010 at 3:43pm

Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) is still sitting on an eight-figure campaign fund. He had $11 million in the bank on March 31, six weeks after he stunned the political world by announcing he would not seek re-election.

That Bayh doesn’t need that money anymore has plenty of national Democratic officials wondering how much of it they can get their hands on.

Bayh’s operation spent $2.07 million in the first three months of this year, of which $1 million went to the Indiana Democratic Party. Bayh had previously committed that sum to the state party to help elect Rep. Brad Ellsworth, the party’s de facto Senate nominee.

Most of the rest of the Bayh committee’s spending came in the form of refunds to donors who expected Bayh to run for a third term. Bayh refunded $643,000 to individuals and $245,000 to political action committees.

Bayh’s committee also gave $4,000 apiece to the Senate campaigns of Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Barbara Mikulski (Md.) and Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons (D).

Bayh also gave $4,000 to the House campaign of Alabama lawyer Taze Shepard (D), who is seeking the 5th district seat that party-switching Rep. Parker Griffith (R) is defending. Shepard has donated to Bayh’s campaigns.

Both Bayh and Shepard are descended from former Senators: Bayh’s father, Birch Bayh (D-Ind.), served from 1963 to 1981, and Shepard’s grandfather, John Sparkman (D-Ala.), served from 1946 to 1979.