Susan Bayh is a big blonde phony Dateline: Sun 26 Jul 2009
Indianapolis Star reporter Daniel Lee gets my vote for writing today's Page 1 story about Susan Bayh's role as a "professional board member." Mrs. Bayh, the wife of Indiana 's Sen. Evan Bayh, serves on six corporate boards, including that of Wellpoint, the nation's largest insurance company. Her lucrative income in the capacity may well influence her husband's vote on crucial health care legislation.
Some may argue that this story already has been hashed out, but Lee's lead gave it fresh impetus: "President Barack Obama called Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh to the Oval Office on July 17 for a one-on-one meeting about health-care reform, Democrat to Democrat."
There's that, plus all the other hard info Lee assembled: Mrs. Bayh earned $2.1 million from publicly traded health-care companies from 2006 to 2008; Bayh himself won't say where he stands on health-care reform; and Mrs. Bayh refused to be interviewed for the article.
Another salient point: the woman is "overboarded," according to a board advisory web site's analysis.
"According to Romanek (the web site), most directors are expected to devote 20 to 30 hours a month to each board. That means Susan Bayh's six current board sites could consume up to 180 hours a month. The eight she served on last year could require 60 hours a week."
Although Sen. Bayh denies there's a problem and insists that his wife's role poses conflict of interest for him, plenty of voters and obviously Democrats are concerned that's not the case.
Mrs. Bayh's financial interests are clearly at odds with President Obama's goals. Let's see who blinks first.
Should be interesting, and thanks to Lee for an insightful and timely piece.