The BayhPartisan

Written by a Hoosier for the consumption of America. This blog will be dedicated to news on the Senator and adding to the great marketplace of ideas that has been lacking in this country over the last half decade.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

BayhPartisan.com is Up and Running


BayhPartisan.com is finally up and running.

Check it out for all the latest news on the senator, media and events.

Major content updates to the site will be posted at this blog.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bayh Brings in the Dollars

Evan Bayh is bringing in the money, and making some strategic donations along the way. The New Year brings with it the time for candidates to turn in their year-end financial reports, and The Hotline got an early scoop on Bayh's numbers. They are reporting that Evan Bayh brought in more than $3 million this year which brings his total campaign account to $9.5 million.

In typical '08 hopeful fashion, Bayh is using his campaign account to accumulate a bankroll for a potential presidential race and is using his PAC to earn chits with Dems across the country.

Bayh's PAC contributed the maximum to NH Gov. John Lynch and NJ Gov. Jon Corzine. It gave $15k to the DSCC, 10K to the NH Dem party, money to the Blackhawk Co. Dem Party in IA and $25K to home-state Dems in Indiana's house. Bayh also contributed to several IA legislative campaigns.


For a comparison...Here are the totals raised by other candidates who ran in the 2004 election cycle. Keep in mind, these are totals for the entire primaries.

Senator Evan Bayh - $9,500,000 (Two Years before the New Hampshire Primary)

Bob Grahm - $5,086,527
Dennis Kucinich- $13,233,597
Joe Lieberman - $19,065,173
Dick Gephardt - $21,691,129
Wes Clark - $29,586,661
John Edwards - $33,598,218
Howard Dean - $52,968,040

Looks like Senator Bayh is well on his way financially.

"The Music-to-Bayh's-Ears Press Release"

Thats the best way to describe some recent events in the Iowa legislature. Several Iowa legislators have introduced a bill that mirrors Evan Bayh's 21st Century Scholar program in Indiana. The 21st Century Scholars program is a scholarship which provides full college tuition for students who remain drug, alcohol, and crime free throughout high school. The program has given thousands of college students in Indiana an opportunity they never would have had otherwise. Not surprisingly, other states are contemplating picking up a similar program.

From the Iowa Press Release:
"The program will teach our students about personal responsibility, increase parent involvement in education, and reward students who work hard and play by the rules," said Rep. Janet Petersen. "Twenty-first Century Scholars offers hope to thousands of Iowans who desperately want to break the chain of poverty and improve the quality of life for their children."


You can read other opinions on the program at:

The Fix
The Hotline
or you can look over the proposed Iowa Bill.

Some Things Bayh Has Going For Him

The current political landscape gives Senator Bayh many opportunities...

During a recent interview on CNN, Bayh briefly mentioned the "tone in Washington." He believes, as do many Americans of every demographic, that the tone in Washington is out of control. Partisanship rules the debate, and the rest of the country resents it deeply. The most recent Gallup Poll puts the approval ratings of congress at a dismal 27%. Even though Senator Bayh is a part of those rankings, he has the ability to separate himself from the crowd in several ways.

One of Senator Bayh's most obvious campaign tactics is to become identified as a "governor with foreign policy experience." He pushes his admirable record as a governor to the front of his stump speeches and events. I believe there is more that he can do to improve on that image however. Governors are good. Governors with foreign policy experience are even better. But he is still a Senator. Bayh should combine remarks about his gubernatorial record with remarks about the tone in Washington. Become the governor who came to Washington and gained foreign policy experience, but found the tone in Washington to be deeply disturbing and cannot stand it any longer. Become a Washington outsider. The way to becoming a Washington outsider is to follow Bayh's recent words:

I'm increasingly concerned about the tone here in Washington, that it's just disconnected from the rest of the country. And we really do need leaders who will change the tone, who will make progress, not focus on ideology and partisanship.


Leading in this fashion would make one a Washington outsider and gain a title similar to John McCain's "maverick." Going against the grain in principled ways. Denouncing the partisanship in Washington is something that resonates with this voter, as well as many others across the country, but that is only a start.

Bayh's words are not just hot air as he has already cultivated some ethos as an outsider. Think back to the transportation bill passed this last year. It is widely cited as one of the largest pork barrel projects in history, and is the bill that included the "bridge to nowhere." Every congressional delegate got a piece of the pie, and the vote miraculously managed to pass 93-1 in the senate. But notice the 1. Who was the lone wolf who would not compromise their principles for pork? Who was the Senator who made a symbolic stand against the current Washington establishment? Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. The only Senator to say...Washington is broken when a bill like this comes to a vote...Washington is a disaster when a bill like this is made law. The outsider...

Voters love moxy and principle. Evan Bayh has both. He is the Governor who came to Washington, found a heavily partisan atmosphere once he arrived, yet never sacrificed his principles, and is committed to changing the environment.

Do You Live in Ohio?

If so, I would encourage you to take a venture over to the Ohio for Bayh website. They are starting logistical planning for a Bayh campaign in Ohio.

Ohio for Bayh is on the move, we have about 35 volunteers in place
after 1 month. We are now planning events around the state to get a
early start for 2008.
1. We are looking for volunteer city directors in all the major cities
to recruit new members and organize Bayh meet-up groups.
2. Planning a Summer picnic for all Evan Bayh backers to attend to lay
out a detailed grassroots state movement.
3. Looking for younger people at all state wide colleges to start meet
up groups, and to promote Evan Bayh around the campus.
4. Helping local Democrats around the state to win there races in 2006,
also looking to take back the Governors seat. We are backing
Ted Strickland for Governor and Paul Hackett for the Senate.
5. Sending out emails to all County Democrat chairmen about Evan Bayh
and what he is doing.


Also please consider starting grassroots movements like this in your place of residence. Sending e-mails to your local officials, or placing flyers around your college campus will help get the word out about the great things Evan Bayh has and will continue to accomplish

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dean Visits Northwest Indiana


Former Governor and current DNC chairman Howard Dean paid a visit to the city of Hobart, Indiana tonight for a fundraiser organized by the Indiana Democratic Party. I was informed around 500 people attended the rally.

We ended up arriving over an hour early to the event. The time zone changes in the corners of the state have always caused me problems. However this error was actually an advantage in disguise. As we walk up to register our names, the chairmen of the Lake County Democratic Party overhears that we were arriving for the main event which was still sometime off. He asks us to come with him, and takes us to the "special" gathering for the contributors of $500 and up and tells us to have a good time. This gesture allows us to meet Governor Dean and to partake in the open bar and buffet for an hour before the actual rally starts. Dean gave a short chat and Q&A during this portion of the event.

The main rally featured about five speakers before Governor Dean took the stage. Some presenters included the Mayors of Hobart and Hammond, the chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party, the chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, and finally the wife of former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan. After this plethora of speakers, Dr. Dean took the stage. The overall theme of his presentation was presenting some ideas on how the DNC can take back congress...and ultimately the White House. He spoke of several strategies that he plans to implement. One is the 50-state strategy. The DNC itself now has hired people in every state. He said that if we are going to be a national party, we have to have a presence in every state. Not only 18 states. Something else Dean hopes candidates can gain ground on is the moral values debate. He reminded us providing for the poor, keeping the environment clean, and educating our children are all moral values.

A point that Dean mentioned which I have hoped Democrats would use more often is the business advantages of citizens receiving national healthcare. He mentioned that GM recently spent several billion dollars in Canada because of their lower healthcare costs. There are many other points that Dean did not mention tonight concerning this, and Ive been meaning to make a post about this issue alone. Id encourage everyone to do some research on it.

The only other note to point out is that Gov. Dean did mention Evan Bayh once during the main event. He remarked that Evan Bayh may be looking for a better job soon, but he can't talk about it because his job requires him to remain neutral.

Overall, there were no fireworks or newsflashes from the event. It was a good time and my first impressions of Howard Dean live and in person were positive. Lets just hope his plans for the future turn out successful.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Bayh Partisan Needs Your Help


Seeking a couple dedicated individuals who are willing to donate some of their spare time to the Bayh movement. What would you be doing? Searching for and inputing transcripts, news items, video, and audio into the databases at The Bayhpartisan website.

If you are interested in helping out, you can simply e-mail me at admin@bayhpartisan.com with your information, register at the website, and I will give you a temporary, possibly permanant administrator status.

No amount of help is too small.

Thanks in advance.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bayh on CNN

Bayh was on Larry King Live a couple hours ago. I would suppose he was hoping to talk about his bill regaurding Iran, but he did not get the opportunity. He spent the time talking about Osama bin Laden because of the new bin Laden tape that was released on Al Jazeera. Bayh however, was very much on his game. His look and sound was that of a tough leader. If he sounds like he did earlier tonight during every public appearance then the Senator shall have no problem connecting with the masses.







Bayh Steps Up & Leads

There is a dire need to deal with the Iran situation. The Iranian regime is continuing their beligerent rhetoric and provacative actions. Nearly everyone recognizes the dilema, but there are very few currently attemting to solve the problem head on. Senator Bayh is one of the few to stand up and face the problem. Today he announced that he will be sending a resolution to the floor of the Senate that would begin to put pressure on Tehran by halting all gasoline imports to the country. While Iran has massive oil reserves, they still depend on the refining capacity of other coutries to get their gasoline. Here is what the Senator had to say on the subject:

"To forestall the need for nuclear force, we need tough action now, including economic sanctions, cultural sanctions, cutting off their supply of gasoline, (arms) sales, those kind of things, to convince the radical leaders of Iran that nuclear weapons are something they just cannot have,"


America is in desperate need of true leaders. Evan Bayh is not just talking about problems. He is attempting to solve them. The Senator is showing us the best way to lead...by example.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bayh to be on Fox & Friends

Ohio for Evan Bayh is reporting that the Senator will be appearing on Fox & Friends Thursday morning at 8:15 am (Jan. 19th). Be sure to check out the Senator tomorrow morning, as well as the new Ohio for Evan Bayh blog.

Bayh Moving Up The Rankings


Political Derby, the "Home of the Original 2008 White House Power Rankings," has Evan Bayh ranked 2nd to Hilary Clinton in their most recent rankings. They see his "common touch and centrist reputation" as the obvious "anti-Billary" candidate. Checkout the rankings, and more of what they have to say, at Politicalderby.com.

Eight Years as Governor



Bayh was first elected Governor of Indiana in 1988, defeating Frank O'Bannon in the primary, and defeating John Mutz in the general election. O'Bannon went on to become Bayh's lieutenant governor. He was re-elected governor in 1992 with the highest percentage of the vote in a statewide election in modern Indiana history. His administration was considered cautious but successful (even by Republicans in the state), creating a large state surplus and permitting him to cut taxes. "Mr. Bayh’s record is one of a genuinely fiscally conservative Democrat," reported the Wall Street Journal in 1992. Stressing fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, job creation and lean government, Bayh's tenure as governor is highlighted by: eight years without raising taxes; the largest single tax cut and budget surplus in state history; "welfare-to-work"-type social programs; increasing annual school funding; high academic standards and new college opportunities; the creation of over 350,000 new jobs; strengthened law enforcement; and improved environmental quality. He signed the 21st Century Scholars Act in 1992, legislation which says that every child growing up in Indiana who is eligible for the free lunch program in a public school, graduates from high school with passing grades, and signs a pledge not to experiment with illegal drugs, is entitled to a full college scholarship to a public university of his or her choice. By the end of his second term, Bayh had an approval rating of nearly 80 percent.

-Wikipedia Article.

Bayh Speaks on Iran

Here is a recent transcript of a Bayh interview regaurding Iran. It fully explains his Iran proposal. It is rather lengthy but its worth the read:

SPEAKER: U.S. SENATOR EVAN BAYH (D-IN)

BAYH: Hello.

QUESTION: Senator, how are you?

BAYH: I'm well. How are you?

Thank you for joining me today. Let me get right to the subject that has brought us together.

Immediately upon the Senate reconvening, I am going to introduce a resolution calling upon the administration to immediately go to the United Nations and seek strong, comprehensive sanctions against the nation of Iran.

I do this because Iran presents a grave and growing danger, not only to the United States' security interests, but also to order in the world.

And time is running out. It may be measured in months before Iran has the technical capability -- not actually production, but the technical know-how -- which will lead it down the path to becoming a nuclear power.

And that is unacceptable.

We have to take strong action today to maximize our chances of avoiding two unpalatable alternatives tomorrow: either Iran becoming a nuclear power or the need for us to take military action to prevent that result.

It's most unfortunate that we are where we are today and, if action had been take four or five years ago, we perhaps wouldn't be at this juncture.

The president was right to label Iran part of the axis of evil, but then did nothing about it.

We would have been in so much stronger position if we had acted before oil was more than $60 a barrel, before our financial dependence on China is what it is today, when there was a less unstable regime -- or a less erratic regime in Iran, and when Russia was not quite as alienated from us as it is today.

That was a terrible lost opportunity. But we are where we are.

So my resolution will call for economic and political sanctions, including suspending the delivery of gasoline to the nation of Iran. They get about 40 percent of their gasoline through imports. That needs to be cut off. Travel bans to and from Iran. The suspension of financial transactions with the nation of Iran. Stopping arms sales to the nation of Iran. The United States opposing their accession to the World Trade Organization. And their exclusion from sports and cultural events like the Olympics and the upcoming World Cup games.


In short, Iran needs to know that their continued pursuit of what I believe are nuclear weapons will lead them to be treated as a pariah state.

And I think if we combine this approach with a positive alternative for them that has been suggested, that it gives us our best chance of avoiding the dilemma that I described before of either a nuclear-powered Iran or the need for us to take military action to prevent it.

Final thing I'd say -- I recently came back from a week in the Middle East. In Israel, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, each of those countries, the malevolent influence of Iran was mentioned.

I won't recount for you here the long list of things that they've said and done, but let me just say that they are a danger to us, they are a danger to the rest of the world. We need to act before it's too late.

And so if the Senate comes in tomorrow, I'm introducing it tomorrow. If not, then I'm going to introduce it as soon as the Senate does reconvene, because we've wasted too much time already. We can't afford to waste any more.

Having said all that, I'd be happy to take your questions.

QUESTION: Senator, there was an essay by a woman who is Syrian and Lebanese saying that Syrian people who were opposing the dictatorship and looking for reform have rallied behind their leader because they fear sanctions are going to come on Syria.

QUESTION: Is there any unintended consequence by taking a hard line against Iran that it will stall reform there among the populace?

BAYH: Well, we face a short- and a long-term challenge there.

Number one, in the short run -- look, I think we need to make absolutely clear that this is aimed at the policies of the Iranian government, not at the Iranian people.

And I think most Iranians are sophisticated enough to understand that. But even if they don't, allowing Iran to achieve nuclear weapons is just not an acceptable outcome.

So, in the long run, we need to foster reform and economic progress in that country, but not at the price of letting them go nuclear.

QUESTION: Senator...

BAYH: But in the long run, it is true that their government is not terribly popular with their own people. And we need to do everything we can to differentiate between their government and their people.

As a matter of fact, we need to make common cause with the Iranian people and say: Look, none of this has to happen if you will only agree to not acquire nuclear weapons. That is a decision your government is making, not ours.

QUESTION: Senator, you've mentioned the stick. What is the carrot? What are the positive alternatives you're talking about?

BAYH: Well, I mentioned accession to the WTO. That's one thing. The Russians have put on the table a proposal that's supported by the European nations that would allow a civilian nuclear energy program where the Russians would retain custody of the nuclear material and would reprocess it in Russia.

And that's what I'm talking about, so that they could have -- look, the reason that their behavior is -- well, many reasons their behavior is alarming -- but one of the reasons for that is that they've been offered a path to peaceful, responsible civilian nuclear power. They've turned that down.

QUESTION: Senator, Iranian dissidents in this country and in Europe say that it's a false dichotomy to talk about either negotiations, which they say will go nowhere, or foreign military intervention, which they say they don't want.

And they say the only practical solution is to take the mujahideen there -- the military wing of their dissident movement within Iran -- off the U.S. State Department terrorist list, unfreeze the assets that we froze and let them rearm and let the Iranian people take care of this.

BAYH: I'm sorry. Did I understand their point as being that we should unfreeze their assets -- go down the list again. They're suggesting that we should do what?

QUESTION: Under Clinton, the State Department put the democratic dissident movement with Iran, which has a political and a military wing -- we put their military wing on the terrorist list, list of terrorist organizations. We froze their assets and they disarmed.

BAYH: The dissidents?

QUESTION: Right.

BAYH: OK. I wanted to make sure you weren't talking about the government. You're talking about the dissidents now.

QUESTION: Yes. And what they're saying is negotiations will go nowhere. We don't want foreign military intervention. What we want is for the Iranian people to revolt against the regime. And the only way they can do that, they say -- well, one first step is for the U.S. government to take their military wing of the dissident movement, which is on the Iraq-Iranian border now, off the terrorist list and let them rearm and unfreeze their assets...

BAYH: Right. I see. I understand where you're coming from.

I'm not prepared to answer your question right now. I need to familiarize myself with the reasons the Clinton administration made their decision.

But when it comes to fostering and assisting groups that are for democracy, for reform, for a more responsible leadership in Iran, we should be supportive of that.

With regard to the specific groups you mentioned, I, again, would have to understand why they made the decision they made. My initial reaction is it sounds somewhat counterintuitive. But, again, I need to know why they did what they did.

QUESTION: Senator, could you just go back a little bit and explain why you think that the Iranians are close to having a nuclear weapon, if I understood you correctly?

BAYH: The bottom line is no one can say with precision when Iran will go nuclear. Published reports speculate that it could be anywhere from months to several years. But if we wait until after the fact, it's too late.

And so, as I mentioned, if we had started this process years ago, when it should have been started, we wouldn't, perhaps, be at this juncture today. But we are, and so now we need to bring a sense of urgency to it.

So there is one school of thought that is reflected in some published reports that they are months away from obtaining the technical know-how -- not the production capability, but the technical know-how -- to go forward with this. And then it's only a matter of how many centrifuges they can acquire and getting it done. They'll know how to do it, it's just a question of then going ahead and getting it done.

But once they know how to do it, the genie is out of the bottle and it's virtually impossible to put back in.

So my point simply is that there is some responsible speculation about months.

BAYH: It may be, you know, a couple of years; we don't know.

But when it comes to a state that sponsors terrorism obtaining nuclear weapons, it seems to me you need to err on the side of acting sooner rather than later.

QUESTION: One follow-up question: What do you think the Bush administration should have done following the axis of evil declaration?

BAYH: Exactly what we're talking about here today -- to try and summon the Europeans, including the Russians, and in addition the Chinese, to taking concrete steps.

The regime of Iran -- getting back to, I think it was Phil's question. I agree with the statement that he attributed to their dissident movements. I think that this regime is unlikely to respond to talk alone.

I think they have to be confronted with tangible results, both negative and positive, before they will respond. Merely denouncing them in a speech and then doing nothing tangible in furtherance is just weak and ineffectual.

QUESTION: And they're responsible?

BAYH: Well, I think, as I said, we would have been in a lot better position when oil wasn't at $60 a barrel to summon world opinion to do something about Iran.

We would be in a much better position to talk frankly with China if we weren't dependent upon them for borrowing billions of dollars every year because of our trade imbalance.

Russia has become somewhat alienated from us in the last four or five years.

There are a number of things that have happened that have made it more difficult for us than would have been the case.

Now, this new regime and the erratic statements of its president, that has perhaps removed the scales from the eyes of some nations -- but it's their willingness to do something about it that ultimately is at issue here.

And the fact that our government has waited so long to do something about it has only made the challenge more difficult.

This is a threat that was apparent. The president said so, then did nothing about it -- and that has harmed our national security.

QUESTION: Senator, may I ask a question just about timing?

BAYH: Yes.

QUESTION: The negotiations may be in their final stages, but there still is activity at the IAEA, the U.N. Security Council possibly.

Would you like to see this resolution pass before all of that, what may be the last act here plays itself out? Or do you want to wait until -- I mean, when can you get this to the floor? And would the Senate leadership be amenable to you bringing it to the floor right away, or would they want to wait until this phase is carried out?

BAYH: Well, that's a good question and let me start with the last first. I don't know if -- do you follow these issues substantively or do you follow the Senate?

QUESTION: I'm more of an Iran...

BAYH: Yes. OK, good.

The reason I ask is I didn't know what your beat was, and the reason that's important is that the Senate's all tied up now over the Alito nomination. And whether the Senate leadership will allow any other matters to be brought to the floor of the Senate, until the Alito nomination is resolved, is very much an open question.

So I don't know the answer to that part of your question.

QUESTION: What would be your preference?

BAYH: Immediately.

We need to put some -- I think we need to make clear -- I think we can strengthen the administration's hand by showing the government of Iran that on a bipartisan basis the United States is going to be strong and serious about this issue, and hopefully that will improve our bargaining position.

BAYH: Because I think what the Iranians have concluded is that they can just engage in a process of delay and denial and that eventually they will emerge as a nuclear power and will be presented with a fait accompli.

BAYH: So we need to send a strong signal on a bipartisan basis that those days are over.

And so I'd like to see it immediately. And I apologize for having to digress into the minutia of Senate scheduling, but that's kind of where we are.

And we need to go to the Security Council immediately and begin trying to secure the support of Russia and China for these kind of strong, tangible steps.

I don't think words alone will matter at all.

QUESTION: Senator, are any of these things unilateral sanctions that you're proposing? Or are they all through the Security Council?

BAYH: Well, a couple of things. First, the WTO are agreeing to their accession. That's something that we can do.

But we've tried most of the unilateral things we can do. There are a couple of other things. But our problem has been that the rest of the world has been reluctant to go along -- and because we haven't made this a major priority and spent the diplomatic and other capital at our disposal to bring it about.

So a lot of this involves exerting leadership on the world stage to achieve concerted action when it comes to the threat of Iran.

QUESTION: But nothing you're proposing is unilateral?

BAYH: The WTO...

QUESTION: Except for that.

BAYH: That would be largely it.

QUESTION: OK.

BAYH: I think, Todd, there are a couple of other things -- is Todd on the phone?

QUESTION: Yes I am, sir. There's a few things about tightening up the ILSA, the Iran Libya Sanctions Act laws, to make enforcement.

BAYH: Some of that has just not been enforced. Is that a fair statement, Todd?

QUESTION: Yes. There's only been three determinations and no sanctions have been imposed under ILSA.

QUESTION: So these sanctions would have to be imposed through the United Nations is what you're saying?

BAYH: No, that's an American law. And what Todd was referring to, that was enacted many years ago.

QUESTION: But that expires this year.

BAYH: Correct, but it's been largely unenforced. Even if it's renewed, given the way it's been enforced in the past, it would be largely symbolic.

You know, we need to uphold our own law, prove to the rest of the world we're serious, and enlist their support in also getting serious.

QUESTION: So you agree with the idea that unilateral sanctions are not necessarily the most effective way to go -- I'm not talking about just Iran, but in general?

BAYH: If we're going to be effective, we have to enlist the support of the rest of the world.

QUESTION: Senator...

BAYH: Hi. Sorry I didn't get to talk to you at lunch.

QUESTION: Yes, sorry.

The Iran's economy...

BAYH: Did Senator Schumer tell you we're going to pick up a majority?

QUESTION: And change.

BAYH: Oh, good.

QUESTION: The economic minister...

BAYH: Chuck is always so understated.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: Yes, well -- the economic minister in Iran earlier this week said that any sanctions would produce a response from them that would send oil prices to beyond levels the West expects.

QUESTION: To what extent do you think the fear of an oil disruption puts the U.S. or other nations in a diminished position to put pressure on Iran?

BAYH: A couple of things: Look, of course it's something that other nations will consider. And this brings into stark focus how our national security and the world's security has been damaged by the lack of an energy policy.

We would be so much stronger in dealing with Iran if other countries weren't as dependent on them for petroleum as they are today. We'd been so much stronger in dealing with Iran if we weren't as dependent upon China for financing as we are today.

So, this is a perfect example of how we have to have a comprehensive national security policy that includes not only our military but economic and energy policy as well.

And we just haven't had that. And that undermines the position that we hold today.

So, yes, other countries will have to consider that. But I'd say two things in addition all the foregoing. Number one, you've got to remember: Oil exports are about the only thing the Iranian economy can rely on. And the regime is not popular with its own people.

One of the reasons it's been able to prop itself up is because of the additional oil revenue that they're getting, that they can kind of spread around the society to make a go of things.

So, if they cut off their only source of economic activity, it's going to have devastating consequences on them, too. That's number one.

Number two, our nation and the rest of the world -- Iran has to decide whether we're going to submit to blackmail. Today, it may be oil-based blackmail.

But if we knuckle under to that, tomorrow it could be nuclear weapons-based blackmail. And that is a place we simply cannot allow ourselves to go.

QUESTION: You mentioned that these sanctions aren't targeted at the people. But that last one, keeping the Iranian teams out of the Olympics and out of the World Cup, especially banning their soccer team from the World Cup -- isn't that precisely what Europe and the U.S. have been trying to avoid is a sanction like that one because it does truly go right to the heart of national pride of each Iranian?

BAYH: Let me be clear. Nobody wants to do this, me included.

BAYH: But we have to look for things that will matter to the regime.

They are a proud country. And they're not completely insensitive to the sentiments of their people. And if we make it clear that we are serious and they will be treated as a pariah state, then I think that that maximizes our chances of getting a responsible outcome to this.

Nobody wants to do that -- the World Cup and the Olympics. But if that's what it takes to maximize our chances of avoiding either a nuclear Iran or a military strike, well then these are things that we have to do.

So I hope it doesn't come to that.

The final thing I'd say to you: The resolution of this lies solely in the hands of the Iranian government. They have been offered a clear path to a peaceful civilian nuclear energy program. That's the path that they must choose, or there must be consequences -- because clearly they will be going down a path toward achieving a nuclear weapon's capability.

QUESTION: Can I quickly ask you about the military option? In your mind, is it something that is just so unacceptable as to not be in our arsenal at this point, or something that we always do have to consider, even if you find it unpalatable?

BAYH: Oh, I think it has to be in the arsenal. But we ought to use everything else in the arsenal before considering that because -- well, for a whole host of reasons we can talk about if you're interested in.

But to maximize our chances -- nobody wants to do that -- and to maximize our chances of not having to use the military option, we need to exhaust these other options and do it now.

QUESTION: One last question, how do you see the U.N.'s role in this? How important will the U.N. be, and will they go along with us if we ask them?

BAYH: Well, the U.N. has an opportunity here to step up and prove that it can be effective. And I hope they will. And that's why we need to take this to them immediately and then we'll see.

The U.N., historically, has been good about peacekeeping missions and humanitarian missions. They've not been as good with regard to strong measures to deal with rogue nations.

Now is their time to prove that they can fulfill their mission. And so we'll see.

Thank you all very much.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wesley Clark at Purdue


Tonight, General Wesley Clark gave a presentation at Purdue University entitled "The Balkans: A Strategic Vision." The presentation lasted around an hour and was followed up by a reception and book signing. There were 1000 tickets available for the lecture, and not surprisingly, they were sold out.

The presentation itself was amazing. Tonight was the first time I have heard General Clark speak live, and I was blown away. Thinking back to the '04 primaries...I remember being left with the impression that he was not ready for nearly every aspect of the political situation which he was thrust into. Either that impression was wrong or the primary experience has made him a very effective public speaker.

He opened the speech by referring to some of the perks that his old job (NATO Supreme Allied Commander) gave him. Such things as a armored Mercedes with a driver, helicopters, a gulfstream, several military aircraft, his own airfield, a chateau with greenhouses, botanical gardens, a staff of hundreds - all of this for his personal needs. It was the best job that he could imagine and he didn't want it to end. All good things must however.

From there he started on the major body of his presentation - the events leading up to and including the bombing of Kosovo. The General talked for nearly an hour on this topic without notes and hardly ever pausing. His recollection of dates and events is remarkable. He described various conversations he had with high level government officials in the Clinton administration. He also even described several of his face-to-face conversations with Slobodan Milosevic. Wes told Misosevic in person that we were going to bomb him if he didn't pull his troops out of Kosovo. Milosevic's response - NATO must do what it must do.

One main point that I took out of Wes' presentation was that there needs to be someone to stand up against genocide when it occurs. He was a member of the military during the Rwanda massacre, and he vowed not to let another genocide occur under his command if he could stop it. It takes guts to stand up for what is right. The other main theme I took away was that our excursion into the Balkans was accomplished in the right way. Not one US military member was killed by hostile fire. This was because a coalition of nations was built, and diplomacy was used in effective ways. The military was used as a stick for diplomatic mission underway...and they used the military as part of a strategic plan.

There were several professional video cameras at the event, so there may eventually be a broadcast somewhere. Ill would highly recommend watching the presentation when/if it is aired. You will learn much new information on the Balkans.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Upcoming Speakers In Indiana


Governor Howard Dean will be visiting northern Indiana at the end of this month. A $50 contribution will get you into the rally which is being sponsored by the Indiana Democratic Party. All money raised will go to the state party.

What: Rally with DNC Chairman Gov. Howard Dean

Where: Avalon Manor
3550 East US Highway 30
Hobart, Indiana

When: Thursday, January 26, 6:00 p.m. Central Time

Contact: Indiana Democratic Party
by phone at 1-800-223-3387
or by e-mail at jhill@indems.org.




Former 2004 Presidential candidate General Wesley Clark will be visiting Purdue University as a part of the Sears Lecture Series. Tickets are free and are first come first serve. A reception and book signing will follow Clark's talk, and tickets will be available at the talk to attend the book signing.

What: Gen. Wesley Clark Address : "The Balkans: A Strategic Vision"

When: Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Where: Loeb Playhouse - Stewart Center - Purdue University - Lafayette Indiana

Contact: (765)494-3933


If all goes according to plan I should be attending both of these events. Pictures and reviews should follow.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Watch Bayh on TV This Sunday

Be sure to catch Senator Bayh on CNN this Sunday. Bayh's PAC sent out the following message out today:
Please tune-in to watch Senator Bayh appear on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer this Sunday, January 15th to discuss current events, including, his recent trip to the Middle East. The program begins at 11am ET.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bayh Calls for Congressional Hearings on Mine Safety

Senator Bayh should be returning from his trip to the Middle East today. However even while he is overseas, the Senator still has domestic issues on his mind. He issued the following press release today:

Washington, D.C. - In the wake of the recent tragedy at Sago Mine, U.S. Senator Evan Bayh called for congressional hearings to examine the safety of the nation’s coal mines. In a bipartisan letter written to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee, Bayh and twelve other senators from coal-mining states requested oversight hearings on the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). No such hearings on the MSHA, which is responsible for ensuring mine safety, have been held in the last five years. Over the past 12 years, 471 coal miners have been killed in mines.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Get to Know The Candidates - Indiana 4th


Rick Cornstuble is the Democratic candidate for the 4th district of Indiana. He is a former teacher as well as a director of the Indiana State Teachers Association... a job which he held for 30 years.

Cornstuble, 62, is an Oklahoma native and a former seventh-grade English and social studies teacher. He has spent the past 30 years as a field director for the Indiana State Teachers Association. He said he’s used to fighting the good fight for public school teachers, and he’s also worked on election campaigns.

Cornstuble has served on the boards of United Way and Head Start and was active with Civic Theatre projects and Tippecanoe County’s Junior Miss program. He was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, earning the Vietnam Service Medal; and he served on the secondary recovery ship for the moon landing in 1969.

Cornstuble graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in social studies education. He is also an accredited union counselor, graduating from the Northwest Central Labor Council Community Service Program.

The candidate said his family moved from Oklahoma to Michigan City in 1976 when his daughters were very young. In 1981, they relocated to Lafayette.


Last month I was able to have a brief conversation with the candidate. He seemed intelligent and well spoken...attributes he can hopefully turn into a successful campaign.

Rick's Republican opponent for this district is Steve Buyer. Buyer has been tough opposition for past Democrats in the 4th. Rick is going to have his work cut out for him, but its a race he believes he can win. He will carry the full support of the BayhPartisan behind him during the campaign.

Here are some excerpts from the first in-depth article about Rick that I have found online. Ive only lifted policy-related subjects, so I would encourage you to click the link above to learn more about him. Also click here to visit Rick Cornstuble's campaign website.

Cornstuble said one of the reasons he decided to run for office was the war in Iraq and the lack of vigilance he sees in congressmen who “rubber stamp” the policies of President George W. Bush.

“This Congress has done more rubber-stamping than almost any other Congress — it has simply not questioned anything or used any of its powers to say ‘Whoa!’ or ‘Let’s check this out,’” he commented. “Some congressional members are more interested in getting re-elected than doing the job they were sent to do.”

Cornstuble said he thinks Republicans have burned some bridges with veterans by taking the position of reducing their rights and benefits and upping their co-pays.

“Now it’s not unusual for veterans to have to apply for their benefits. But never in our country’s history have we had troops in the middle of a conflict and at the same time, the federal government is cutting military benefits and protection,” he remarked.

Cornstuble said companies that are supposed to be rebuilding Iraq aren’t pulling their weight and should be replaced with qualified people. He believes that “cronyism” has interfered with the checks and balances between Congress and the Oval Office.

The candidate told the Terhunes’ guests that the habit of “piggybacking” bills onto unrelated legislation is unfair to constituents and confusing to watchdog organizations.

Cornstuble also has a major beef with the Medicare Part D drug coverage legislation, which Buyer and other Republican legislators have championed. Cornstuble remarked that if elected, he would work toward a more comprehensive pharmacy bill, with less competition and more cooperation between pharmaceutical companies.

With their experience in education, Cornstuble and his wife are unhappy with the president’s No Child Left Behind mandate. They believe it should be revised and properly funded. “It’s a fantasy and a sound bite — with empty promises and empty pockets,” the candidate said.

Cornstuble also believes that Social Security must be saved. “It is an obligation — we’re mortgaging our future and cutting the benefits we’re counting on.” He said he is not afraid to make unpopular decisions for the good of constituents.

“I’d rather fight the good battle and lose the issue than simply say, ‘It’s been done that way for years.’”


Once again...you can visit the Rick's website at http://www.corn4congress.com.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Bayh: Armor Must be Sufficient

The Senator is continuing to be an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's efforts, or lack thereof, to provide sufficient body armor for our troops. He spoke out recently in response to a Pentagon report which says up to 80% of US servicemen deaths in Iraq could have been prevented if they had been equipped with better body armor.

Top military officials should be fired if soldiers are being denied armor that could save lives, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said from Baghdad on Saturday.

"Heads ought to roll, and they ought to be up at the highest echelons if this turns out to be true and they don't do anything about it," Bayh said.


Senator Bayh should be finishing up his weeklong trip to this Middle East this Wednesday.

On his first day in Iraq, Bayh met with the U.S. ambassador, Iraqi election officials, U.S. intelligence officials and elite Iraqi troops. He also lunched with soldiers, including three from Indiana, and was scheduled to dine with the Iraqi president.

Bayh visited Israel before going to Iraq and is heading to Afghanistan before returning to the United States.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bayh's First Visit to Iraq

Senator Evan Bayh is currently in Iraq on a Senate fact finding mission. This however was not his first trip to the region. Just over 1 year ago, Senator Bayh made his first trip to Iraq. After his return, he was interviewed on NPR. The audio of that interview can be found here.

What struck me about the interview were the nearly identical questions that are being asked now and then. One year has passed between the two visits to Iraq. What has been accomplished?

Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Speech Photos

Back in October, Senator Bayh gave a speech at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in New Hapshire. The event is a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. Here are some pictures of the event from the CSPAN Archives. The transcript of the speech can be found here. A post with my thoughts on the speech from October here. Finally, short summary from the CSPAN archives follows:


Senator Bayh, in his second visit in 2005 to the state, spoke at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at the Center of New Hampshire Radisson Inn in Manchester, N.H. He spoke about his accomplishments as a former governor and called for a new leadership that would unite the country. Senator Bayh also called for energy independence from unstable regimes in oil-producing countries. Following his speech, he was shown talking to Democratic Party supporters.


Senator Bayh is considered a possible candidate for the presidential election in 2008.


Bayh Visits Iraq

Senator Evan Bayh is currently in Iraq today. He is part of a Senate delagation that is partaking in a weeklong trip to the middle east. A quick blurb from the AP on the subject:

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is traveling in the Middle East this week as part of a congressional delegation and expects to meet with soldiers from the state serving in Iraq.

Bayh, who is eyeing a possible 2008 Democratic presidential bid, is a member of the Senate intelligence and armed services committees.

Bayh was in Israel on Thursday for meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

During his weeklong trip, he also plans to visit Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is to return to the United States on Wednesday.

"As I travel across Iraq, I want to hear from soldiers and officials leading our eforts about the current situation on the ground and what specific challenges remain to ensure our success in Iraq," Bayh said in a statement.

In Afghanistan, the delegation is expected to meet with President Hamid Karzai.


The Senator also appeared on CNN's Saturday Morning News with Senator Bond of Missouri. They were broadcast live from Iraq. Here is a screenshot I snagged from the interview:



Finally, the CNN transcript from the interview.

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and Missouri Senator Kit Bond are leading a U.S. delegation in Iraq. That delegation, which includes Illinois Senator Barack Obama, hopes to sort out conflicting reports on the progress of the war and on training Iraqi troops. They're getting the word from Iraqis themselves following December elections.

Senators Bayh and Bond join us now live from Baghdad and we appreciate your time, gentlemen.

First let me start with you, Senator Bayh. This is your second trip to Iraq. What kind of progress are you seeing now that you're on the ground?

SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Well, Betty, obviously, the elections were a major step forward, but now we have to build on that by forming a government that is truly representative of the Iraqi people, finalizing their constitution in a way that promotes both majority rule and the respect for minority rights, and then getting on with the tough business of economic improvement in the country.

And ultimately, most of all, Iraqis need to start thinking like Iraqis, not just as Sunni or Shia or Kurds but as Iraqis. There needs to be a reconciliation and a political settlement in this country. If that can happen, then the security situation should start to improve. If it doesn't happen, then the security situation will be very difficult.

NGUYEN: Senator Bayh, you mentioned security situations there in Iraq. Where are Iraqi troops when it comes to training and readiness?

BAYH: They're making some improvements, Betty. We visited one of their elite units today. They're more numerous. They're getting better and that needs to continue.

What needs to happen is that as they step up and improve their capabilities, then we can start stepping back and they can begin patrolling the streets and clearing some of these difficult cities, and we'll be in a more supervisory and supportive capacity.

So, you know, we're heading in the right direction. It's been painfully slow, taken too long, but we need to continue along the path here so that they can step up and assume their responsibilities for protecting their country so that we won't have to do quite so much.

NGUYEN: Senator Bond, you're on the ground there and you've spoken with troops. As it goes with Iraqi forces being prepared to take over their country and protect their country, do you feel that's something that could happen soon allowing U.S. troops to come home?

SEN. CHRIS BOND (R), MISSOURI: I don't think that we're going have all U.S. troops out of this country for a long time. The war on terror is going to continue even when and if -- which we hope is quite possible -- Iraq does take over, establish a national unity government and move forward, bringing Kurds, Shias and Sunnis all together. I think that the military has demonstrated that it is able to take over more and more of the responsibilities.

This year is going have to be a year when we train the police with the assistance of police experts from the United States and other countries to help them ensure that they have a security force on the ground in each community which can prevent ordinary crimes as well as deal with insurgents and the foreign terrorists who will continue to deal to try to unravel the progress that is being made in Iraq.



NGUYEN: Senator Bayh, I want to ask you this because one of your concerns is making sure U.S. troops have the equipment necessary to stay safe. There's a new Pentagon study out that found 80 percent of marines killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper torso could have survived if they had better body armor. Is that your assessment as you speak with troops on the ground? What's the problem when it comes to equipment?

BAYH: Was question to me, Betty?

NGUYEN: Yes.

BOND: Yes.

BAYH: OK. Bayh and Bond sound somewhat alike, so -- well, look, unfortunately, this is reminiscent of the situation with the up armored Humvees where it finally took that brave soldier standing up and speaking about hillbilly armor to get the kind of action that we needed.

I've not read the report you referred to. We need to get to the bottom of it. Someone in the Pentagon today -- not tomorrow, today -- needs to be assigned about finding out what the truth is.

And if what you described is true, getting to the bottom of it as soon as humanly possible -- we have a moral obligation to give our troops the equipment they need to fulfill their mission and to protect their lives in doing so. And, Betty, if that's not done, someone should be fired and it shouldn't be buck private. It should be somebody higher up the chain of brass than that.

BOND: When you're talking about arming marines, my son happens to be a marine in Iraq and we're -- we have not yet heard any of those problems here. But if there is a report out that says that there is a lack of adequate body armor, you can be sure that Congress is going act and we would expect the administration to take immediate action if that in fact is a significant problem.

And, again, we have not seen that report nor have we heard any account of it so far on our trip. We will be making additional visits tomorrow and we'll certainly be following up with that question.

NGUYEN: Well, we appreciate your time. We appreciate you being on the ground and getting to the bottom of a lot of issues dealing with Iraq. Thank you for your time, senators.

BAYH: Thank you, Betty.

BOND: Thank you.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I just returned from the beautiful mountains of Colorado from a long overdue break. A highlight of the trip was that I had the opportunity to meet Rick Carlisle, the coach of the Indiana Pacers, in a Denver bar the night I left. He was there for the Pacers-Nuggets game this last Wednesday. Here is a pic of the view in Colorado that I expeienced each morning I walked out the front door:



The Bayh household would also like to wish everyone Happy Holidays!