Within City Limits
Episode IX, The Nineties Are Calling ... They Want Their Politicians Back.
By Nick Vaughn, Guest Columnist
With Evan Bayh announcing he is seeking his old senate seat and Hillary Clinton being endorsed by Bernie Sanders, I felt like a baby again. Being born in 1997, I am only familiar with the political landscape by looking backwards, something Democrats are never advocating -- until now.
When President Obama was running for President and reelection, he had the slogans of “Forward” and “Progress,” but today's Democratic Party is running on nostalgia and backwardness. You can argue with me about platform points and “evolving on issues” like gay marriage, but the bottom line is that these politicians who are the standard bearers for the Democratic Party nationally and on an Indiana state level are still the same politicians who were the standard bearers in the 1990s.
The top three candidates on the Democratic ticket in Indiana are all rehashes from a bygone era where the state's economy was in the toilet, brought on by large deficits and high taxes. We looked a lot like Illinois back then. Hillary Clinton, John Gregg, Evan Bayh; all rehashes. While their talking points are much different than they were back then, they are still the same people. 1990s politicians should not be the ones solving the problems of the 2000s and beyond.
Beyond my displeasure and discontent with the rehashing of candidates, all three represent special interests, Wall Street, and back room politics at their absolute worst. John Gregg is still taking advantage of the state’s healthcare for elected officials being paid by the taxpayers, a practice that has ended. Furthermore, Gregg was a lawyer for the Bingham McHale law firm, where lobbying records show he was a well connected lobbyist for various topics. You can read more about his lobbying here: Gregg's lobbying record doesn't worry Democrats.
Evan Bayh used to be a public servant until he decided to retire from the U.S. Senate to take a lobbying job. Bayh epitomizes what is wrong with Washington, D.C. He went there as a senator and cashed in on the special interest money by fighting the laws he helped pass (including Obamacare). Plus Bayh just recently moved back to Indiana. He had previously lived in DC in a $2.9 million dollar home and had a modest vacation home in Florida worth over $3 million.
Bayh saying he will represent everyday Hoosiers might be the biggest lie of the campaign season. He is out of touch and filled to the brim with special interest money. Read more about Bayh the Lobbyist here: Lobbyist Evan Bayh Lit On Fire By The Left and here Evan Bayh Won’t Rule Out Becoming A Lobbyist After His Term Ends.
Hillary Clinton. Well, enough said.
So that I get my point across, I think it is inherently hypocritical and ironic that the Democrats have long been the party of vilifying the rich and lobbying class that infests Washington, D.C. and Indianapolis, yet all three of their candidates at the top of the ticket have deep ties to Wall Street, special interest money, and lobbying. For Pete’s sake, two of them are former lobbyists! Not to mention all three are rehashed candidates of a bygone era.
My question is: will the people of Indiana hold these three accountable? Or will they be fooled by the talking points? Also, do the Democrats who reject the Wall Street, special interest, and lobbying culture of Washington, D.C. and Indianapolis hold their nose and vote for three candidates who epitomize what is wrong with our system of government? Or will they stand for what they believe in and hold their party and their candidates accountable?
And as always, I leave you with the quote of the day: “In 2005, the progressive watchdog group Public Citizen reported that 43 percent of the members (of Congress) who retired from 1998 to 2004 registered as lobbyists.” -- Huffington Post