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TheStreet Open House

Evan Bayh: Hypocrisy on the Public Option

Stocks in this article: WLP EMMS LLY

Susan Bayh's corporate directorships provide a significant chunk of the Bayh family income. In addition to the $2 million she's received from WellPoint since 2003, she has received likely double that from additional corporate boards she has sat on. Last year, for example, she sat on four other boards besides WellPoint's.

She collected $656,062 in cash and stock for all her board work last year, but half ($327,000) came from her WellPoint directorship. Because she first started taking work as a corporate director in 1994 (when she was 34 -- when Sen. Bayh was still Gov. Bayh), she has served on 14 boards.

She's actually cut back on her directorships in recent years. In 2006, she served on six corporate boards and received just under $1 million in total compensation for the year. That year, Evan Bayh received the standard $165,000 annual salary for serving as a senator.

According to reports he filed that year, Susan Bayh's stock holdings were worth between $1.3 million and $2.7 million that year. Their family's total net worth was between $4.3 million and $15.1 million that year, not including a $1 million home in Washington owned in the name of Susan Bayh.

You don't build that kind of nest egg on a government salary. The Bayhs' wealth is completely thanks to Susan Bayh's numerous corporate directorships.

Quick Stock Sales

But make no mistake, these corporate directorships for Bayh are a cash ATM for her family. Remarkably, although Bayh has always been paid for her work on the WellPoint board in a combination of cash and stock, she has immediately sold her stock as soon as she can. She has never held stock in WellPoint for longer than a year.

If you examine the latest proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it shows that Bayh owns exactly zero shares in the company (more than a decade after first being appointed to the board). She's the only director who doesn't hold any shares.

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