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Watchdog: Follow the Money

Ex-politicos hoard campaign cash long after leaving office, analysis finds

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Politics,Congress,Watchdog,Campaign Finance,Campaigns,Kelly Cohen,Follow the Money,Center for Public Integrity

Former members of Congress who are no longer in politics are sitting on nearly $100 million in campaign cash, as many urge them to donate it to charity.

Nine former congressmembers and candidates who are no longer in pursuit of federal office each have $1 million or more leftover in campaign cash, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of federal campaign disclosures and Center for Responsive Politics data.

Dozens of others hoard six-figure surpluses, CPI found.

Democrat Evan Bayh, an U.S. senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011, for example, sits on $9.8 million in extra campaign cash.

As he was retiring, he also declared his "passion for service to our fellow citizens" as undiminished. Yet, Bayh told Public Integrity in email he doesn't want to "foreclose any possibilities at this time" about what he will do with the money, which currently collects thousands of dollars in interest weekly.

Former politicos have numerous options for their accumulated funds, but no law requires them to divest of this money.

"Their collective hoard is now approaching $100 million at a time when numerous charitable organizations could surely use some of it," Public Integrity's Dave Levinthal reported.

Bayh has the most idle money, Public Integrity's investigation found.

After him are two former U.S. House members from Massachusetts, Democrats Marty Meehan, with $4.6 million, and Joe Kennedy II, with $2.6 million.

Read the full story here.

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