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Steve Buyer to retire in Indiana

Indiana Rep. Steve Buyer will announce his retirement today, becoming the 15th Republican planning to retire or seek higher office at the end of the 111th Congress.

"Today, I am announcing my retirement from the U.S. Army Reserve this summer and retirement from the U.S. Congress at the conclusion of this term due to the recent diagnosis of my wife, Joni," said Buyer. His wife, he added, has been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease.

The Buyer news -- first reported by WISH TV in Indianapolis -- comes as House Republicans are huddling in Baltimore to plan their strategy in advance of a midterm election this fall that is likely to deliver them significant gains.

Buyer has held the 4th district, which takes in broad swaths of central Indiana, since 1992 and has had only only serious race -- a primary fight in 2002 against Rep. Brian Kerns after the two incumbents were placed in the same seat in redistricting.

The seat is strongly Republican. Sen. John McCain won 56 percent there in 2008 while President George W. Bush took 69 percent four years earlier.

While Democrats will almost certainly use no-go decisions by the likes of Buyer and Arizona Rep. John Shadegg to dispute the narrative that retirements are all on their side, close Congressional watchers know that all retirements are not created equally.

Of the 15 Republican retirements, just two of the seats have a Partisan Voting Index score that favors Democrats. (PVI is a calculation that seeks to measure the partisanship of every district against all the other districts in the country. Delaware Republican Rep. Mike Castle's district, for example, has a PVI score of D+7 meaning that it the two most recent presidential elections in performed 10 points more Democratic than the country as a whole.)

Contrast that with the fact that six of the 12 Democratic open seats have a PVI score that favors Republicans and you see that where retirements come from is more important than simply the raw numbers of those leaving.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 29, 2010; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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While I grew-up (OXFORD/UK) I have many of
my relation, they were represented by dear
Steve, so my thanks to him, and Good Luck

Cllr Ken Tiwari (Independent)

Posted by: kentiwari | January 30, 2010 4:29 AM | Report abuse

It has become increasingly apparent that the GOP has never been, nor in its present state, ever will be about taking care of the American people! They have always been about taking care of themselves and their very filthy rich friends! It was appalling to see them just sit there during the State of the Union address looking smug and arrogant! Don't they realize that it was the little person who put them there, not big corporations? I thought that the President did a wonderful job calling them to the carpet. Why can't members of Congress put aside their petty differences and make good, sound laws so that this country can continue to be the best in the world. That's why we've lasted this long. There has to be compromise! Quit worrying about who's lining your pockets and how you're going to get re-elected! If you do a good enough job representing your constituents, then there should be no problem with your re-election. Oh, and one more thing, how is it that these congressmen can get away with improper taxes, and the common folk of the United States get punished? QUIT BEING CROOKS!!

Posted by: tfcolpittsiv | January 30, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

drivl, well I disagree on the statement that Bush is no longer relevent. "POLICIES AND CORRUPTION OF THE BUSH ADM" will be with us forever. He has our country in such a hole we may never recover. Just one big example using Bush Adm. figures in Dec.05 they estimated 4.5 million illegals in the US and in Dec.o8 they estimated somewhere between 14 and 21 million. This was after he spent millions on the so called "Homeland Security" which was another of his scare tacticts. His adm. let them in so the rich republicans could hire them and get rid of the labor unions which was the only organized opposition to his corrupt policies. Yes we are all aware that Indiana hates labor unions as all republicans do.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | January 30, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Steve Buyer should not be allowed to retire from the military reserves until after his grand jury trial. if he is convicted of a crime, he should NOT be allowed to collect a military pension... he should be given an article 32.

he should have his security clearance revoked immediately -- like anyone else would.

Posted by: FranknErnest | January 29, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

What'sa madder Steve? You 'fraid of the Commies taking over , are you a Commie too? or is it something else? are you being targeted for your personel life??? Hell if you was a Democrat you'd never have that kind'uva problem.

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | January 29, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

A good example of what is wrong in this country. If I steal $8.00 I go to jail but because he is a senator this rotten SOB can steal $800,000.00 and still keep his job. I never met anyone from Indiana I felt was very smart and they sure can't play football but to keep voting in trash like this is hard to believe,

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | January 29, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Why no mention of that "scholarship foundation" which he founded in 2003, which has raised $880,000 and given out NO scholarships. This guy ought to be retireing to jail.

Posted by: socomfy | January 29, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"And then there was Jimmy Carter, who was neither a two-term president nor really good."

Carter was too much of a Christian for the voters.

Posted by: dotellen | January 29, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, is there any member of the House more corrupt than Charlie Rangel? The Republicans will certainly use him as a poster boy for creed, arrogance, and corruption.

Charlie needs to retire immediately. Tax time is upon us and he needs to make sure that his returns are accurate and truthful this year. And he'll need lots of time to "correct" prior year returns and prepare for his criminal defense.

Posted by: wagtdn | January 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Given the fact that CREW just got the IRS to investigate Buyers "scholarship fund" and had Congress open an Ethics violation, we now have another politician retiring to spend "more time with his family" it's amazing how that works. Kind of like Congressman Buyers Brozne Star from the first gulf war, it has one noticeable glaring omission it does not have a V which means it was awarded for Valor or combat heroics, I know mess sergeants that got Bronze stars in GW1 for having hot coffee, supply sergeants that were awarded Bronze starts for having hard to get stuff like toilet paper....also duirng the orginal war they were rotating officers in every 3 months to get them the "I was there awards" so when they came up for future promotions they would have the "complete package" staff time, combat time etc, no one could envision Sep 11, 2001 after Vietnam they created so many "medals" for schools, overseas assignments, because they ahd to many officers and NCOs running around with no medals so they made some everyone could easily qualify for the Expert Infantrymans Badge since there were no CIBs being awarded if a soldier has both a EIB or a CIB see which one he wears I promise you it is the CIB....I know I have them I have little use for officers like Steve Buyer and all I can say is good riddance he never met a veteran he wanted to help

Posted by: mikey30919 | January 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the big story last week was about a Democrat retiring, whereas these stories of Republicans retiring, and there are more Republicans doing so than Democrats, does not even seem to merit a mention of the party in the headline about the retirement.

Liberal media my a55!

Posted by: FergusonFoont | January 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What no big headline "Republicans retiring en-masse"?

Posted by: rlj1 | January 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

-the new Reptilican motto

Posted by: braultrl | January 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Non-story. The seat stays Republican.

Posted by: IUT1 | January 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse


Mmmm...what about all the Republicans retiring?

Posted by: morning135


If you'd read the full post, you would have observed the important reality that Republicans are largely retiring from safe Republican districts that will almost certainly remain in Republican hands come November no matter what Democrats do. More Democrats are retiring from toss-up districts that could easily go Republican, which is what has Democratic leaders nervous.

Posted by: blert | January 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

If Obama actually were a "really good" president, there would be no reason for him to serve only one term. The American people would recognize his accomplishments and reelect him. What Obama actually meant to say is that he would prefer to be a really radical president who has set himself against the wishes of the people and so cannot hope to be reelected. He prefers to be this kind of president because as an elitist, he believes that he is superior to the mass of people and so has the right to decide for them what is best. Nothing that happens during his presidency and nothing that is said will convince him otherwise.

It's also obvious what Obama intends by a "mediocre two-term president." Obama has spent an entire year obsessing over George W. Bush, a president whom history has yet to judge mediocre or otherwise. In every one of his speeches, including the recent State of the Union address, Obama has gone out of his way to draw invidious comparisons between his presidency and that of his predecessor. Not only is this ungracious, but it is also dishonest. George Bush is no longer the issue. The only reason to make him the issue is to distract public opinion from one's own failings. Maybe it would not be necessary to invoke the name of his predecessor if Obama had been successful in at least one of his initiatives. But so far this administration has been a failure, and the public realizes it. Two-thirds of Americans believe that Obama has accomplished little or nothing.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And then there was Jimmy Carter, who was neither a two-term president nor really good.

The problem with Obama's comment is that it suggests that good presidents are those who set themselves against the people. They persist in the pursuit of an unpopular agenda, and for that reason, they are not reelected. It is astounding to hear a president admit such a view only eleven months into his first term. Perhaps Obama held this view of the presidency before he even decided to run. The implications of this fact are disturbing because they suggest that Obama intended all along to force his socialist agenda upon the American people, even if doing so should limit him to one term in office.

Obama's view that he can and should compel the country to accept his radical views entails a great deal of arrogance. It also rests upon an imperial view of government and of the presidency in particular. This is the view that government decides what is best for the people and imposes its will by every means of trickery, deal-making, and intimidation. It is the opposite of the transparency and openness that Obama promised in his campaign.

Not one of our truly great presidents has held an imperial view of government, and not one has been so arrogant as our current head of state. Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan were essentially modest individuals who were thrust into the nation's highest office at times of great crisis. They performed great deeds without claiming greatness for themselves. Each was a servant of the public rather than a prima donna who believes that the public owe him adulation.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Boehner Feigns Ignorance That His GOP Retreat Is Attended By Goldman Sachs, Other Corporate Lobbyists

This weekend, Republican leaders will convene at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore to plot strategy, socialize, and plan both legislative and campaign themes for the year. Yesterday morning, ThinkProgress caught up with House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who confirmed that the Congressional Institute — a nonprofit run by Republican corporate lobbyists — is sponsoring the retreat.

Normally, such lobbyist-sponsored soirées would be illegal under House ethics rules. But by forming an ostensibly nonpartisan educational front called the Congressional Institute, lobbyists are able to skirt any such oversight. However, Boehner told ThinkProgress that he did not know if any lobbyists would be present at the retreat:

TP: For your retreat this weekend, is the Congressional Institute attending or sponsoring at all?

BOEHNER: They’ve always sponsored retreats.

TP: Are any of their lobbyists attending this weekend?

BOEHNER: I don’t know. [...] I said I don’t know.

Posted by: drindl | January 29, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Buyer is retiring before he gets indicted -- he's a crook. Why isn't this mentioned? And perhaps his constituents don't want another republican crook, hmm?

Posted by: drindl | January 29, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse


Mmmm...what about all the Republicans retiring?

Posted by: morning135 | January 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

mong the best news I've heard recently. Not that I expect his replacement to be any better. But from Buyer in recent years we've had: a proposal that people who engage in unprotected sex should have to pay a surcharge on their health insurance, nuking al Qaeda, equates smoking tobacco with smoking lettuce, and operate...d a foundation (that employs his daughter) that gets big money from PhRMA (where his son happens to work) and has raised $800k but hasn't given out any scholarships.

Posted by: melissataurus | January 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Didn't the GOP just lose a seat in upstate NY that should have been 'safe' for them? Everyone talks about the Democrat's circular firing squad, but with the Tea Party movement they seem to have great potential to have built there own. If the GOP now does have a circular firing squad we should also remember that they prize ideological purity much more than the Democrats have and that could make their internal divisions that much more difficult to bridge. If you combined internal divisions with the lack of any unifying program, no contract with America, this could raise issues with the Republican victory strategy.
On the other hand I may just be looking for a bright side for the Democrats.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | January 29, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Drug industry umbrella group PhRMA, which has given $200,000 to given Rep. Steve Buyer's Frontier Foundation, in June 2008 hired a director of the foundation as its federal affairs manager, TPMmuckraker has confirmed.

The name of that director? Ryan Buyer, son of the Indiana congressman.

Posted by: drindl | January 29, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

and from november:

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) sat down for an interview with CBS Evening News about his charity, but struggled to answer basic questions about the Frontier Foundation, which collects big donations from industry sources trying to influence Buyer but gives out no money for its putative mission of supporting Indiana students.

Buyer abruptly ended the interview with CBS, which aired last night, literally rushing out of his seat to make a meeting.

Among the questions he couldn't answer: why the foundation, which as recently as last month shared space with Buyer's campaign office in Monticello, Indiana, no longer has a physical address

"I was so focused on making sure that we were legal, that I probably didn't pay as close attention as I should have on, quote, appearances," the congressman said.

Posted by: drindl | January 29, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

You have to remember the DC narrative-- whatever happens, it's always good for republicans. Also, CC somehow forgot to mention this:

"Zeroing in on Rep. Steve Buyer's questionable charity, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Buyer "violated ethics rules by abusing a charity for private purposes and by trading legislative assistance for donations to the charity and a job for his son."

The watchdog is also asking the IRS to probe whether the Indiana Republican's Frontier Foundation "violated federal tax law by failing to operate for its stated public purpose of helping needy students and by doing little more than paying for the congressman to play golf with donors with interests before his committee."

Posted by: drindl | January 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I agree with CC, that this seat will most likely stay in Red column, but if the democrats can find a decent moderate alternative then they might have a chance at stealing one. More importantly though is that the GOP will have to spend money here, where as yesterday this would have gotten zero attention from the national party. For every race that the GOP has to contribute funds it is one democratic leaning seat that they have to ignore. Either way it is a win (albeit a small one) for the Democrats.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 29, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"Chris Cillizza: While Democrats will almost certainly use no-go decisions by the likes of Buyer and Arizona Rep. John Shadegg to dispute the narrative that retirements are all on their side, close Congressional watchers know that all retirements are not created equally."

Sorry, Chris, but the very narrative you are pushing here is undercut by the inconvenient FACT that the number of retirements on the GOP side is higher than among Democrats. Those of us who keep noting that contradiction are not being partisan; we're pointing out REALITY.

You are smarter than this, Chris; please don't buy into the Republican spin!

Posted by: DCSteve1 | January 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Now he has more time to devote to his golf game without letting his day job interfere with the golf. The downside is that he will have to pay for it, vice getting his foundation to do so.

Posted by: ltolson | January 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

But this is still a game, and Republican retirements are very similar to Dems. This is a win for Democrats, especially if corruption becomes a big story in Buyer's decision and voters want, you guessed it, change.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

This seat, as it currently exists, is heavily Republican. Democrats have no shot here, even in as Democratic a year as this one (joke). The GOP primary should be fun to watch, though. I wonder if Brian Kerns will try for a comeback. In 2002, when he anad Buyer were put in the same district, Buyer defeated Kerns despite the fact that Buyer represented about 4% of the new district in the 1990s and Kerns almost half.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | January 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance to one of the more annoying impeachment managers. Typical pasty-faced rightwingnut scum.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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