Former Rep. Robert E. Bauman, rebuked by voters in Maryland's 1st Congressional District after he admitted problems with homosexuality and alcoholism, has been hired as a consultant to House Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
James L. (Buddy) Bynum, press aide to Lott, said the former Republican congressman was hired, effective last Monday, to "take advantage of his expertise on the floor and on the House Rules Committee." The aide said Bauman would "advise Lott on parliamentary procedure and acquaint incoming freshmen on how to accomplish things by using the rules."
Did that mean that the new Republican members of the House would be taught how to be obstructionists, as Bauman was frequently accused of being? the aide was asked.
"We aren't trying to block legislation, we are trying to pass it," the aide said.
Bynum emphasized that Bauman's appointment is "not likely at all to go beyond 60 days. It is a temporary job, period." Further, Bynum said, the expectation is that Bauman will "keep a low profile. We don't expect to see him on the floor," where Bauman gained his reputation as the watchdog of the House during his seven years in Congress.
Bauman's salary for the two months has not yet been decided, but "even on an annualized basis it will be less" than either the $60,662.50 he was paid as a member of Congress, or the $50,112.50 a year ceiling for congressional staffers, Bynum said.
Bauman will be paid out of the regular funds allotted to the whip's office, which will have eight or nine fulltime employes. Lott's predecessor as minority whip, Rep. Robert H. Michel, now the minority leader, also employed a temporary consultant, Bynum said.
Bauman will work directly with Lott, but also will report to the whip's administrative aide, Dave Hoppe, according to Bynum. Bynum said he "didn't know how" the consulting job developed, except that some other Republican congressmen had "approached Lott" about it.
An aide to one conservative Republican member suggested that Bauman "had been having difficulty finding something" since his defeat by Democrat Roy Dyson, and that the consultant contract had been offered to give Bauman additional time to find a more permanent job.
"Is that true?" asked Bynum, saying the question didn't come up in discussions with the minority whip.
Although his consulting contract took effect Jan. 5, Bauman was still clearing up affairs in his district congressional office in his home town of Easton yesterday. He declined to discuss his new job.
Neither of two other area members of the House who were defeated last November, Virginia Democrats Joseph L. Fisher and Herbert E. Harris II, has taken a job, although both reportedly are considering a number of offers.