Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where Does Richard Lugar Live?

The Charlie White case that has been in the news for months now has put the spotlight on where politicians hang their hats and vote.

Indiana Resident?
Senator Richard Lugar, R-IN
At one point, White took a sour grapes shot at former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh by questioning his residency since he's been out of office vs. where he should be registered to vote.  Bloggers like my friend Paul Ogden have defended White, and I respect him for taking that unpopular position.

White might have had a better case had he gone after Richard Lugar, a sitting Senator, that apparently does not own an Indiana address and has been using a house he hasn't owned in, as Ogden has pointed out on numerous occasions, for three decades.

To be a Senator, you must satisfy three requirements spelled out in the United States Constitution.  You must be at least 30 years of age (Lugar will be nearing 80 if reelected).  You must be a U.S. Citizen for at least nine years at the time of election (Lugar has that one covered).  Finally, you must be a resident of the state you are elected to represent.  That one is still up in the air.

When Lugar is in Indiana, his campaign has admitted that he only lives in hotel rooms.  He does own property in Decatur Township, but that is a large farm full of mostly trees.  There is a small home adjacent to the farm, but I don't know if that is inhabited by anyone or if it even, at this point, is Lugar's property.

As Ogden points out, Lugar has been utilizing an address that he has not lived in for years as his Indiana address for BMV records as well as voting.

We all understand that Richard Lugar does not lose his residency of his state for federal service in the legislature from that state.  He is free to live in the Washington, D.C. area, but does that mean that he can also use someone else's address for his voter registration and BMV records?

At best, it's a major oversight by a man out of touch with political reality.  At worst, it could be a violation of election law.

Lugar's case also shows how stupid Indiana's Voter ID law is.  If Lugar shows up with a drivers license or ID card with that address he's been using on it, he gets to vote because it only checks his name and photo.  The address doesn't make a difference.  Anyway, if he votes absentee, no ID is required.

If Richard Mourdock or Joe Donnelly don't make an issue out of this, then they're crazy.

3 comments:

David Welsh Hume said...

In 1978 Senator Lugar sold his home at 3200 Highwoods Court, Indianpolis and purchased a home at 7841 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Virginia. His Buick and drivers's license still show the 3200 Highwoods Court address. When he ran for President in 1995, he signed an Affidavit swearing that he lived at 3200 Highwoods Court. But, the Election Division and Scott Waddell, BMV Commissioner, will not investigate.

Indy_liberal said...

Jon,

Although I agree with you substantively, mostly, I do not think the voting judges should check addresses for voter ID. I understand this is not the law, and I argue that it should stay that way. People like me and my partner, younger urban voters, tend to move more and constantly updating our IDs is not that feasible. However, I agree that Lugar should be punished for his blatant abuse of the system.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Either everyone is equal under the law or the law doesn't matter anymore in America.