Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm more of a Hoosier than Dick Lugar

Both of these guys are running for Senate in Indiana.
Only one of them actually lives there.
Indiana Senator Dick Lugar has not owned a home in the state for more than three decades, but he had the audacity to be outraged when a local election board ruled yesterday that he had abandoned his Indiana residence and was ineligible to vote.

Actually, Senator Lugar, it is the United States Constitution that states that this is how Senate elections are supposed to be settled. It's in the third paragraph of Article I, Section 3, to be precise:

...No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The facts are simple, and quite damning for Lugar. He sold his home in Indiana in 1977, and never bought another one. He does own a very nice residence near D.C. If he really wants to redeem his status as a duly-qualified Indiana voter, he needs to either purchase a new residence within the state or list some address to which he has ties. Apparently a relative's house will suffice. Even if Lugar manages to legally establish some kind of Indiana residence, his lack of connection to the state certainly lends powerful credence to his critics' claims that he is disconnected with his constituents.

My great grandmother's house in Auburn, IN
Personally, I actually have some pretty solid ties to the Hoosier State: my mother was born there, and I still have a great aunt and a wonderful group of cousins scattered around the northeastern part of the state. Heck, maybe I should claim the old family farm as my address and run for Senate in Indiana!

One person who does honestly and legitimately reside in Indiana is Lugar's opponent in the Republican primary, Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock is a great guy, and a far more solid conservative than Lugar. I've endorsed him, along with FreedomWorks, Concerned Women for America, the National Rifle Association, Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, and many other conservative leaders and organizations.

Mourdock's campaign issued the following statement yesterday regarding Lugar's failure to maintain Indiana residency:
“It's sad that Senator Lugar had to be instructed by the Marion County Election Board that he must maintain an actual home in the state he represents in the U.S. Senate.
“The fact that Senator Lugar hired a team of high-priced lawyers to fight for his right to use a legal technicality so that he doesn’t have to live among Hoosiers just proves our point about how out of touch he is.
“Indiana Republicans already know that Senator Lugar is out of touch with them on issues like gun control, the national debt, earmarks, liberal judges and amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“Our position on this issue has always been clear: regardless of how he is registered to vote, the U.S. Constitution requires Senator Lugar to be an “inhabitant” of the state to be elected. Currently, he is not,” stated Mourdock campaign spokesman Christopher Conner.
I caught up with Mourdock last month at CPAC, and got a quick interview with him about the status of his race, and the then-breaking revelations about Lugar's residency problems. Here's the video:

Further reading:

RedState | RS at CPAC: Richard Mourdock (R CAND, IN-SEN PRI)

FreedomWorks helpfully put up a post with links to houses for sale in Indiana, offering to assist Lugar in finding a new residence.

Here's what the Indianapolis Star had to say about this whole kerfuffle

Stephen Kruiser posted this tweet, challenging Lugar to identify cities on a map of Indiana (pictured, left):

— stephenkruiser (@stephenkruiser) March 15, 2012


  1. That's unacceptable that Lugar doesn't live in IN. Washington politicians are out of touch as it is. Hopefully Indiana voters kick him out of office.

  2. "DC Dick" Lugar is a product of the typical Hoosier sense that we somehow just aren't worthy enough to have someone like Rhodes Scholar and international statesman Dick Lugar representing us, and Lugar has played on that his entire career.

    Truth is, very, very few elected officials remain residents of their states, either physically or spiritually. Most Members of Congress reside full time in the D.C. area and either maintain a condo in the district or use the home of a family member as their voting address.

    Perhaps one of the things we need to take a closer look at is why things have gotten so busy in D.C. that our Congressmen must live there full time in order to maintain some semblance of normality?

  3. It is unbelievable that Dick Lugart moved out of Indiana in 1977, before I had graduated from college, yet continues to represent the Hoosier State in Washington. Besides fixing this obvious loophole, we must also elect True Conservatives to the House and Senate (and State/local offices, too). It will take a lot of Conservatives to defeat the Social Democrats, and their fellow travellers, like Dick Lugar. Send him Home, wherevert that is...

  4. When I first read this story and even more since I've read your post I'm wondering if we shouldn't try something a little novel: part time legislature. It works for Texas.

    I figure during the off-time you're expected to go home. Home being the place that you were elected to represent. I'm pretty sure that's what the founders intended. If you don't want to live there, fine. That clearly means you also don't want to represent the folks who live there, so get out.


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