clear
Monday July 6th, 2015 10:31PM

No place like home: Senate foes raise questions

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
ATLANTA (AP) -- Two candidates officially live with their parents. One rents a room from a contributor. Another won and lost elections in one state, then moved to another in a bid to get back into the U.S. Senate.<br /> <br /> From New Orleans to New Hampshire, Republicans and Democrats are questioning each other's residency details in Senate races that often are close but lack dominant issues. The stakes in the November elections are high: Republicans need to gain six more seats to control the 100-member chamber.<br /> <br /> Painting a lawmaker as out of touch with the folks back home can prove potent, as former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., learned. His aloofness, not his residency, may have been the main reason Cantor lost his primary race, but residency questions are cropping up in several other places.<br /> <br /> "You need to do more than talk about where someone lives to prove they're out of touch," said Republican strategist Chip Lake of Georgia, where Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn is facing criticism for having grown up in Washington, while her father, Sam Nunn, served in the Senate.<br /> <br /> "Is it a fair attack? Probably not," Lake said of the strategy generally. "But I wouldn't want to have that argument with voters in this environment."<br /> <br /> With many races close, the political stakes high and anti-Washington sentiment pervasive, the strategy tends to go like this: When veteran lawmakers are the target, as in Louisiana and Kansas, they've "gone Washington," seduced by the perceived glitz of the nation's capital over their constituents back home. If younger challengers are targeted, as in Alaska and Arkansas this year, critics paint them as recent arrivals who lack deep and emotional ties to the state.<br /> <br /> In Louisiana, Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy pounced on a Washington Post story this week noting that Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, lives in Washington with her husband and two children while registered to vote using the New Orleans address where her parents live. The home is owned by a family trust in which the senator has an equal share with her parents and eight siblings.<br /> <br /> Cassidy defended the criticism. "Well, it's symbolic, right?" he said. "She comes down here, she gets re-elected and goes back."<br /> <br /> In a statement, Landrieu said she has lived in the New Orleans home "most of my life and I live there now, when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state." Her aides note that the senator and her husband pay income taxes in Louisiana.<br /> <br /> Republicans failed to capitalize on similar residency attacks in the senator's 2002 and 2008 elections. And her family legacy - her father, Moon, was mayor of New Orleans, and her brother Mitch holds the job now - make it harder to cast her as unconnected.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Democrats are trying similar tactics elsewhere, including Arkansas. They note that Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who's trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, lists as his address a home owned by his father. A campaign aide says the congressman and his wife pay rent to live there.<br /> <br /> In New Hampshire, Republicans seeking a challenger to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen are expected to turn to a former senator - from Massachusetts. Scott Brown, defeated in his bid for re-election in 2012 by Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, moved to his vacation home in New Hampshire and registered to vote there before launching his latest Senate campaign. He is favored to win the GOP nomination on Sept. 9 to face Shaheen in the general election.<br /> <br /> But for all the effort, the residency tactic often fails.<br /> <br /> Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, for instance, survived a Republican primary challenge this year despite taunts for listing his official address as a contributor's home, where he rents a room. Roberts did himself no favors in a radio interview, saying: "Every time I get an opponent - I mean, every time I get a chance - I'm home."<br /> <br /> In Mississippi, veteran Republican Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge in which supporters of his opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, tried to make an issue of his living arrangement in Washington, where Cochran rents a room in the home of a female aide. McDaniel supporters allegedly tried to make an issue of Cochran's residency by photographing the senator's bedridden wife, Rose, in a nursing home where she suffers from dementia. Criminal charges were filed against four men, and one of them later committed suicide.<br /> <br /> Perhaps the most effective residency-related attack came in 2012 in Indiana. Six-term Sen. Richard Lugar lost the GOP primary amid reports that he listed his official state address as a home he had sold and left decades ago. But Lugar ran a lackluster campaign overall, making it hard to say how much the residency issue contributed to the loss.<br /> <br /> Residency questions arise now and then in U.S. House races, often with little impact. The Constitution requires senators and House members to be inhabitants of the state they represent, but House members need not live in their districts.<br /> <br /> In California's June primary, Democratic challenger Ro Khanna noted that seven-term Rep. Mike Honda didn't live in his district, which was redrawn in 2011. Nonetheless, Honda easily bested Khanna in the state's all-comers primary. They will face each other again in November because no Republican finished in the top two.<br /> <br /> ---<br /> <br /> Babington reported from Washington. Associated Press writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; Kelly P. Kissel in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 6 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 6 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 6 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 6 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 6 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 6 months ago )
Politics
US stocks slip amid global sell-off after Greek 'no' vote
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. fell broadly following drops in overseas markets as Greeks voted to reject creditor conditions for more loans, but the losses weren't as steep as many had feared.Wit...
6:32PM ( 3 hours ago )
Greece enters uncharted territory after referendum 'no' vote
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece lurched into uncharted territory and an uncertain future in Europe's common currency Sunday after voters overwhelmingly rejected demands by international creditors for mor...
7:06AM ( 15 hours ago )
Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies instantly
CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A 22-year-old man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, killing him instantly, authorities said Sunday.Devon Stap...
8:41PM ( 1 day ago )
Back at work: Congress facing busy agenda, funding deadline
WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress return from July Fourth fireworks and parades Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and an impending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the...
3:02PM ( 1 day ago )
Obama: Freedom is paid for by men and women of US military
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says U.S. service members make it possible to enjoy the "incredible blessings" in the greatest country on earth.He says "freedom is not free" but is paid for b...
12:45AM ( 1 day ago )