Pat Roberts, senator from Kansas: I don’t have a home of my own in Kansas

posted at 6:41 pm on February 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

Team Roberts is angry at the NYT for publishing this, claiming that he’s visited all 72 counties in the state recently and insisting that it’s a “distortion” to say that he doesn’t have his own home there. Is it? He stays at the home of a couple of friends/donors when he makes the trip back to Kansas and pays them a few hundred bucks a month for the privilege. Note the timeline, too, on when he established his voting address there. Close enough to a “home of his own” for government work?

This feels like a re-run of Dick Lugar’s last campaign: Midwestern Republican who’s spent decades in Washington decides that turning 80 is still too soon to cede power. Lugar didn’t reside in his home state either except in the most pro forma way, in order to qualify for the ballot. Roberts has already learned a lesson from that, tacking towards the right over the past year a la Orrin Hatch to pander to tea partiers in hopes that there won’t be a groundswell against him as there was against Lugar. The question for Kansas GOP voters is whether, knowing now that Lugar’s seat ended up in Democratic hands after he was successfully primaried, they’re willing to cut Roberts a break on his ossified-incumbent excesses.

The 77-year-old senator went to Congress in 1981 and became a fixture: a member of the elite Alfalfa Club and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which made him a regular on the Sunday talk shows. His wife became a real estate broker Alexandria, Va., the suburb where the couple live, boasting of her “extensive knowledge” of the area…

In an interview, the three-term senator acknowledged that he did not have a home of his own in Kansas. The house on a country club golf course that he lists as his voting address belongs to two longtime supporters and donors — C. Duane and Phyllis Ross — and he says he stays with them when he is in the area. He established his voting address there the day before his challenger, Milton Wolf, announced his candidacy last fall, arguing that Mr. Roberts was out of touch with his High Plains roots…

Mr. Roberts’s aides candidly acknowledge that the moves are an effort to ensure that he will not suffer the same fate as Mr. Lugar, who was criticized for staying in hotels when he returned home and listed on his voter registration an Indianapolis address at which he did not reside. Mr. Roberts moved his address from a rental property he owned in Dodge City but had long since leased to tenants, and got a new driver’s license giving the golf course home as his address.

“We’re not going to get Lugar’d,” a Roberts advisor vowed to the Times. In a way, this is the perfect complement to the last post about Obama appointing rich ignoramuses to ambassadorships: If we’re going to dispense with the pretense of nominating qualified people so that ambitious millionaires can enjoy a sinecure abroad for a few years, why not dispense with the pretense that members of the Senate should maintain some close connection to the states they purport to represent? Do away with statewide elections and hold national elections instead. The Senate will be comprised of the top 100 vote-getters, each of whom will be randomly assigned to a state until every state has two. After all, 90 percent of “representing” a state is simply securing federal pork for local projects, a job that can be done just as well without living there. (Right, Pat?) I’m sure Senator Mike Bloomberg, say, would do fine in the chamber twisting arms to get more taxpayer money for Topeka. If Noah Mamet can represent the United States in Argentina despite never having visited and possibly not even knowing how to speak Spanish, why can’t a guy from Florida “represent” Oregon or vice versa? Let’s drop the pretenses already.

A modest proposal in lieu your exit question: To reform government, let’s give Congress a choice between term limits and ankle monitors. Either they’re capped at three terms in either chamber or they can run as much as they like but need to prove that they’re physically present in their home state for at least half the year. If you want to stop politicians from going native in D.C., it’s time for tough love.


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Ted Cruz lives in the Houston area-so I’ve heard, and even as loathsome as Cornyn is-I’ve no doubt that he also lives in Texas.
That’s how we roll here.
If you don’t even reside in the state that you’re supposed to be representing…you really aren’t ‘representin’ said state.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

this should be illegal.

dmacleo on February 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Wasn’t it Lugar that they got caught photoshopping his visit to his boyhood home? And by photoshopping, I mean putting him in front of a green screen and filling in the background.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Either they’re capped at three terms in either chamber or they can run as much as they like but need to prove that they’re physically present in their home state for at least half the year.

Is that even possible? I know they have the August recess and the Christmas break, but how many members of Congress could actually claim that they spend more than half of their time in their home state if they abided by the Congressional calendar religiously?

Stoic Patriot on February 7, 2014 at 6:49 PM

He shouldn’t even be eligible to run.

gophergirl on February 7, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Killary ran for senate and she barely lived in NY more than Buddy and Slick.

O’Barky’s home is more Tony Rezko’s than his and Moochelle’s.

Most of our Beltway fossils likely resent having to leave DC to get amongst the peasants hence our gummint dysfunctional as it is.

viking01 on February 7, 2014 at 6:52 PM

My remedy is easy and won’t cost anyone a dollar or a vote – koolaid all around every three years and choose the next 100 randomly off the streets of the smallest town in the respective states. Huh?

vnvet on February 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

We don’t need term limits (though GPS ankle bracelets might be a good idea). What we need worse than anything in this country is a well-informed electorate that is sensible enough to oust an incumbent when s/he has gone bad.

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Milton Wolf for Senate

22044 on February 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM

this should be illegal.

dmacleo on February 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Wait until the GOP stooges yelling “trucons”, “purity”, & how citizens really shouldn’t be allowed to vote show up.

tetriskid on February 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Look Dodo you’re not in Kansas any more.

Flange on February 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Louisiana went through this when Kathleen Blanco decided that she would be pounded if she decided to run for a second term as governor. I think the final straw was when the West Monroe Democrat’s silent auction netted $5 for “dinner with Governor Blanco.”

Some bright spark suggested that John Breaux would be a good candidate (and he would have been). The only problem was that Breaux hadn’t lived in Louisiana for years. Despite an attempt at re-interpreting Louisiana law to suggest that you didn’t actually have to live there to run for governor, the rule of law ultimately said otherwise. Pat Roberts got caught. He has no intention of ever living in Kansas again- why in the hell would he maintain a house there? Except, of course, that whole legal resident thing.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

When the HELL will somebody bring up the fact that we need to repeal the 17th Amendment???

State Governments were supposed to pick their Federal representatives, not the general public.

That was supposed to make your local elections more important to you.

Now the two parties just have to fire up the old “organizing” machines in each state and bamboozle us every 6 years, and the States have no control over who represents them in Washington.

That’s crap.

Fathom on February 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

At least he’s not like McCain who didn’t even know how many homes he had in his home state: turns out it was 7. But does Pat Roberts at least have homes in other states? We wouldn’t want to have a homeless senator.

anotherJoe on February 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Wow, nice timing!!

Fathom on February 7, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Wait until the GOP stooges yelling “trucons”, “purity”, & how citizens really shouldn’t be allowed to vote show up.

tetriskid on February 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Huh? I thought we were talking about elected officials not living in their districts/states?

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Wait until the GOP stooges yelling “trucons”, “purity”, & how citizens really shouldn’t be allowed to vote show up.

tetriskid on February 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

That makes ZERO sense. Well done.

Fathom on February 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Yet another incumbent that needs a primary.

He’s forgotten some of the basics in politics.

That is reason enough.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Amen. And in this issue we see the difference between democrats (little “d”) and true republicans (little “r”).

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM

why not dispense with the pretense that members of the Senate should maintain some close connection to the states they purport to represent?

Well, we passed that exit a while back, didn’t we? Our “representatives” are concerned about one thing only: themselves.

Do away with statewide elections and hold national elections instead.

I see you playing the devil’s advocate here to make your point. Until the electorate wakes up from their stupor*, even crazy arguments like this mean nothing. But—

A modest proposal in lieu your exit question: To reform government, let’s give Congress a choice between term limits and ankle monitors. Either they’re capped at three terms in either chamber or they can run as much as they like but need to prove that they’re physically present in their home state for at least half the year. If you want to stop politicians from going native in D.C., it’s time for tough love.

I like your solution. There’s a valid argument against term limits, but I think the benefits of term limits outweigh the drawbacks.

* I received a “CNN Breaking News” alert yesterday, informing me that 30+ % of the population thinks our economy is doing swimmingly well. They spent TWO paragraphs on this junket. TWO. The third paragraph was almost like an afterthought–btw, 60+% think the economy sucks. Imagine if a non-Democrat were in office. But hey, Obama rocks! Funemployment! Recovery! Nothing will change until We, the People demand change. Senators can represent a state and never reside there. *sigh*

conservative pilgrim on February 7, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Since Kansas gave us DeathCare’s Nurse Ratched Sebelius who became governor simply because hubby croaked it shouldn’t surprise Roberts wields similar views of entitlement.

viking01 on February 7, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Of government. By government. For government.

besser tot als rot on February 7, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Just ridiculous…

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Somebody should explain to him that he isnt supposed to be DCs Ambassador to Kansas and that its supposed to work the other way around.

Valkyriepundit on February 7, 2014 at 7:07 PM

The two lead pictures of McConnell and Roberts are an eye sore.

conservative pilgrim on February 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

My sentiment exactly.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 7, 2014 at 7:09 PM

The GOP had to fly in Alan Keyes to run for the Senate against Dear Liar. This is such a corrupt practice and is yet another reason we are fed up with the Establishment.

And yes, repeal the 17th Amendment (and take the 16th while we’re at it.)

rbj on February 7, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Pure hubris…not even enough respect to keep a phony residence…

Can Kansas do better?

Entrephil on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

When the HELL will somebody bring up the fact that we need to repeal the 17th Amendment???

Fathom on February 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Definitely worth adding to the agenda of the Convention of the States as envisioned by Mark Levin.

wolfsDad on February 7, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Pure hubris…not even enough respect to keep a phony residence…

Can Kansas do better?

Entrephil on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Of course Kansas can do better–but will they care that a Senator that’s supposed to represent their state’s interests isn’t even a token resident?

Besides, at 77, it’s long past time Roberts should be turned out to pasture.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 7, 2014 at 7:13 PM

rbj on February 7, 2014 at 7:10 PM

I was in attendance at Keyes ‘acceptance speech’. He spent the first half hour crying about he missed Maryland.
Had the IL GOP done the right in ’04…

annoyinglittletwerp on February 7, 2014 at 7:16 PM

33 years in DC is just wrong…

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Was it Rush who said we should have a virtual government? There’s no earthly reason in this day and age that any of them even need to be in Washington except maybe once a year for a convention. The rest of the time they would be in their district and vote by computer. They can have caucuses that way, too.

crankyoldlady on February 7, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Had the IL GOP done the right in ’04…

annoyinglittletwerp on February 7, 2014 at 7:16 PM

It wasn’t so much the GOP as the Axelrod operation that made public the “sealed” divorce record of the guy who would have dusted the light-bringer.

wolfsDad on February 7, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Somebody should explain to him that he isnt supposed to be DCs Ambassador to Kansas and that its supposed to work the other way around.

Valkyriepundit on February 7, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Well said.

pambi on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Can Kansas do better?

Entrephil on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Kathleen Sebelius was their Governor. Bob Dole was their Senator. Westboro Baptist is located there.

Asked and answered- Hell NO! They can’t.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

How about we just admit that the 17th-A is another failed Early-20th Century Progressive pipe-dream, and repeal it?

Another Drew on February 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Kathleen Sebelius was their Governor. Bob Dole was their Senator. Westboro Baptist is located there.

Asked and answered- Hell NO! They can’t.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Kinda makes one wonder, doesn’t it. I mean, if you want to get rid of a politician, elect them to an office further away.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 7, 2014 at 7:24 PM

33 years in DC is just wrong…

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Unless, of course, you’re actually from DC.

The church I attend has a Congressman who is senior enough that you’d recognize the name. He’s still a representative from “back home” where he does have a residence. But…. He met his wife here. He’s raised his family here. What do you suppose the chances are that when he leaves Congress he’s going to go “back home?”

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:25 PM

How about we just admit that the 17th-A is another failed Early-20th Century Progressive pipe-dream, and repeal it?

Another Drew on February 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM

We’d need a constitutional convention to accomplish that, because Lord knows Congress won’t bring it up, much less vote itself out of it’s accustomed perks and priviledges.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Kathleen Sebelius was their Governor. Bob Dole was their Senator. Westboro Baptist is located there.

Asked and answered- Hell NO! They can’t.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

They were also home to this guy and this guy

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Yup, definitely the result of the 17th Amendment. The Senate is just like the House, rather than an institution that actually represents states, something crucial for a federal system.

voss63 on February 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Why do we send these fools to washington anyway? They just get sucked into the elitist cocktail circuit mentality. We should make them all telecommute. This is the 21st century after all, we have the technology.

Lost in Jersey on February 7, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Another great example of the folly of the 17th Amendment. Whenever we get around to having that Convention of the States Mark Levin has been suggesting, perhaps we can address this problem.

TomJefferson on February 7, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Residence on a golf course?

Are you kidding me?

This guy shed his Jayhawk roots long ago.

Sherman1864 on February 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Thomas Sowell has many great columns on term limits, including this one.

MT on February 7, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Our “representative” government represents, well, GOVERNMENT.

ConstantineXI on February 7, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Washington, D.C. is like the Emerald City.

SouthernGent on February 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

In the age of smart phones and instant communication, why do our Congresscriters have to live in DC? Make ‘em all come home and live with the voters they represent.

Occams Stubble on February 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

First Mitch, then Pat… so much fat that can be trimmed this year. It’s like the perfect New Year’s resolution!

Ukiah on February 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

We’d need a constitutional convention to accomplish that, because Lord knows Congress won’t bring it up, much less vote itself out of it’s accustomed perks and priviledges.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM

I think an Article V convention to force DC back into the Constitutional Lockbox, and to IMPROVE those locks so it takes at least a millenium for it to break out of it again is, at this point, our ONLY chance to avoid bloodshed.

Because whether you want to admit it or not, that’s the path we are on.

People sent to DC are NEVER going to vote to reduce the power of DC.

ConstantineXI on February 7, 2014 at 8:15 PM

In the age of smart phones and instant communication, why do our Congresscriters have to live in DC? Make ‘em all come home and live with the voters they represent.

Occams Stubble on February 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Exactly. I don’t even think we NEED a capitol anymore. Get elected to Congress? the Congressional IT department shows up to your home and sets up your Congressional Videoconferencing system.

No need to even GO to DC.

ConstantineXI on February 7, 2014 at 8:17 PM

No home there? Then it’s time to run in the state where you do live – in this case, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Primary your colleague Mark Warner, why docha? He’s up for defeat in 2014.
.
Or, just GTFO… understand?

ExpressoBold on February 7, 2014 at 8:19 PM

To reform government, let’s give Congress a choice between term limits and ankle monitors. Either they’re capped at three terms in either chamber or they can run as much as they like but need to prove that they’re physically present in their home state for at least half the year.

Better yet, how about ” no person may serve more than 12 years in Congress, period? Doesn’t matter which, nor combination of either chambers. No more than 12 and you’re done unless you can leverage that into a potus gig.

AH_C on February 7, 2014 at 8:21 PM

OmahaConservative on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Sebelius was a huge supporter of Tiller the Killer.
Must be something in the water up there.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 7, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Why do we send these fools to washington anyway? They just get sucked into the elitist cocktail circuit mentality. We should make them all telecommute. This is the 21st century after all, we have the technology.
Lost in Jersey on February 7, 2014 at 7:51 PM

This. Especially the house and get their ratio back to representing 35k citizens each. We capped it to 435 total because of logistics and space but given our tech we should revert. That’s the way to get the real pulse of the people.

AH_C on February 7, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

yup.
sadly it will never happen.

dmacleo on February 7, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Wait until the GOP stooges yelling “trucons”, “purity”, & how citizens really shouldn’t be allowed to vote show up.

tetriskid on February 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Huh? I thought we were talking about elected officials not living in their districts/states?

yaedon on February 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

yeah I wondered what the hell he was trying to say to me.

dmacleo on February 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

If Sen. Roberts wants to live and spend the rest of his life in Virginia, he should run for reelection in the Old Dominion. It’s only fair to the Kansans he supposedly “represents.” The Kansas GOP has a deep bench of candidates who’ve waited decades for the opportunity of a lifetime. Time for you to step aside, Senator, and ride off into the sunset.

royal flush on February 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

royal flush on February 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

There is at least one R retiring in VA, so a quick move to that district and signing up should do it.

He might get a primary, but nothing wrong with that.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Look, I’m sorry, can we have a question on the ballot that says, “Do you still own a home in the state you represent? Do you still pay taxes in the state you represent? Do you still have an interest in the state you represent? If you can’t answer yes to those questions, you shouldn’t be representing the people of the state that elects you.

It’s called “skin in the game” for a reason. In Florida, we had Rob Wexler, who didn’t own a home in the district he war representing. His address was either an office or his in-laws home. I do believe that the dream of the founders, with representatives serving one or two terms, would be more realized if they were forced to maintain 2 homes, or have only one home with the family living in it. There’s no wonder the real estate market in D.C. is so good, if we tightened up on these guys just a little, there’d be a lot of homes for sale.

bflat879 on February 7, 2014 at 8:42 PM

“ossified-incumbent”

Nauseating. Chilling. Worse than any phony partisan party ID. Even the most radical nursing mothers eventually yank their kids off the teat avg. 8 yoa….right?

TERM LIMITS

RushBaby on February 7, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Elitist would-be rulers, rather than ‘servants of the people’, don’t actually have to live among the peasants. He can live anywhere and still $crew his ‘constituents’ just as hard as if he actually lives among them…

easyt65 on February 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

So what?

Most Senators own or rent a home/apartment in their home states, but they don’t live there. Except for those whose states are close to DC, most spend little time at all in their home states in non-election years.

Is there some magic to owning or renting real estate?

Adjoran on February 7, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Not to worry… I’m sure he live in one of Barry’s 57 states.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on February 7, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

This ^^^^!

onlineanalyst on February 7, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Repeal the 17th amendment.

torerodrizzle on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

That would be a good start.

Ruckus_Tom on February 7, 2014 at 9:50 PM

And, thus, we see the rallying around the “ossifed incumbents” because they serve on important committees. Instead of using seniority for the selection on those committes, the choice should be made on the basis of capability. Seniority does not equal capability.

onlineanalyst on February 7, 2014 at 9:54 PM

..no trolls on the thread…that was a big surprise!

KOOLAID2 on February 7, 2014 at 9:56 PM

“We’re not going to get Lugar’d,” a Roberts advisor vowed to the Times.

There are no words.

Myron Falwell on February 7, 2014 at 10:04 PM

We conservatives believe in federalism or we don’t. The idea of direct election of senators and House members is totally nonsensical.

Direct election of senators, so much of what goes on in our government, has nothing to do with anybody’s election. This massive bureaucracy, these senators vote to delegate all this authority, so if you’re voting for a senator and then they are voting to delegate massive authority to the EPA, there’s a huge disconnect.

nazo311 on February 7, 2014 at 10:18 PM

How is this even legal, much less ethical?

Good grief; I expect *Democrats* to pull this kind of bullshit shenanigan.

Midas on February 7, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Ok, I used to live in Kansas, and I have met Pat Roberts a few times, and he is a nice guy. That all being said, you really need to live in the state you represent, at least part of the year, otherwise, I agree Roberts should run as a Senator from Virginia, since that is where he apparently lives. But we have to be careful here. Richard Lugar had this same problem, and when he was primaried out we ended up with a Democrat taking his place, after the general election. We should be careful to avoid the same thing in Kansas

Dr.B on February 7, 2014 at 11:21 PM

I can clearly remember Lugar being upset when the plans for the new I-69 had the highway cutting through his ancestral farm land. He did need to go. It’s too bad that he was beaten in the primary by a very bad politician in Richard Mourdock. It took major political malpractice for a Democrat to claim that seat.

jharbert on February 7, 2014 at 11:39 PM

Roberts is………despicable.

Throw his sorry sunflower arse out of office at the next opportunity.

PappyD61 on February 7, 2014 at 11:47 PM

There’s something about being named Roberts when one gets to DC.

Pat Roberts. Benedict Roberts….

viking01 on February 8, 2014 at 12:01 AM

If you want to stop politicians from going native in D.C., it’s time for tough love.

Yup. Notice that Republicans despise their own party members who abuse the Senate and House incumbency power in this way and mount campaigns to oust them, while Democraps celebrate the majesty of their ossified pieces of sh1t in Congress for over 30 years.

Just another example of how grotesque the contrast is between the right and the wrong.

Jaibones on February 8, 2014 at 12:07 AM

Team Roberts is angry at the NYT for publishing this, claiming that he’s visited all 72 counties in the state recently…

Correction: Kansas has 105 counties.

KS Rex on February 8, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Send in the Wolf.

NCC on February 8, 2014 at 6:45 AM

And if he’s successfully primaried, Rove, the Chamber, and the “Republican” establishment will back the Rat in the general election.

Steve Eggleston on February 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Kathleen Sebelius was their Governor. Bob Dole was their Senator. Westboro Baptist is located there.

Asked and answered- Hell NO! They can’t.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

You forgot to note that Kansas has a strong and pathetic belief in creationism the foolish, gullible, stupid, backwards inbred religious wacko hillybillys. I guess that comes from generations of “god” fearing stooges marrying their sisters and producing intellectually challenged kids.

Your Mamma loves me on February 8, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Is there some magic to owning or renting real estate?

Adjoran on February 7, 2014 at 9:14 PM

There is no magic in owning or renting real estate. The magic is in knowing and understanding your constituents and how the laws you pass affect them.

Here’s a little history lesson:

The first five sessions of Congress lasted a little under 8 months, a little over 8 months, 3 months, about 6.5 months, and 4 months.

The first Congress crafted our Bill of Rights among other foundational legislation at a time when the country had no federal law beyond the Constitution. They met for 8 months. Eight.

Early Congresses met for around 6 months on average. You know what they did the other half of the year? They went home and LIVED UNDER THE LAWS THEY WROTE. They went home to be with their families and communities. They went home to run businesses, work farms, pastor churches, and generally earn a living. Just like their constituents had to do. Serving in Congress was actually a sacrifice for many precisely because it took them away from their families, communities, and businesses.

Now ask yourself, in time when simply counting the number of federal laws on the books is impossible, does our Congress have to meet for 10.5 months out of the year?

The answer is they don’t. They create needless and harmful laws to justify staying in DC all year long and never have to go home to live under those laws. They pass onerous and labyrinthine business laws, but they don’t have to go home to run a bussiness under them. They craft endless tax laws and make ever more criminal statutes, but they seldom come home to rub shoulders with the people who have to pay the taxes and abide by the statutes. They enact 2400 page montrosities that completely upend the country’s health system, but they never have to come home to practice medicine under that law, or provide employees health insurance under that law while keeping a business in the black, or endure the hardships the law forces on those who are not very rich or very poor. THIS IS WRONG! And our country’s forefathers never intended for it to be this way.

So, no. There is no magic in owning or renting real estate. There is, however, a lot to be gained by having honest and engaged elected officials who understand the needs and desires of their constituents because they live life with those constituents instead of in a political bubble in Washington, DC.

yaedon on February 8, 2014 at 8:30 AM

And if he’s successfully primaried, Rove, the Chamber, and the “Republican” establishment will back the Rat in the general election.

Steve Eggleston on February 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Nah. They’ll bite their tongue and back Wolf because he has an (R) by his name, just like they keep telling us conservatives to do when the establishment candidate wins a primary. I mean, that’s exactly what they did with Cuccinelli in Virginia. Oh, wait…

yaedon on February 8, 2014 at 8:37 AM

You forgot to note that Kansas has a strong and pathetic belief in creationism the foolish, gullible, stupid, backwards inbred religious wacko hillybillys. I guess that comes from generations of “god” fearing stooges marrying their sisters and producing intellectually challenged kids.

Your Mamma loves me on February 8, 2014 at 8:07 AM

another fun one….

dmacleo on February 8, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Our senators must feel like they’re more entitled than the 47%. Does this guy have a dog named Toto, too?

Kissmygrits on February 8, 2014 at 9:38 AM

It all makes perfect sense now why pols are against voters having to show ID at the polls. A little guilt complex perhaps knowing that those among them don’t even live in the states they “represent.”

stuartm80127 on February 8, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Is this early 20th century England? Good grief …I guess it worked for Churchill…does this guy think he is him?

strengthandhonor on February 8, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Most Senators own or rent a home/apartment in their home states, but they don’t live there. Except for those whose states are close to DC, most spend little time at all in their home states in non-election years.
Is there some magic to owning or renting real estate?
Adjoran on February 7, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Owning or renting real estate is a simple and objective standard for establishing residency. They may not really live there, but establishing residency based on the amount of time one spends in the state is subjective, messy, subject to differing interpretations, and not always fair. A standard of owning or renting real estate is easy for everyone to understand.

JCCentCom on February 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

“We’re not going to get Lugar’d,” a Roberts advisor vowed to the Times.

Show me the lease. If Senator Roberts does not have a written, legally binding lease, then this is nothing more than a “I’m renting from you. Yeah, that’s it. Wink! Wink! Nudge! Nudge! Say no more!” deal. A deal the evidence for which is based solely on Senator Roberts’ word, and thus little different from Lugar. If there is no written lease, the arrogance it takes to say “We’re not going to get Lugar’d” based on at best a technicality is appalling.

JCCentCom on February 8, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Swine from Indiana, Lugar, after being thrown out, now supports leftist Nunn in GA.

Pigs, you need to get ‘slaughtered’, one by one, politically. Go to Hell.

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I have an idea.

No term limits, but once you hit 12 years of congressional service, your salary is cut by 35% every two years and your pension and other retirement benefits are automatically forfeited.

After 18 total years, they’d be making around 50,000 a year and after 24 it’d be around $15,000 a year plus no gov’t pension. You’d see everyone term-limiting themselves.

The flip-side is that we’d have many more retired congress-people we’d pay pensions to.

UnstChem on February 8, 2014 at 8:29 PM

This would be moot if state legislatures elected US Senators…

conservative wynner on February 8, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Can Kansas do better?

Entrephil on February 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Kathleen Sebelius was their Governor. Bob Dole was their Senator. Westboro Baptist is located there.

Asked and answered- Hell NO! They can’t.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

We also elected Tim Heulskamp, and I’d bet he is either more conservative than your representative or the same level…

I decided long ago to never vote for Roberts again, as he voted to confirm that personal friend of George Tiller, Kathy Sebelius, to HHS secretary.

He is never here, other than to campaign. If not for that confirmation vote…I wouldn’t vote for him for this reason as well.

I don’t see who would run against him, though. Thus the power of the incumbency.

I helped my Dad and uncle put siding on Bob Dole’s garage in Russell. His sister took care of everything (decisions, payment, etc). It was his parents’ old house, it was stuffed to the gills with old-lady chic (large flowered wallpaper, large flowered couches, deep nap carpet, potpourri) and he and Lizzie ostensibly lived there. We had to make sure to mark where the weights he used to rehab his arm after WWII hung, and after we put the siding on, we had to drill through it to rehang them. Apparently that was some kind of big deal, to have the weights hanging off the back of the garage in case tourists came by.

cptacek on February 9, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Term limits are a must. These Pols. cannot resist temptation to be coopted by the percs of central goverment power. Special interests give them so much money to campaign, they sldom can be replaced by challengers. This will not change as Big Business loves Big Goverment and Big Media, the supposed watch dog, is big business.

jayker on February 9, 2014 at 6:18 PM