Friday, February 18, 2011

Lugar Lives In Hotel While Visiting Indiana

Realclearpolitics.com has a story you won't read in mainstream news media reports in Indiana about Sen. Richard Lugar that is sure to only bolster the arguments of his opponents that he has been in Washington too long. Erin McPike confirms in her report that Lugar stays in a hotel during his return visits to the Hoosier state.

Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar has been preparing for an intra-party challenge since he was first elected, but recently, questions have popped up about his residency and commitment to Indiana.


Asked if Lugar lived in a hotel when he returned to Indiana, Lugar senior adviser Mark Helmke said, "That's correct."

Lugar owns a farm in the Hoosier State that he's been tending for decades. His siblings own parts of the farm, but he still works on it once a month with his son, even though he doesn't live there.

As for the living conditions on the farm, Helmke joked, "The place is pretty rustic."

Asked how Lugar's team would respond if challenged about his residency, Helmke shot back, "We'll be happy to talk about the farm."

"It's not an issue. They can try to make it an issue. We'll be happy to talk about the farm and what it means to him," Helmke said.

Lugar is awaiting a tough primary challenge from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, but he has been dogged in defense of his record. In fact, he told the tea party to "get real" earlier this year.

While the tea party might be looking to take down Lugar, those close to Mourdock are more concerned with Lugar's more recent past as a Beltway insider, and Mourdock claims to be a little bit outside the tea party mantle.
The six-term senator and his wife maintain their year-round residence in suburban Alexandia, Virginia, a short distance from the nation's capital.

17 comments:

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Lugar actually said something as condescending as "get real" to tea party members?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Under what strained legal theory does his farm qualify as his residence?

If he lived there when he came back to Indiana then he could claim it as his residence But he lives in a hotel so the farm is obviously not his residence.

Has anyone stopped to think he has an even bigger problem. He would have been voting in Indiana using an address where he doesn't live. That's a felony.

Advance Indiana said...

I don't know, Paul. Evan Bayh used to claim a voting address in Terre Haute at which he never lived and drove a BMW with Virginia license plate tags. The Supreme Court found him to be a resident eligible to run for Secretary of State.

Paul K. Ogden said...

AI,

The key difference is that Bayh didn't have another residence in Indiana where he admitted living when he came back to the state. Lugar admitting he is living in a hotel when coming back to Indiana would seem to be a fatal problem.

A bigger problem than residency for the purpose of being a state senator is that he's voting from a location that is clearly not his residence. Charlie White didn't get declared disqualified because he was a resident of the state and theefore qualified. The trouble is his voting from a place where he doesn't live.

interestedparty said...

You are grasping at straws. Owning a family farm for a long, long time and working on it on a regular, frequent basis makes him qualified, in my common-sense point of view. If it is very rustic and no longer comfortable for a couple in their 70s, why not use a hotel? This is far more palatable than suddenly renting a house just so you can run for office in a place where you haven't owned property or even set foot in... how many years?

Frank W. James said...

Just curious, but would Lugar's spokesman 'Helmke' be related to the guy by the same last name who works for The Brady Bunch?

Just wondering...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Advance Indiana said...

I believe they are brothers.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Interested party, he admits not living at the farm. The issue is residency not the ownership of property.

I'm okay with him claming residency with a hotel room in Indiana. The minute though he votes using his farm as his address, while admitting he actually lives in a hotel, he's committed a felony. That's the problem.

Advance Indiana said...

Our Supreme Court relied on a person's "domicile" for determining Bayh had always maintained his residence in Indiana, although it was quite clear he did not reside in Indiana for the requisite 5-year period leading up to his run for governor in 1988:

Domicile means "the place where a person has his true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment, and to which place he has, whenever he is absent, the intention of returning." Turner, 241 Ind. at 80, 168 N.E.2d at 196. Domicile can be established in one of three ways: "domicile of origin or birth, domicile by choice, and domicile by operation of law." Croop, 199 Ind. at 271, 157 N.E. at 278. The domicile of an unemancipated minor is determined by the domicile of his parents. Hiestand v. Kuns (1847), 8 Blackf. 345 . . .

Once acquired, domicile is presumed to continue because "every man has a residence somewhere, and ... he does not lose the one until he has gained one in another place." Scott, 171 Ind. at 361, 86 N.E. at 413. Establishing a new residence or domicile terminates the former domicile. A change of domicile requires an actual moving with an intent to go to a given place and remain there. "It must be an intention coupled with acts evidencing that intention to make the new domicile a home in fact.... [T]here must be the intention to abandon the old domicile; the intention to acquire a new one; and residence in the new place in order to accomplish a change of domicile." Rogers, 226 Ind. at 35-36, 77 N.E.2d at 595-96.

A person who leaves his place of residence temporarily, but with the intention of returning, has not lost his original residence. Yonkey v. State (1866), 27 Ind. 236. Residency requires a definite intention and "evidence of acts undertaken in furtherance of the requisite intent, which makes the intent manifest and believable." In re Evrard (1975), 263 Ind. 435, 440, 333 N.E.2d 765, 767. A self-serving statement of intent is not sufficient to find that a new residence has been established. See Rogers 226 Ind. at 36-37, 77 N.E.2d at 596. Intent and conduct must converge to establish a new domicile.

The question of residence is "a contextual determination to be made by a court upon a consideration of the individual facts of any case." Evrard, 263 Ind. at 440, 333 N.E.2d at 768. Physical presence in a place is only one circumstance in determining domicile. Culbertson, 52 Ind. at 368.

V. Conclusion

The trial court was correct that, as a matter of law, residence means domicile for purposes of art. V, Sec. 7 of the Indiana Constitution.

The trial court also found that Bayh's original domicile was Indiana. The court determined that Bayh did not intend to abandon his Indiana domicile and establish a new, permanent residence elsewhere. It found that this intention was evidenced by acts consistent with retaining domicile in Indiana. While there was conflicting evidence on these questions, the record supports the court's conclusion that Bayh's residence for the five years next preceding the November 1988 election was Indiana and that he is eligible for the office of Governor.

Advance Indiana said...

I should add that the facts recited in Bayh's case noted he had always been a registered voter in Indiana even when he had not been residing here. The big question in Charlie White's case is that he was claiming a voting residence in a particular precinct in order to remain eligible to serve on the Fishers Town Council. That's really the larger issue there; not that he may have voted at a precinct he once lived at instead of the one he resided in at the time of the election. We would be charging people with voter fraud all the time if you charged them for violating the latter.

Advance Indiana said...

Paul, I suspect there are other members of Indiana's congressional delegation who don't maintain a home in their districts. Hell, Dan Coats didn't live here for years and rented a house in Indy right before the election. At least Lugar can point to property taxes and federal and state tax returns filed using his Indiana address.

artfuggins said...

Lugar is in the clear. Some on here need to read the law and others know better and are just trying to stir up trouble.

Paul K. Ogden said...

AI,

I believe Charlie White is not in trouble for claiming to have lived in the wrong place for determining qualificaiton for the town council. That's a simple disqualification issue. I think he's in trouble for vote fraud, having voted in a precinct in which he didn't live, which is a felony.

I admit that people often go to the polls and vote using old addresses they haven't lived at for years. o. It's still a felony to do that.

I'm not saying Lugar isn't domiciled in Indiana or not a resident of Indiana. I'm not saying he's not qualified to be a U.S. Senator from Indiana. The issue is WHERE in Indiana he is a resident? Once he says he's no longer living on the farm and is living in hotels, he can't use the Decatur farm for his address to vote. And I bet he has done exactly that. To vote in his farm's precinct when he hasn't lived there in years is a felony.

While the Evan Bayh case provides for useful discussion of the issue of residency it isn't on point when talking about voter fraud Lugar might have committed.

Paul K. Ogden said...

AI,

I think the Lugar people will quickly back away from Helmke's extremely foolish comments because they're likely to land Lugar in legal trouble. All Helmke had to do is say is that Lugar sometimes stays at the farm or is going back there when they remodel...etc. Something like that. Leave some doubt where he was staying. Instead he made a declaratory statement that Lugar doesn't live on the farm, that he lives in hotel when he comes here. Foolish.

Is Lugar also taking a homestead credit for his farm "residence."? You have to be living on the property to claim that. It's not a criminal offense, but it could lead to his owing back property tax penalties and penalties.

artfuggins said...

!. Residency is not a requirement to run for senate from a state.

2. Americans who live abroad are legally allowed to vote at their last known address even if that place no longer exists. This is true if a person has lived abroad for 25 years. They are still citizens and are allowed to vote.

Matt said...

Paul- Is there a reward for turning in tax frauds? I wonder, if he takes the homestead credit, how much money you could make.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Yea, Hillary Clinton is from Arkansas, but she was elected a New York senator.