“David has been deflecting questions for days saying that residency is not an issue. Today, residency is the issue – front and center. It can no longer be ignored.”
Over the past two weeks, McIntosh has fielded questions regarding residency after a staff member revealed that he held a Virginia driver’s license despite continuing to vote out of a rented Madison County address and is now running for Congress.
In an attempt to preempt residency questions, McIntosh sought legal opinion in 2011 from Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings. McIntosh’s lawyer, Jackie Bennett, wrote, “In [David’s] heart, Indiana is and always will be his home. But he has been mindful that his partnership in a law firm located outside the state….” Cummings agreed with Bennett’s 5-page brief that McIntosh met residency requirements based on grounds of “intent.”
McGoff Campaign Manager Lou Quinto disagreed with this assessment, “It’s laughable to think that both Bennett and Cummings believe residency is a state of mind. Residency is not mental; it’s physical. Residency is where you live, where you lay your head down at night, where you go to church and where your children go to school. David McIntosh’s heart may be in Indiana, but he, his family, and his job are all in Virginia.”
Recently, residency questions have been a repeated issue in Indiana politics. Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted of voter fraud in February. Senator Richard Lugar has experienced similar scrutiny. Conservative political action committees Club for Growth and Freedom Works have spent a combined $350,000 on attack ads against Senator Lugar which often question his residency. At the same time, both groups have endorsed McIntosh in the 5th District primary.
Quinto believes that the endorsements are telling, “Here, we have two well-known conservative organizations attacking Senator Lugar for living in Virginia while serving Hoosiers. At the same time, they are supporting McIntosh, a Virginia resident working in the private sector serving his own financial needs. This is nothing more than Washington politics trying to trump Hoosier values.”
Madison Co. Prosecutor Rodney Cummings is caught in the middle of the debate after McIntosh's campaign produced an advisory opinion he issued in his official capacity last year in response to an inquiry from a prominent Washington, D.C. white collar criminal defense lawyer, Jackie Bennett, asking Cummings to opine on the legality of McIntosh's residency in Anderson for voting purposes despite the fact that he lived with his family in Arlington, Virginia and had declared himself a Virginia resident in order to obtain driver's license in that state. McIntosh also owns a second, million-dollar home in Florida, while he only rents a very small home in Anderson where he and his family clearly do not reside. McIntosh's wife, Ruthie, is not registered to vote in Anderson.
Cummings told the Star that he won't even look at the complaint filed against McIntosh until after the May 8 primary, saying that the timing of the complaint made it "politically motivated." "In political elections, we have had a number of issues like this come up and we won't address them until after the election is over," Cummings said. The story doesn't address the issue of whether Cummings should have even provided the advisory opinion to McIntosh in the first instance, and having done so, whether he should recuse himself from any further participation in the matter.
McIntosh, for his part, responded to the complaint by blaming it on his opponents. McIntosh claims to be the "only true conservative" in the Fifth District race. "[T]hey have chosen a highly unoriginal attack . . . to hide the fact that they are not conservative on the issues." Jon Sturgill, the attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of Greg Wright, denies he is working on behalf of any of the other candidates, although he acknowledged that he has worked in the past for David Brooks, the husband of one of McIntosh's opponents, Susan Brooks. “I don’t work with David Brooks,” Sturgill told the Star. “I’m not an employee of David. I don’t associate with David regularly.”