Sunday, June 24, 2012

Star Makes Light Of Daniels' Residency Problem

I may sound like a broken record by this point, but Charlie White was right when he said Indiana's residency laws were being applied to him differently than other politicians. I'll continue to repeat it as long as his convictions on charges that he violated the state's voter residency laws because he registered to vote at his ex-wife's home for a short period while in between homes continue to stand. I observed an AP report the other day which discussed the question of whether Gov. Mitch Daniels would actually move into the president's home on Purdue University's campus once he become its new president next year since he never resided in the governor's residence as required by law, although the article ignored the law-breaking aspect of the issue. During the debate over Charlie White's residency woes, the Indianapolis Star led the state's media in news reporting and editorializing condemning his actions and calling for his removal from office. An item in today's "Behind Closed Doors" column making light of Daniels' claim that he will reside on the Purdue campus is a testament to the paper's deference to Gov. Daniels' more serious disregard of the state's residency laws:
Daniels said Thursday that once he's president of Purdue University in January, he'll live in the president's mansion.
Though it may depend on what the meaning of "live" is.
After all, in October 2005, Daniels told reporters that after a home show allowing tours of the renovated governor's residence on Meridian Street in Indianapolis was completed the following spring, he and the first lady would "take up residence here."
Asked by a reporter what that meant, Daniels mocked the question.
"It's a common English phrase," Daniels said. "It means 'move in.' "
Which the Daniels never did.
In fact, they eventually moved into a home they built in Carmel.
The issue had dogged Daniels since shortly after he became governor in 2004. People, including in the Butler-Tarkington and Meridian-Kessler neighborhoods that are so proud of having the governor as a neighbor were disappointed. Other people took it as sign that the governor felt the fancy home just wasn't good enough for him.
And since the Constitution requires the governor to live in the state capital, his Hamilton County home didn't fit the bill.
So we'll be waiting to see. Will the Danielses "live" in Lafayette? Does that mean "move in?"
Or does that mean "a nice place to visit?"
Ironically, it was the Star that first raised the issue about the constitutional requirement when word leaked out that Daniels was building a new home in Carmel. I'm not sure why the item claims the issue has dogged Daniels. The newspaper certainly hasn't dogged Daniels like it did White. It dropped the issue almost as quickly as it raised it. After moving into the Carmel home, Daniels switched his voter registration from his former home in Marion County to the governor's residence, even though he resided in his new home in Carmel, a fact the Star has never reported. If you're Charlie White, you should lose your office and go to jail. If you're Mitch Daniels, it's just an item to make light of in the Sunday political gossip column.

No comments: