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Legal or not, Lugar's residency issues are politically toxic

By Scott Tibbs, March 27, 2012

When the Marion County Election Board ruled that Senator Richard Lugar was not qualified to vote in his precinct, the Lugar campaign bitterly complained that Lugar is not required to physically live in the state:

If a person has established residency for voting purposes in an Indiana precinct prior to his or her service in Congress, that residence remains the Congresspersonís residence as long as he or she remains on the business of the state or the United States.

I am not going to get into the legal issues, though I think whining about the fact that there was a challenge is silly. People have the legal right to file these complains, and our system exists to ensure that these issues are addressed. Whining that people are exercising their legal rights under Indiana law indicates Lugar is out of touch.

And that is the entire point - that Lugar is out of touch. Let's assume for the sake of argument that Lugar's legal argument is entirely correct - that it is perfectly legal for Lugar to both vote in his precinct and represent the state of Indiana in the U.S. Senate despite his home being in Virginia for the last 35 years.

The simple fact that Lugar thinks it is OK for someone who is for all intents and purposes a Virginian and has been a Virginian for over three decades to represent the state of Indiana in the U.S. Senate proves that Lugar is out of touch with the average Hoosier. The concept is very simple: Just because something is legal does not make it right.