Does Mary Landrieu Actually Live In Louisiana?
An interesting catch by the Washington Post, which is probably trying to put out the fire surrounding this issue several months ahead of the election
In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill.
Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records.
On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street.
The New Orleans house, which Landrieu claims as her primary residence, is a new flash point in one of the most closely contested Senate races in the country. Republicans are considering taking legal action to question Landrieu’s residency in the state, arguing that since winning her seat in 1996 she has become a creature of Washington.
Essentially, she primarily lives in Washington, D.C. She and her husband own two undeveloped parcels of land in Louisiana. According to the Landrieu campaign, she and her husband pay income tax in Louisiana. Perhaps she should pony up her actual tax forms. Also, let’s see her driver’s license. Is it La. or D.C.?
But, you know what? I’m not going to beat her up over this
In the Senate, Landrieu has advocated for the District on various issues and has talked publicly about life in Washington. In a 2012 appearance, she said Capitol Hill was “such a special neighborhood.”
“I really can appreciate the life that we live on the Hill,” Landrieu told neighbors gathered at Hill Center D.C. “Of course, I still have a residence in Louisiana, but we’ve raised our kids here.”
Entirely too many federally elected lawmakers mostly live in the D.C. area, spending entirely too much time there, rather than in their home states/Districts. They are entirely too beholden to their Parties and federal politics.
Landrieu is a symptom of the system. Senators on both sides of the aisle have played this game. This is a result of the 17th Amendment, which allows for direct citizen voting for US Senators, rather than the original manner, where the State legislatures would elect the Senators that would represent their State. Under the original method, this meant that Senators, regardless of Party, would do their best to represent their state 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Because if they didn’t, they would only be there for one term.
This further meant that citizens paid quite a bit more attention to their home state politics. Sadly, people now look at federal politics entirely too much. Most political bloggers, including myself, tend to focus on the Big Issues, rather than our local and state politics. I couldn’t name my North Carolina, Wake County, nor Raleigh elected officials for my district without looking them up.
If you want to reduce polarization by Party, repeal the 17th Amendment. It would mean the difference of a Senator being for their state, rather than from their state. The United States was never intended to be a pure democracy, but a representative republic. Senators represented their States and the pure needs of the states. They were essentially “ambassadors” to the federal government. Consider the name: State. What is a president called? Chief of State. That’s because nations were often referred to as states. You might have heard the terms “sovereign state” and “nation state”. The original US state were mostly larger, or as large, as most Old European nations.
(The Campaign To Restore Federalism) The “winner take all” mentality and the resulting bitterness that grips partisan Washington today is one direct result of the 17th Amendment. Interest groups understand that to impose one’s will on 300,000,000 Americans, one must influence one president, the selection of 5 supreme court justices, 51 (or 60) senators, and 218 representatives, a total of 275 individuals who live primarily in physical isolation, far away from those they govern. This makes the stakes extremely high. A tremendous amount of money is raised and spent on influencing 275 individuals in Washington. Repealing the 17th Amendment would devolve power away from the national government and drastically reduce the influence of interest groups. Under the original design, change at the national level required that the majorities of all the state legislatures – made up of thousands of representatives – be taken into account. The framers understood that moderate, temperate government is brought about by a multitude of competing interests. Repealing the 17th takes a major step toward restoring this balance.
I would highly recommend reading the entire article. Unfortunately, as Cato noted back in 2010, it is a pipe dream. Too much vested interest, too many people beholden to the Federal government.