Sen. Richard Lugar is really hoping that his agreement with the Marion County Election Board to declare his Marion County farm as his voting address puts the residency issue behind him.
But the new address may cause new problems.
With this new legal guidance the issue of the Lugars voting registration is resolved, the organization Friends of Dick Lugar said in a news release. Any further challenge will clearly be nothing more than continued pettiness on the part of a handful of disgruntled political opponents.
Lugar previously listed his former Indianapolis home as his voting address – even though he hasnt lived there since 1977. He was acting under legal advice – and clear legal language – that he didnt give up his residency when he moved to Washington, D.C., to serve the nation.
But Lugar has never lived at the family farm, and now he is – for voting purposes – filing a change of address from an address he hasnt lived in for 35 years to an address where he has never lived.
This could open up the door for a new, Charlie White-like legal challenge to his candidacy. But remember that White prevailed before the Indiana Recount Commission, and the state Supreme Court upheld the commissions ruling.
More bad news
Lugar was the target of more bad news after he repaid the federal government $14,658 for hotel costs that taxpayers footed for Lugars stays in his home state.
Yes, news about the government payments had already surfaced – but Lugar previously said the improper payments totaled only $4,500.
Lugar suggests he paid more back to the Senate out of caution, Politico.com reported. The disclosure will likely only add fuel to the fire ahead of his tough May primary challenge against state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has accused the senior senator of being out of touch with the state since he has not owned a residence there since 1977.
Mayor is the boss
South Bends former police chief, Darryl Boykins, may have forgotten that he unquestionably serves at the pleasure of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
So when Boykins tried to rescind his resignation by claiming it was forced, the mayor did not reinstate him.
The change apparently is related to an investigation about the police departments recording of phone calls, a practice that may have been illegal. Some South Bend City Council members are speaking out for the chief, with one saying that equating the investigation with the chief implies the chief is guilty – apparently ignoring the possibility that the chief is responsible for what happens in the department even if he didnt directly cause it.
Another councilman supporting the chief is Derek Dieter – who in addition to being the councils president is also a police officer who served under the chief. He is another good reason that the General Assembly banned such conflicts of interest in future local elections.