Saturday, August 25, 2012

Where does Mike Pence live?

Normally, politicians learn good object lessons from the misfortunes of their fellows.  Should another candidate for office experience misfortune that causes them political or personal difficulty, they often (but not always) profit from the object lesson and learn from the mistakes of others.

It seems that Congressman Mike Pence has not learned from the lessons of Dick Lugar, David McIntosh, and yes, Charlie White, as it now has come to my attention that he too may have his own residency issues.

Pence's biography on his Congressional web site says, "Congressman Pence and his wife Karen have three children and reside in Columbus, Indiana."  Other web sites have Pence and family living in a home in Arlington, Virginia. Conflicting slightly with this is Pence's campaign biography, which states, "Mike and his wife Karen have been married for 26 years, live in Columbus, Indiana, and currently rent a house in McCordsville for professional reasons."

It has been learned from reliable sources that one of Congressman Pence's children is enrolled in Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Fishers.  Presumably, that means the Pence family is actually living at the McCordsville rental in Hamilton County, which would be within the Hamilton Southeastern school district.  

The problem?  Congressman Pence is not registered to vote where he and his family appear to be living.  I have confirmed that he is registered to vote in Bartholomew County.  I have not been able to learn if the Pence family moved to Hamilton County prior to the May 2012 primary.   

As I pointed out in a prior post on former Congressman McIntosh's residency issue, Indiana law generally is that your residency for voting purposes is where your family lives.  Indiana Code 3-5-5-11 provides:

The place where a person's immediate family resides is the person's residence, unless the family's residence is: 

(1) a temporary location for the person's immediate family; or

(2) for transient purposes.
I don't know what the "professional reasons" are that Pence is claiming for renting his Hamilton County home, but it may in fact be a lot more personal, as Hamilton Southeastern Schools is one of the state's top school districts.  Quite possibly he just wants his child to attend the best possible school.

Pence has time to change his voter registration.  But like other politicos named above, he seems to think that he can play some shell game about where he lives and where he votes and play "fool the voter" and no big deal.

Pence was under attack earlier (as were Lugar and McIntosh) for really living in Virginia while in Congress for the last 12 years.  That part of the lesson he seems to have learned.  So in the meantime, welcome to my corner of Indiana to the Pence family, and let's see if this ambitious politician cleans up this mess before he gets himself into REAL trouble over this, and becomes the next Charlie White.
NOTE:  This post has been edited at the specific request of the Pence campaign to protect the privacy of the child mentioned.  The original reference did not include the name or gender of the child, but I agreed to make the reference even more general.  Comment is being solicited from Congressman Pence and his campaign on the residency issues raised.