Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is under fire yet again. The Louisiana Democrat has been caught up in a scandal involving her use of taxpayer-funded charter flights around the state she represents that also included stops at campaign fundraisers. But she’s now facing accusations that she doesn’t actually live in Louisiana, according to the Washington Post:
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.
One of her parents’ neighbors told the Post that he didn’t believe Landrieu lives at the New Orleans home, pointing out he couldn’t think of a time he’s seen her there. The neighbor also said that he didn’t hold it against because “[s]he knows our issues, she knows the problems we have.” Mmmkay. Well, Landrieu has someone fooled.
This probably comes as a surprise to no one, but there is a certain disconnect with life inside and around the District of Columbia and life in the rest of the country. That’s why many, if not most, members of Congress choose sleep in their offices during session and return home on the weekends rather than take up residence in Washington. For some it’s a financial decision. For others, however, they don’t consider their time in the District to be a permanent part of their lives and they don’t want to become immersed in the culture.
This is a problem for Landrieu. She not only represents a traditionally red state, but voters have an anti-Washington mentality in the current cycle. Sure, it may not be a Republican wave developing, but Landrieu is being defined as someone who is out of touch with her constituents, and that’s a narrative that’s going to be incredibly difficult to change before voters head to the polls.