Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Comparing Charlie White's Indictment to Senator Richard Lugar's Voting Practices; Did the Senior Senator Commit 24 Felonies?

People still are confusing the issue of Sen. Richard Lugar's residency to be U.S. Senator with the Charlie White type voting offenses he appears to committed.  So I thought I would do a side by side comparison using White's actual indictment posted by the Indiana Legal Blog.

Secretary of State Charlie White
Count 1 (submission of a false voter registration), Count 3 (fraud on a financial institution regarding a claim of residency), Count 6 (perjury with regard to White's marriage application) and Count 7 (theft with regard to receiving pay as a member of the Fishers Town Board) are inapplicable to possible Lugar legal violations.  Let's examine the rest.

Count 2 (Perjury a Class D Felony, IC 35-44-2-1(a)(1)) of the White indictment says that he executed a form changing his 6994 Pintail Drive to 7527 Broad Leaf Lane, when he knew at the time of the statement he was residing at 13086 Overview Drive.

The details of Lugar's possible offense would be slightly different. When he submitted applications for absentee ballots, there is a perjury affidavit saying that he attests to the accuracy of the information on the form, including that he resides at 3200 Highwoods Court.

The statute of limitations on perjury, a Class D Felony is five years.  Lugar cast seven absentee ballots in the last five years, starting with the Mayor 2006 primary.  That means he would have committed seven separate acts of perjury during that time...assuming of course he doesn't actually live at 3200 Highwoods Court, which possibility is summarized below and was discussed in a previous blog post.

Count 4 (Voting in Other Precinct, a Class D Felony, IC 3-14-2-11) of the White indictment says that he committed the offense of "voting in Other Precinct, to wit: knowingly or intentionally voting in Delaware Township Precinct 12 indicating his residence was 7527 Broad Leaf Lane, Fishers, Indiana, when in fact he resided at the time at 13086 Overview Drive, Unit 5-B, Fishers, Indiana, which is locat3ed in Fishers, Fall Creek Township, Precinct 5.

Senator Richard Lugar
The statute of limitations on that felony is also five years.  Since May of 2006, Lugar voted 10 times using the 3200 Highwoods Court address, where he doesn't appear to have lived for decades.  That's 10 separate and distinct felonies.

Count 5 (Procuring, Casting or Tabulating a False, Fictitious or Fraudulent Ballot, a Class D Felony, IC 3-14-3-1.1(2)) of the White indictment says that he knowingly cast a vote in Delaware Township, Precinct 12 when he in fact lived in an address at 13086 Overview Drive which put him in Fall Creek Township, Precinct 5.

White used a residence he didn't live at to procure a ballot.  I checked...the law also applies to absentee ballots.  Unlike White who did it once, Lugar appears to have done it seven times during the 5 year applicable statute of limitations.

The final count:  7 + 10 + 7 = 24 felonies our senior senator would have committed if he does not live at his claimed residence of 3200 Highwoods Court listed on his voter registration form. As noted in a previous blog post, that is an address Lugar claimed on his registration form in 1969. For the past 41 years he has continued to vote using that house's address even though it appears to have been deeded away years ago, is currently owned by someone else, and there is another family registered at the address.

I am no fan of Charlie White.  Never met the man in my life.  But is it not important that our laws apply equally to people who are presently unpopular (Charlie White) as those who are presently popular (Richard Lugar)?  There is a term called the "rule of law" which applies to our judicial system.  It says that that the law should not be enforced differently depending on the person but that it should apply equally to all of us, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, famous or infamous.  It is an extremely important legal principle that I think we should all demand be upheld.

25 comments:

StillWind said...

Yeah, let's compare a sitting senator, who clearly lives outside the state,but is allowed to use a local address to maintain his voting rights, to a local politician who quite clearly lied on paper to get a job and run for office.
Just what is Lugar supposed to have gotten, besides the opportunity to cast a ballot?
Dick Lugar has been a great public servant for the state of Indiana, and was a great Mayor for Indianapolis. You may not agree with some of the decisions he's made, but this is ludicrous.
I'm a Mourdock supporter, and the main reason that I am is his respect for Lugar, and recognition for Lugar's service, and the honor he has brought Indiana.
How sad that a bunch of bottom feeders who have accomplished nothing of value in their lives are busy trying to desrtoy his legacy.

Paul K. Ogden said...

StillWind,

I am not sure why this is so hard to understand. You can't vote someplace where you don't live. That's a felony. Period. Lugar pretty clearly doesn't live at that address and hasn't for decades.

The law doesn't allow you to use a "local residence" to "maintain..voting rights." There is no legal basis for that at all.

You like Lugar so you don't want the law to apply to him. You don't like Charlie White so you want the law to apply to him. Fortunately our legal system doesn't work like that.

Unless Lugar lives at that address, he committed three of the same crimes White committed. But what he did is worse...he committed the offenses multiple times. There is no getting around that.

Paul K. Ogden said...

StillWind,

I would add that if Lugar lived actually lived at the address when he came to Indiana you would have a point. But he hasn't lived at the address for decades and in fact someone else owns it and is registered there. You're barking up an empty tree. The law is the law is the law.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Stillwind...you know I love you, but the law is the law.

Are you saying we should not apply the law equally to everyone?

How hard would it be for Lugar to buy a little bungalow and use it when he needs to be in Indiana?

I think this looks (at least on the face of it) that Lugar thinks himself above the law and that the rules don't apply to him because he's been a Senator so long.

Cato said...

Well said, Paul, on all fronts.

Despite your earlier argument, I yet wish to explore Lugar's eligibility to seek office in Indiana while not being, as you have demonstrated, a resident of Indiana.

The low bar set for Bayh and Coats makes a mere sham of a residency requirement. Domicile is customarily established when a person has physical presence and an indefinite aim to remain within the jurisdiction.

If you can't vote in a jurisdiction, a fortiori, you can't run for office in that jurisdiction.

If Lugar committed fraud when voting with a purportedly improper address, he committed fraud when filing for office. Despite well practiced legal hairsplitting, those who don't squint see voting and candidacy as equivalent.

Amazingly, Charlie came nearer to doing it the right way than Lugar.

Frugal Hoosier said...

I made this comment in the previous post as well. Stillwind is correct, comparing Senator Lugar with Sec. White is a stretch at best.

But the bigger issue, is this insistence that you have to have a physical address to vote when the Constitution so clearly points out that you don't - specifically for this reason.
If I am a soldier in Indiana, renting an apartment as I train, and I get called to active duty in, let's say, Afghanistan. When I leave, I have no permanent residence in Indiana, but I still retain my right to vote. Someone moved into my apartment, my house, my condo, whatever - but I still retain my right to vote their, until I return from service to change my residence.

Unless of course, Mr. Ogden is suggesting that Hoosier military personnel, and a sitting U.S. Senator, should not be allowed to retain their last voting precinct, and therefore not be allowed to vote in Indiana. That isn't what Mr. Ogden is saying, right? He isn't suggesting that military personnel are felons, right?

Cato said...

Paul, your point is very well taken regarding the Highwoods address. If Lugar regularly flopped there after returning to Indiana, mowed the lawn there, and was known to order pizza from there, this wouldn't be an issue.

It appears he uses Indiana merely as a ticket to the show and has become, through and through, a D.C.-area resident.

Cato said...

FH, when you vote, they check your name and address against the log and make you sign the poll book.

That's why Rokita went crazy for voter ID, to disenfranchise poor people without steady addresses, as these people tend to vote for Democrats.

When Lugar signed the poll book, he was attesting to his address being as the poll book said.

What ID did Lugar present to vote? Is that recorded anywhere? What does Lugar's Driver's License say? Does he even have an Indiana Driver's License?

Frugal Hoosier said...

Cato, I think you need to check the voter ID law again. There is no address requirement on the ID. ID is to be checked to match face to picture and name on registration to name on ID (not an exact match).

Cato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cato said...

FH, you're not being fully forthcoming. In order to get an ID, you need an address. An address proves that you're entitled to an Indiana ID, as opposed to an Ohio ID.

Further, Lugar voted for Real ID, which imposes some of the most onerous requirements on citizens to obtain an ID and effectively turns America into a "papers, please" country.

One would think that a man who supports such rigid adherence to full identification and subservience to governmental bureaus would have demonstrably great personal obedience to identification laws.

What does Lugar's Driver's License say? Did he swear at every renewal that he lived at Highwoods?

Frugal Hoosier said...

REPOST: Lynda - from another blog entry on this site - Read together Indiana Constitution Art 2, Sec. 4 and Ind. Code 3-5-5-5 pretty much put an end to this discussion, don't they?

Cato said...

Not even close, FH. His pysical absence is certainly within the ambit of the statute.

His lack of residence is the issue on which he has repeatedly run afoul of the law, if Paul's facts are true.

Of course, none of this matters, since Lugar has the courts. The Charlie Whites go to jail, while the Dick Lugars become oligarchs.

Frugal Hoosier said...

Just to clarify, Cato, you support Ogden's argument that would invalidate thousands of Hoosier military personnel because they cannot actually prove their physical residence when they vote absentee? You're really comfortable making that argument?

Cato said...

What addresses are those military folks listing, FH?

If they're voting using mom and dad's address, nobody's going to care.

If they're voting using an address that they lived in (maybe) 41 years ago, their voting will raise an eyebrow.

Frugal Hoosier said...

Cato - My brother is currently serving in Iraq. He was registered to vote at his home in Terre Haute. He was transferred to Fort Bragg before shipping out to overseas theater. He has since sold his house in Terre Haute, but has voted absentee for the past three elections at the precinct in Terre Haute. This is allowed by Indiana Code 3-5-5-5 and Indiana Const. Art 2, sec. 4. Are you suggesting that my brother is guilty of three felonies as Ogden suggests? Are you raising your eyebrows?

Michael said...

Paul,

Lugar has been out of state for over 30 years. And no longer has a residence that he owns in Indiana, let alone lives in one.

But he can say that he has never changed his domicile, because although he may own another resident in another state, he has never expressed an intent to remain that state, and has even indicated that he will someday return to Indiana.

So Indiana is his state of domicile but he has no physical residence here. Assuming then, that he has the right to vote in Indiana elections.....

Where would he be entitled to vote?

What if he had been in the military living on a foreign base or an aircraft carrier the whole time? At what precinct would he be entitled to vote?

And how can he exercise that right without risking perjury when filling out an absentee ballot application?

Indy Student said...

Members of the military do not represent Congressional districts or states in a legislative body. Their duty is much different. However, members of Congress are elected to represent their respective districts because they live there and thus should have an idea of how their district feels and casts votes on their behalf.

I've also noticed a lot of new names commenting on this blog, people who never have before. I'd be interested to know where their IP addresses come from.

Michael said...

IC 3-5-5-5

As provided in Article 2, Section 4of the Constitution of the State of Indiana, a person is not considered to have lost residence in a precinct in Indiana by reason of the person's absence on the business of:
(1) the state of Indiana; or
(2) the United States.




Is the statute applicable if Lugar is not only absent from the precinct, but no longer resides in it as well (and resides somewhere else?)

Paul K. Ogden said...

Michael that statute applies so that someone who is in Washington, D.C. 11 months out of the year as a Senator or a Representative isn't determined to be a resident of Washington, D.C. instead of Indiana where he only hangs his hat one month out of the year or less.

But you still have to have a place to hang your hat, somewhere that you're claiming to be your residence, the place you're going to come back to. The problem is when you sell that residence, someone else moves in and registers to vote there. You can't state under oath you live there when you don't. You have to find someplace else to claim as your residence.

It's the same thing with the military personnel. They have to have a residence they are claiming as their home back in Indiana. If it's obviously someplace they can't come back to, then that is not their residence. Most would just put down their parents house. Problem solved. You have to at least be able to argue that you have an intent to return to that address. YOu can't do that when you've sold the house and strangers have moved in.

The analogy to Charlie White is exactly on point. Lugar is 1) voting where he doesn't reside, a felony; 2) filling out absentee ballot forms stating under perjury, a felony claiming he resides where he doesn't. White did the same thing with the voter registration card,

Paul K. Ogden said...

FH,

I would tell your brother to IMMEDIATELY cease doing that. It is committing a felony...but trust me these voter fraud felonies are committed all the time and not prosecuted. But when you become an elected official, things change. You're held to a much higher standard. And with Lugar it's an egregious violation considering the amount of time involved.

Your brother should change the residence to where his parents live or someone else who is family or friend. He should not be using an address where he no longer has any intent of coming back to as his "residence."

Paul K. Ogden said...

Michael,

Here's what you quoted:

"As provided in Article 2, Section 4of the Constitution of the State of Indiana, a person is not considered to have lost residence in a precinct in Indiana by reason of the person's absence on the business of:
(1) the state of Indiana; or
(2) the United States."

But Lugar did not lose his residence in the precinct because he was away on businss on behalf of the State of Indiana or the U.S. Lugar lost his residence at 3200 Highwoods Court because he sold the house and moved out!!! He has to claim some other residence.

The other part of your comment I didn't understand.

Cato said...

Paul, would you be so patient with students who failed to grasp these simple arguments, or would you trundle off to the Dean of Admissions to complain of lax admission policies?

I don't think some of these posters are honest actors. It's a propaganda trick to enter an argument late in the proceedings and assert an objection that was addressed long prior to give the appearance that the dispute is fresh and unresolved.

Grant said...

A person's absence from Indiana while on federal business does not change his residence, IC 3-5-5-5. Thus Sen. Lugar's place of residence is determined by operation of law, not by a fact-based inquiry (where is he really living?). Whether in service as a Senator or as a member of the Armed Forces, the place of residence is locked in upon commencement of service as a matter of law, even if thereafter that home is sold to someone else.

TMLutas said...

This is still a legitimate issue and an informative and interesting post and discussion. If anybody follows me here through the search engines, there's one thing that wasn't covered. In any non-election year, the Senate's out of session for maybe 20 weeks out of the year and mostly there are no weekend sessions. During all that time, Richard Lugar was not absent on federal business. He was in his DC area home.

That non-duty time, weeks and weeks of it a year makes his claims to residency bogus. Soldiers can maintain Indiana residence while they are on duty. Regularly take your off time in Florida, have a house in Florida with no place to hang your hat in Indiana, and hardly ever pass the borders of Indiana and guess what, you've become a Florida resident. That's no insult to the people in uniform or federal politicians, it just is.