Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do Today's Events Signal the End for Sen. Richard Lugar's Political Career?

You get the sense that today was the beginning of the end of the political career of Sen. Richard Lugar.
Sen. Richard Lugar

First, you had the breaking news that Lugar billed taxpayers $70,000 for staying in hotel rooms in Indiana.  It's illegal to do that when the Senate is in session.  Lugar agreed to pay back $4,500.  Apparently he believes the taxpayers are cool with paying $65,500 for hotel rooms when Lugar is in Indiana, but the legislature is in session. He'd be wrong.

Second, the you had the pro-life endorsement of Lugar's opponent, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.  This comes on the heels of the NRA's endorsement of Mourdock.  Abortion and gun rights are two major voting issues in the GOP primary.

Third, this morning on C-Span, former Senator Arlen Specter, a liberal Republican turned Democrat, gave an impromptu endorsement of Lugar's re-election to an Indiana caller.  That's not something Lugar wants when his conservative credentials are already being questioned.

All in all, a terrible day for the Lugar campaign.

What makes matters worse for Lugar is that he insists on engaging in a court battle over his voter registration.  Instead of doing the politically and legally smart thing of ending the story by getting a residence he could claim he would return to once his service as Senator ended, Lugar insists on continuing to vote using Elizabeth Hughes' house as his residence.   That's not even mentioning Lugar using the Hughes' home at 3200 Highwoods Court as his "residence" to get a driver's license and pay taxes.  When I told an attorney tonight that Lugar was putting down on his federal and state tax forms an address of a home he sold 35 years ago, the attorney was dumbfounded as to how Lugar could get away with doing something that would get ordinary people prosecuted.  Yeah, we all would like to know that.

Even if Lugar manages to eek out a win over Mourdock, I think he'll be so weakened that he won't be able to defeat Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly.


Downtown Indy said...

Lugar would be wise to feign some 'undisclosed medical condition' that makes it necessary to bow out of the primary and retire from office.

M Theory said...

I am hoping you guys will give me an opinion on a question because I'm not really sure of the answer.

If Lugar did eek out a victory in the primary and was defeated by Donnelly, do you think it would make a difference whether we had Lugar or Donnelly?

I'm not sure we could even tell them apart.

Greg Fettig said...

Lugar held his Carmel fundraiser in Carmel on 1/21/11. This was in reaction to Hoosiers for Conservative Senate targeting him for defeat. How ironic that he held this the night before our historic Tea Party unity meeting in Tipton.

Now we find out he stiffed taxpayers with a $380 bill for a fundraiser in which he raised $400,000.