Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lugar Lebensraum Law Needed

Lugar Lebensraum Law Needed
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 28, 2012

Hoosier or not, Senator Richard Lugar has admirably represented the citizens of Indiana in the nation’s Upper House since taking the oath of office in 1977, and once again faces the voters seeking a seventh six-year term.

Hoosier or not? How is that even a question? When people think of Indiana, they think of basketball, the Indianapolis 500 and Dick Lugar.

Not so fast, folks. The Marion County Election Board in a strict party line 2-1 vote on March 15, determined that the Lugars, both the Senator and his wife Charlene, are not eligible to vote in the precinct using their former address on Highwoods Court from the time when Dick Lugar was elected to the United States Senate. This was initially reported in the Indianapolis Star (

The back story is that upon taking office in the nation’s capital, the Lugars sold their home on Indianapolis’ Westside and have lived in their McLean, VA house ever since. While most elected senators and congressmen have a local residence in the state they represent as well as in the DC area, Lugar’s lone real estate connection to Indiana is a Marion County farm. The farm, located in Decatur Township is owned by Lugar and his siblings, but tenants are renting the house on the property.

However, the Highwoods Court address is still listed on the Lugars’ driver’s licenses and they continue to vote in the precinct where the home they no longer own is located.

The state constitution actually permits those people representing Indiana to retain such a residency while absent from the state. The Star editorial of March 16 called the residency issue “nonsense,” as Lugar is a native Hoosier who served on the Indianapolis school board and was elected mayor of the city prior to ascending to the United States Senate.

What is not nonsense is that any resident of Indiana, public or private, should be allowed to declare a residency that truly is not their home. That smacks of voter fraud all day long. Someone else owns and lives in the Highwoods Court home formerly owned by the Lugars. How can they claim it is their legal residency and vote under that address?

Consistency is needed between the Indiana Election Commission that allows Lugar to seek reelection and the Marion County Election Board that has denied the Lugars the right to vote in the former home precinct.

The Lugar Lebensraum Law ought to be passed declaring it illegal for any person to claim residency on a property they do not own or rent. Furthermore, candidacy for public office should be denied to anyone not a legal resident of the state of Indiana. It would seem to be common sense, but then again…

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

1 comment: