By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT — It seems like Senator Mary Landrieu just can’t catch a break; every week a new scandal. She’s still battling the negative image of Flight Gate and now, as it turns out, she has a residency problem.
The Washington Post (of all things!) broke this story Thursday:
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.
Well, which is it, Mary? And did you note that “she and her husband built…” part? It’s no temporary condo she’s camped out in up in D.C. That sounds pretty permanent to me.
On the heels of the Post story, the New York Times picked up the story the next day:
Bernie Pinsonat, a Louisiana pollster, said the question of Ms. Landrieu’s residency reminded him of a similar episode involving another Louisiana Democrat, former Senator John B. Breaux. Mr. Breaux had prepared to run for governor in 2007 but then abandoned the effort after the state attorney general refused to declare him a Louisiana citizen under the state’s Constitution.
“I don’t need a poll to tell that it doesn’t sit well with voters when public officials vacate Louisiana and don’t really live here anymore,” said Mr. Pinsonat, who works for both Democrats and Republicans. “I don’t know what will happen, but I don’t think it’s a positive revelation for her.”
And really, the New York Times story is particularly bad: I can’t tell you had badly I DON’T want to know about Katrina Mary’s sleeping habits with her husband, but according to the Times article, we are to believe that when in Louisiana she returns to South Prieur Street and sleeps in a single bed in her childhood bedroom.
Just hours before Friday’s 4:30 pm deadline, Republican candidate Rob Maness filed complaints with four Louisiana parish District Attorneys asking them to file legal challenges in state court to Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) candidacy in the November general election.
Mary’s biggest voting bloc comes from the New Orleans area where her family is entrenched and well known; her brother is the current mayor of NOLA. But the rest of Louisiana is pretty tired of her and her long tenure in Louisiana. She votes with Obama 97% of the time and in Louisiana Obama has a 55% disapproval rating.
Mary’s only prayer in Louisiana seems to rest on the hope that the Republican contenders in the primary split the vote enough for her to earn over 50% which is why some have called for the weakest link, Maness, to pull out of the race. Of course, Maness is a Tea Party fave and has the endorsement of Sarah Palin, so he probably is in for the long haul, but his numbers are grim. If Maness stays in, it won’t matter much if Mary charters planes to fly across New Orleans – she’ll win.
With that in mind, the scandals for Mary need to keep on coming. She’s in one of the most vulnerable positions of her entire career. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for her.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.