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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie



    17 Feb 2014,

    The ad opens with a photograph of Sen. Pat Roberts' home in Alexandria, Virginia and proceeds to a La-Z-Boy recliner in Kansas it says he rents “at a donor's house. On a golf course.”

    “Pat Roberts doesn't live in Kansas,” the new web ad from Milton Wolf, the conservative doctor who happens to be President Obama's cousin, says.

    Wolf's campaign gave Breitbart News an exclusive first look at the ad.

    As first reported by the New York Times, Roberts established his voting address at a donor's house the day before Wolf announced his primary bid against him. He previously rented out a house he owns in Kansas to tenants. His wife is a real estate agent in northern Virginia.

    Roberts pays $300 a month to his campaign donors to occasionally stay at their house and suggested to the Times he sleeps on a recliner.
    After the story came out, Roberts' campaign said his recliner rental does count as a residency.

    The campaign put out a radio ad pushing back, saying that people outside the state are trying to influence the election and noting that many of Wolf's campaign donors are in Texas.

    However, Roberts has refused to answer questions from the media about how much time he does spend in Kansas.
    HAPPY2BME and Ratbstard like this.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Heart of Dixie
    Lacking a House, a Senator Is Renewing His Ties in Kansas

    FEB. 7, 2014

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    Pat Roberts, a three-term Republican senator from Kansas, lists on his voter registration a home in Dodge City owned by two donors, but lives in a home in Alexandria, Va. Facing a Tea Party challenger, he has begun appealing to conservatives. J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

    DODGE CITY, Kan. — It is hard to find anyone who has seen Senator Pat Roberts here at the redbrick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. Across town at the Inn Pancake House on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, breakfast regulars say the Republican senator is a virtual stranger.

    “He calls it home,” said Jerald Miller, a retiree. “But I’ve been here since ’77, and I’ve only seen him twice.”

    The 77-year-old senator went to Congress in 1981 and became a fixture: a member of the elite Alfalfa Club and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which made him a regular on the Sunday talk shows. His wife became a real estate broker in Alexandria, Va., the suburb where the couple live, boasting of her “extensive knowledge” of the area.

    But such emblems of Washington status have turned hazardous in a Republican establishment threatened by the Tea Party and unnerved by the defeat of incumbents like Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, who was viewed as a creature of the capital.

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    Mr. Roberts is registered to vote at this house in Dodge City, Kan. Craig Hacker for The New York Times

    Mr. Roberts is now desperate to re-establish ties to Kansas and to adjust his politics to fit the rise of the right in the state. But his efforts underscore the awkward reality of Republicans who, after coming of age in an era of comity and esteem for long-term service, are trying to remake themselves to be warriors for a Tea Party age.

    In an interview, the three-term senator acknowledged that he did not have a home of his own in Kansas. The house on a country club golf course that he lists as his voting address belongs to two longtime supporters and donors — C. Duane and Phyllis Ross — and he says he stays with them when he is in the area. He established his voting address there the day before his challenger in the August primary, Milton Wolf, announced his candidacy last fall, arguing that Mr. Roberts was out of touch with his High Plains roots.

    “I have full access to the recliner,” the senator joked. Turning serious, he added, “Nobody knows the state better than I do.”

    That assertion is disputed by Tea Party activists energized by Mr. Wolf’s candidacy.

    “In four and one-half going on five years of existence have we been contacted by Senator Roberts or any of his staff? Not once,” said Chuck Henderson, a Tea Party activist in Manhattan, Kan., who mocked the notion of the senator’s “official” residence here.

    Mr. Roberts’s race highlights the divisions within the Republican Party that are playing out in primaries across the country at a time when anti-Washington animus is running high and moderate voices have been displaced by lawmakers with conservative positions on abortion, taxes and education.

    Mr. Roberts has suddenly begun aligning himself with the most conservative elements of the Senate, after a career in the mainstream conservative tradition of fellow Kansans like Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum.

    He opposed a major spending project at his beloved alma mater, Kansas State University, that he had sought for a decade, because it was tied to a larger appropriations measure. And he called for the resignation of the health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, the daughter-in-law of his former boss, Representative Keith Sebelius, over the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

    “It isn’t personal,” Mr. Roberts said of demanding that Ms. Sebelius quit. “Was it tough? Sure, it was tough.”

    When Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, took to the Senate floor last fall for 21 hours to protest the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Roberts joined him in the early morning.

    He also opposed a United Nations treaty banning discrimination against people with disabilities after being personally lobbied to support it by his predecessor, Ms. Kassebaum, and by Mr. Dole, who uses a wheelchair. (Mr. Roberts said he did not trust the United Nations.)

    “I have to say I’m disappointed in Pat,” said Ms. Kassebaum, referring to both the treaty vote and his larger reluctance to stand up to his party’s right wing. “You’re not sent there just to go whichever way the polls tell us.”

    Mr. Dole, who supports Mr. Roberts, acknowledged that his old friend’s vote had irritated him “a little bit.” “My view is we need to be a party of inclusion, and that includes moderates as well as conservatives,” Mr. Dole said.

    Mr. Roberts’s aides candidly acknowledge that the moves are an effort to ensure that he will not suffer the same fate as Mr. Lugar, who was criticized for staying in hotels when he returned home and listed on his voter registration an Indianapolis address at which he did not reside.

    Mr. Roberts moved his address from a rental property he owned in Dodge City but had long since leased to tenants, and got a new driver’s license giving the golf course home as his address.

    Launch media viewer
    Mr. Roberts, a Kansas Republican, owns a home in Alexandria, Va. Drew Angerer for The New York Times

    He began paying the Rosses $300 a month to allow him to stay overnight with them occasionally. “We’re not going to get Lugared,” said David Kensinger, an adviser to Mr. Roberts.

    Mr. Ross said in a telephone interview that he could not remember how many times the senator had stayed at the family’s home since October. “I would say several,” he said. Asked when the last time was, he said he could not remember, and the senator’s staff also declined to provide dates, but said he had stayed there “a few” times.

    Job security has rarely been an issue for Mr. Roberts, who has tended to his state’s agricultural needs and delivered projects. He won with 60 percent of the vote in 2008, before the rise of the Tea Party, with its anti-establishment ethos, suspicion of long-term Washington tenure and emphasis on ideological purity.

    “I think career politicians are changed by Washington,” said Mr. Wolf, Mr. Roberts’s opponent, who is a radiologist and a second cousin of President Obama on the president’s maternal side.

    Kansas has not had a Democratic United States senator since 1939, but the Republican Party here no longer embraces the consensus-minded centrist-style politics of its most famous son, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    The national Tea Party-versus-establishment battle has become particularly vivid in Kansas, where conservatives, including Gov. Sam Brownback, have ousted their party’s old guard from power in the State Capitol after decades in which a coalition of center-right Republicans and Democrats had effective control.

    “Pat’s very cognizant of what’s happened to the party,” said Mr. Brownback, who served alongside Mr. Roberts in the Senate until being elected governor in 2010.

    Given the changing political climate, Mr. Brownback says that Mr. Roberts is doing precisely what he needs to do to win another term.

    “Being active, being aggressive, being conservative,” the governor said. “He’s got to get through a Republican primary, and people are pretty fired up about what’s going on at the federal level.”

    Nowhere is mistrust of Washington more evident than in the Capitol. There are two statues of Eisenhower in the building, but conversations with the new vanguard of conservatives here seem to reflect the Capitol’s gripping mural of a zealous-looking John Brown more than the even-tempered Eisenhower.

    “I believe that to really turn the country around there will have to be some political martyrs out there,” said State Representative Marty Read, a rancher and auctioneer who is one of the few state legislators backing Mr. Wolf.

    Still, Mr. Wolf’s obstacles are formidable. He has only $179,000 in the bank, compared with Mr. Roberts’s $2.2 million, but his aides are hoping to win over deep-pocketed outside groups such as the Club for Growth by demonstrating viability before the primary.

    On policy, though, Mr. Wolf is already having an impact. The latest reminder came this week, when Mr. Roberts opposed the five-year, nearly $1 trillion farm bill, which was prized by leaders of the Kansas farm lobby but opposed by Tea Party activists. Mr. Roberts, who had written an earlier version of the measure, said the final legislation included too many subsidies.

    In the interview, Mr. Roberts conceded that “everything’s changed” about politics since he began working as a staff member. He arrived in Washington in 1967, and was first elected in 1980, in an era when finding a new house and school for the children in the capital area was as much a part of coming to Congress as learning how to cast a vote, and when he was rarely questioned back home.

    Now, connectedness to the home state is more important than ever in an election climate with Congress’s approval ratings at record lows and conservative activists seeking purity, not pork-barrel spending. The new political reality helps explain his extraordinary efforts to establish voting residency and be seen back in the state — in the last year, he has visited 72 of the state’s 105 counties, several of them more than once.

    Sitting in his Senate office, across from a painting of a covered wagon and from photographs and totems from Kansas, Mr. Roberts said his loyalty to the state where his ancestors settled in the 1800s was beyond question. “I’ve been to every county in Kansas more than anybody else,” he said, pausing for a moment before noting that only Mr. Dole “might quarrel with that.”

    “Senators have a tendency to get involved in their committees and important works,” Mr. Roberts said, recalling Mr. Lugar. “You get involved in that, and you’re not out there touring 105 counties like I am. We get out.”

    Correction: February 11, 2014
    A picture caption on Saturday with an article about efforts by Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, to re-establish ties to his home state in light of efforts by the Tea Party to threaten establishment Republican candidates misidentified the Virginia community where Mr. Roberts lives with his wife in a home owned by the couple. As the article correctly noted, it is Alexandria, not Arlington.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    1. One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Offices - CBS News News
      WASHINGTON - Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg considers sleeping in ... "I think it's important that we show we don't live here, we are not ...

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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    It doesn't appear that they have relocated their families and life to the Washington DC area leaving their constituents behind. It appears that Pat Roberts has been a Representative from a mail drop in Kansas.

    DODGE CITY, Kan. — It is hard to find anyone who has seen Senator Pat Roberts here at the redbrick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. Across town at the Inn Pancake House on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, breakfast regulars say the Republican senator is a virtual stranger.

    “He calls it home,” said Jerald Miller, a retiree. “But I’ve been here since ’77, and I’ve only seen him twice.”
    January 22, 2011, 3:42 PM
    One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Offices
    By Phil Hirschkorn & Wyatt Andrews

    WASHINGTON - Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg considers sleeping in his Capitol Hill office a luxury.

    "It's convenient. I don't face the traffic," Walberg told us when we visited him this week on the fourth floor of the Cannon office building.

    "I can jokingly tell my constituents I am in my office 24 hours a day for you," he said.

    Walberg, a returning Republican freshman who slept in his office during his previous term in Congress, is among the most prepared for the bunking ritual. He has a sturdy air mattress, a double espresso maker, and a shelf of Kellogg's cereal boxes in his closet. (Kellogg's is headquartered in his district).

    "I probably got it as good as a man cave can be," Walberg said.

    Down the hall, freshman Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois, is still figuring out how to manage his nights. He sleeps on a couch.

    "I think it's important that we show we don't live here, we are not creatures of this town," Walsh told us. "There's so much to do the next two years, I don't want to be distracted with another place. I don't want to have to think about an apartment."

    Walsh, Walberg and nearly two dozen of their colleagues are part of a trend that may have reached a historic high point.

    A CBS News survey of all freshmen members of the U.S House of Representatives has found that at least 21 of the 96 members are sleeping in their office - that's 19 of the 87 new Republicans and 2 of the 9 new Democrats.

    The reasons range from making a symbolic statement that they are not part of Washington, proving they are fiscal conservatives, and just saving money.

    They sleep on air mattresses, cots, couches, and rollaway beds.

    Arizona Representative Paul Gosar, a dentist from Flagstaff, is among the new Capitol campers. He estimates that he will save $20,000 a year by not paying for rent or parking. That's no small change when there is no taxpayer stipend for congressional housing, and when (like Gosar) you have three teens in high school eyeing college.

    "So this becomes very economical from my stand point, as well as very efficient," Gosar told us. "This has to match a budget with my time, making sure I'm giving my constituents my full breadth and my full involvement, and this is the way I found it works for me."

    At night, Gosar, a self-described workaholic, reads, catches up on the news, and uses the House gym, open exclusively to current and former representatives.

    "It allows me to continue my work patterns, stay on the job and focused, and I get stuff done," he said.

    Besides, Gosar likes to cook. To enable his hobby, and because the Hill cafeterias close in the afternoon, Gosar has reorganized a large, cinder block supply cage across the hall from his office into a closet and kitchen. Across from a hanging row of dry cleaning, he has a crock pot, an electric griddle, a microwave, toaster, refrigerator, and file cabinet drawer full of dishes, silverware, and glasses.

    Pointing to the crock pot, he says, "You can put some frozen chicken in with some bouillon, some vegetables, let it simmer all day, and you're ready to rock 'n roll."

    For breakfast, he tends toward frozen waffles. He eats standing up, and washes the dishes in his office bathroom.

    "This is the glamorous life," he quipped.

    The House freshmen sleeping in their office range from ages 37 to 59.

    Ohio's Steve Stivers and Arkansas' Tim Griffin are Iraq War veterans, while New York's Chris Gibson spent 24 years in the Army. "He sees his mission to Congress as just another deployment," said Gibson spokeswoman Stephanie Valle.

    Wisconsin's Sean Duffy, previously a champion lumberjack, cites the cost of a second home. "The less comfortable he is out in D.C., the more likely he is to get home as often as he can," said spokesman Daniel Son.

    Ohio's Steve Chabot, like Walberg, bunked on the Hill before. Nevada's Joe Heck, like Gosar, is a doctor.

    A few members we did not include in our total, such as Pennsylvania Republican Tom Marino, say they are sleeping in the office only temporarily, with permanent arrangements up in the air.

    A few others, like Colorado's Cory Gardner, said they seriously considered roughing it. "He wanted to, but his wife wouldn't let him," said spokeswoman Rachel Boxer.

    Enabling the trend is the more compressed schedule inaugurated by the leadership of the 112th Congress - essentially a four-day work week with most business squeezed between Tuesday and Thursday, plus more weeks in recess.

    "I don't want to live in this town. I want to be home all the time," Rep. Walsh said.

    We don't know if the number of office sleepers is setting a record this year, because no one keeps an official count. Anecdotally, House historians point to the habit starting in the 1980s. In the 1990s, House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas was known to sleep in his office.

    Now, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California is a trend setter. (His office declined to comment). Fifth-term Oklahoma Republican John Sullivan advertised his frugal sleeping habit in a 2008 campaign advertisement, claiming, "I watch your pennies, and I'll watch mine."

    "There is nothing in the House rules that prohibits Members from sleeping in their offices," says Bill Weidemeyer, the Superintendent of House office buildings.

    He says the only challenge is trying to keep construction noise low, as such work typically occurs after hours even when Congress is not in recess. There have been the occasional noise complaints from House sleepers, for example, when the year-long roof rebuild of the Rayburn House Office Building was ongoing.

    The sleepers do add a little burden to the housekeeping staff, Weidemeyer says, but no Washington D.C. laws or health code governs the practice. Like the Vatican, Congress rules its own real estate.

    "I can't see an excuse that you always want to sleep in your office because you always want to work. You can work from anywhere. So I think it's a question of balance, and I frankly think it's a question of hygiene," Rep. Karen Bass, a first-term Democrat from California told us.

    Bass, who was formerly speaker of the California state assembly, said she is not surprised none of the House's 13 new female members say they are going to crash on the floor.

    "I can't see myself showering in the gym every day, no," Bass said. "I can't see myself walking through the halls of Congress needing to go shower."

    While literally living in your office away from family could increase the loneliness of life in Congress, members told us they find great camaraderie at dawn in the House gym - a discreetly-marked facility in the sub-basement of the Rayburn House Office Building.

    Rep. Walberg said the morning workouts that come with sleeping on the Hill made serving in Congress the healthiest job of his career.

    Rep. Bass said during the office lottery, many Members were most concerned picking an office in closer proximity to the gym.

    "I think it's a little bit of the machismo side of things," Bass said. "I'm going to show that I'm, you know, a guy, I'm tough, I'm working.' You know what? I go home at night, I continue to work. I don't have to prove a point."

    Rep. Allen West, a freshman Republican from Florida, rents an apartment. "He thinks it's sad that congressmen are sleeping in the office. He thinks you need a break, even it it's just a few hours to get out of this building," said spokeswoman Angela Sachitano.

    Republicans dominate the trend but are joined by some Democrats sleeping in their office, including freshmen John Carney of Delaware and Hansen Clarke of Michigan.

    Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, sleeping in his office for a second term, put his choice in perspective by pointing out that 10 percent of his constituents are jobless, 20 percent lack health insurance, and 40 percent of homeowners in his district owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth.

    "So, for those to suggest this is an inconvenience or a hardship - I have a great job, it's an honor to have this job, and what's more, I have a wonderful home in Chicago," Quigley told us.

    Besides, Quigley added, his commute is short, he doesn't have the hassle of handling a second residence, and it makes no difference when you are getting some shut eye.

    "The Ritz Carlton and the cheapest motel in the country are remarkably similar when you are asleep," he said. "To me, this place is remarkably similar to an expensive Georgetown townhouse when you are asleep."

    Freshmen Members of the U.S. House of Representatives sleeping in their Washington, D.C., offices:

    Republicans (19)
    Steve Chabot (OH-1st), 58
    Sean Duffy (WI-7th), 39
    Stephen Fincher (TN-8th), 37
    Chris Gibson (NY-20), 46
    Tim Griffin (AR-2nd), 42
    Paul Gosar (AZ-1st), 52
    Trey Gowdy (SC-4th), 46
    Morgan Griffith (VA-9th), 52
    Richard Hanna (NY-24), 59
    Joe Heck (NV-3rd), 49
    Bill Huizenga (MI-2nd), 41
    Bill Johnson (OH-6th), 56
    James Lankford (OK-5th), 42
    Patrick Meehan (PA-7th), 55
    Todd Rokita (IN-4th), 40
    Steve Stivers (OH-15th), 45
    Joe Walsh (IL-8th), 49
    Todd Young (IN-9th), 38
    Tim Walberg (MI-7th), 59

    Democrats (2)
    John Carney (DE-At large), 54

    Hansen Clarke (MI-13th), 53

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