Monday, May 7, 2012

David McIntosh's Residency Issues Do Not End on Election Day

David McIntosh is the latest in a string of Republican politicians in Indiana to face questions over his residency. As I blogged in February, Indiana's Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted of six felony counts stemming from the fact that he used the address of his ex-wife while they were going through a divorce. Indiana's senior Senator, Dick Lugar, has faced scrutiny over the fact that he moved to Virginia in 1977. Ultimately, Lugar has been ruled ineligible to vote from the home he sold thirty-some years ago. He's now registered to vote from a family farm.

Greg Wright has retained Jon Sturgill of Eagle & Fein Attorneys & Counselors at Law to help press the case against David McIntosh. Wright was instrumental in bringing Lugar's residency issues to the fore. Wright represents an important aspect of the specialization of the Tea Party movement. Far from being dead, the movement has turned a corner with experts using skills developed over a life-time--or, in some cases, recently acquired--to drive positive, conservative political change.

Wright and Sturgill prepared the following chronology of David McIntosh's residences which they submitted to Madison County (Indiana) Prosecutor Rodney Cummings. Wright and Sturgill contend that McIntosh committed vote fraud and perjury, so while McIntosh's eligibility for the US House is a catalyst, their case is really about whether McIntosh committed vote fraud and/or perjured himself. (Their supporting exhibits are not included below because those documents include personal information which may not be appropriate for dissemination online.)

McIntosh Chronology

The short version is that David McIntosh lost his reelection bid to represent Indiana in Congress in 2000. At that time, he lived in Virginia. Having lost reelection, he was no longer on business for the state of Indiana, so  his Indiana residency lapsed. McIntosh has worked as a lawyer and lobbyist for about a decade, but now is running to replace Dan Burton in Indiana's 5th Congressional District. McIntosh has a Virginia drivers license, a million dollar home in Virginia, wife and family in Virginia, a million dollar house in Florida, and he's using the address of a friend's home in Indiana for his voting address. To acquire his Virginia drivers license, McIntosh had to sign under penalty of perjury that he's a resident of Virginia.

Despite appearing to reside in Virginia, McIntosh voted in Indiana in 2008 and 2010. When confronted about his residency by WISH TV's Jim Shella, McIntosh sandbagged and ultimately walked away. Wright and Sturgill have filed a complaint with Indiana's Secretary of State, Connie Lawson (complaintletter to SoS Lawson). An investigation by the Secretary of State's office will not be completed until after the primary tomorrow. Sturgill, on behalf of Wright, has also written to Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings (letter to Cummings) and the Madison County Election Board (letter to the board).

McIntosh realized that his residency might present a problem, so he had his attorney contact Cummings last July asking the prosecutor for his opinion. Cummings wrote a sort of "get-out-of-jail-free" letter in McIntosh's favor stating, in part [emphasis added]:

the factual summary and history you offer provides, in my judgement a compelling argument rebutting any asserting that Mr. McIntosh is not a bonafied resident of Madison County, Indiana.
Whether or not one is eligible to run for a particular office in Indiana is determined in part by whether or not one is a "resident of" a particular jurisdiction; however, Indiana has a stricter "resident in" standard. To vote in the Hoosier State one must meet the "resident in" standard. David McIntosh does not appear to meet that standard. Advance Indiana discusses the distinction in greater detail.

Regardless of how Hoosier's vote in Indiana's Fifth Congressional District Republican primary, Greg Wright plans to pursue the charges of vote fraud and perjury against McIntosh. As that unfolds in the courts and news over the coming months, McIntosh will have to deal with some embarrassing questions. How does he reconcile having signed his name to the fact that he's a Virginia resident to acquire his driver's license with his claim that he's an Indiana resident? Has he filed Indiana income taxes as required by law for the period he's lived in Virginia? And why did the Madison County prosecutor take the extraordinary step of advocating for McIntosh's residency?

Hoosier Republicans should carefully consider McIntosh's opponents in the primary voting booth tomorrow. It's a big field, but I'd take a look at Dr. John McGoff and Susan Brooks as worthy alternatives to the politically damaged McIntosh.

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