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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Not Living in Your District

Javier Panzar writes at The Los Angeles Times that Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) does not live in her district.
Napolitano is not alone. Of her 52 House colleagues, at least five do not actually live in the district they represent.
Some state and local lawmakers have been prosecuted for not living in the districts they ran to represent -- a requirement under California law. When it comes to Congress, federal law [Article I of the Constitution] only requires members live in the same state as the district.

Paul Mitchell, vice president of consulting firm Political Data Inc., said voters rarely seem to care about such perception issues.
"When you are voting, particularly on big national issues like gun control, foreign policy, taxes, education ... the fact that somebody lives in a different area isn't exactly going to be a trump card," he said.
But that doesn't stop campaigns from trying time and again to raise questions about residency. The issue will certainly come into play in closely watched intraparty congressional campaigns in California in 2016.
"It is like pasta," said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School who studies election law. "The opposition is going to throw it against the wall and see if it sticks."
The others are Democrats Mike Honda, Maxine Waters, and Juan Vargas, and Republican Tom McClintock.