The Indiana Attorney General's office has found that a three-decade old advisory letter issued to Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., indicating that members of Congress are allowed to maintain their state residency for voting purposes even upon leaving the state is valid, bolstering the Republican's argument that he has not violated any residency requirements.
"The analysis and conclusions in the 1982 advisory letter remain valid. Members of Congress do not lose their residency for voting purposes when they leave the state so that they may fulfill their duties," writes Matthew Light, chief counsel in the office's advisory division.
Following a report late last month, Lugar's residency has become a focal point in the campaign, with opponents in both parties criticizing him for not physically living in Indiana.
Lugar lives in Northern Virginia and sold the home he owned in Indianapolis in 1977, but is still registered to vote from that address.
This isn't the last time this story will have legs this week; the state Election Commission will meet on Friday morning to discuss, among other things, a challenge to Lugar's appearance on the ballot.
Even if Lugar faces no legal threat to his status, the damage has already been done, as opponents have seized on the issue, shifting the discussion in the race away from other topics like the economy.
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