July 23, 2010

Does our 6-term Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin live in Wisconsin?

The Republican challenger Chad Lee has raised the question, and Isthmus responds:
Since Baldwin became the first openly gay congresswoman in 1998, she has received violent threats against her person and family from hate groups and deeply troubled individuals. That led to Baldwin receiving special permission to de-list her home address from public documents as a means of keeping her safe....

In the end, the whole thing is a pretty bald-faced political stunt on the part of Lee (and the Young Republicans, frankly) – and one that shows an impressive lack of awareness of the realities of our world, as well as a complete disregard for the bodily safety of his opponent.
A member of Congress must be a resident of the state, and one can raise this technical challenge, but there is the more substantive question whether someone who is supposed to represent us had a good connection to the people of the state. Which is more important?

50 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I think there are better reasons to elect someone else besides Baldwin that the kerfuffle over where she actually lives (My own belief? She lives in Madison and the complaint that she doesn't is a stunt -- otherwise, the Republicans would have shown tax returns for another state).

And the better reason is that she's been in DC for 6 terms already.

Doug Wright said...

While the challenge might be "technical," that one qualification, along with age, and being a US citizen, are the only established criteria to run for Congress. Everything else is a matter for the good citizens of Wisonsin to decide at the polling station.

There must be ways for the residency qualification to be verified otherwise, Baldwin is ducksoup.

Maguro said...

Is Wisconsin really so retrograde that gay congresspeople need the full Salman Rushdie treatment?

Palladian said...

"Since Baldwin became the first openly gay congresswoman in 1998, she has received violent threats against her person and family from hate groups and deeply troubled individuals."

So... she's in the Witness Protection program or something? I'd assume most high-profile public officials have received threats. Are/were these threats credible? Haven't various investigative services looked into these threats and perhaps identified their source? And even if there are threats, isn't there something called security that could be deployed in order to protect this person? Does she wear a disguise when out in public? How does she travel around?

I don't get it.

shoutingthomas said...

Since Baldwin became the first openly gay congresswoman in 1998, she has received violent threats against her person and family from hate groups and deeply troubled individuals. That led to Baldwin receiving special permission to de-list her home address from public documents as a means of keeping her safe.

It’s a sad reality that, despite the overall shift toward wider public understanding and acceptance of LGBT issues, there are still plenty of misguided people out there willing to harm those who live lives with which they disagree.

This is the standard martyrdom tactic.

Anybody remember the gay response to Proposition 8 in California?

Hate letters? Lists of opponents home addresses?

The fact that you have angry opponents doesn't lend credence to your cause.

On every side of every cause, you'll find deranged people who don't know how to control themselves.

So, no, the fact that some people get pissed off at gay candidates does not provide an endorsement for gay activist causes.

traditionalguy said...

Is Baldwin relying upon the "Lesbians are in danger of being attacked" argument? That is misused here like the Top Secret designation is routinely misused in government.

CrankyProfessor said...

The important thing is to check not if she lives in Wisconsin, but if she has registered a residence in the DC metro area as her primary tax deduction. THAT would be news - and happens occasionally when congresspersons get careless.

Pogo said...

I din't know Madison was such a shitty place to live for gay people.

Cripes! The location of the UWMadison LGBT Campus Center is posted on the internet for all to see. Clearly, given the hell for gays that is Madison, the LGBTCC needs a hidden location, with passwords and secret handshakes and stuff.


Seriously, though, this same issue helped fell SoDak's Tom Daschle.

AJ Lynch said...

Sheeesh much ado maybe. But I see some misdirection in changing the topic from Baldwin's people.

And Palladian asks some darn good questions.

shoutingthomas said...

So, Palladian, maybe it will surprise you to know that there is an underground of conservative gay men in Manhattan, of all places.

I know, because I'm friends with them.

The reasons for their conservatism are many, but I'll list a few:

o They have no children, so they can't see why they should be taxed to provide welfare for those who have children.

o Many of them tried to live as married heteros into their 30s, when they realized that this was probably a bad idea. A woman who discovers that her husband (and the father of her children) is gay often goes to war in the divorce proceedings. Thus, many of my gay friends are deeply concerned about feminist control of the family courts that openly favor women in issues of child custody and communal property.

o They simply believe in personal responsibility. So much so, in fact, that I never hear them employ the standard excuses for being HIV infected, i.e., that it was Ronald Reagan's fault, etc. Usually, they just take responsibility for their own sexual actions.

Kind of surprising, huh?

Calypso Facto said...

Emily would have more credence if her article wasn't written in the new liberal voice of condescension: The Young Republicans of Dane County (who knew there were enough of them to form a club?)

and (somehow?!?) simultaneous victimhood:
there’s no excuse for pushing to put her in physical danger

reader_iam said...

There are ways to verify that she's a resident without disclosing her address.

If the "violent threats" is inaccurate, that's one thing. If it's accurate, not publicly publishing her address seems reasonable.

As for "whether someone who is supposed to represent us had a good connection to the people of the state," what does that even mean? At least one interpretation is pretty nasty. Who gives a shit if there's a good connection with the kind of people who would make violent threats (again, if that's accurate)?

I don't dispute that there's too much victim-playing in our times, and that it's very destructive. OTOH, if violent threats are involved (again, if that's accurate), it's absolutely reasonable to take steps to protect oneself, including not publishing a home address (in fact, that's one of the FIRST things I'd personally do because, you know, I'm not an idiot when it comes to my personal safety and that of my family).

Blaming the victim is not one iota more attractive than playing one.

It seems to me we need to gather more facts here, and, once in possession of them, use some skill other than the wielding of one or another partisan filter to look at them and make an intelligent judgment.

Look, if it can be shown that Baldwin hasn’t received any threats since ’98 then I would support requiring her to again list her home voting address on official forms, just as other politicians are made to do.

Yes, yes of COURSE I agree with this, although I'd go one step farther and say Baldwin probably needs to demonstrate that she HAS received such threats (do I really have to specify that of course "credible" comes into play here?) since '98.

That's the point. Let's get the facts. Then we can talk about "good connections," whatever that means.

Calypso Facto said...

And the tempest is already resolved in Baldwin's favor.

wv: ststumble. I've seen a lot of street stumble outside Camp Randall.

Tidy Righty said...

Tammy Baldwin is a sick Sodimite. Prof. Althouse I hope you are doing everything you can do to defeat her. She is a bad role model for the young people of Wisconsin.

Palladian said...

Sigh. The Moby sock-puppets are really, really getting tiresome.

Pogo said...

Tidy = Titus, is my bet.
Another mask, uglier than most; an attempt to smear Althouse's posters.

Sofa King said...

What amazes me is that he's one of Althouse's favorite commenters?!?

But maybe only as the Titus persona.

It's an effective troll, because you can't just ignore it. What we need is a virtual "I AM A TROLL" sign to hold next to them.

Tidy Righty said...

Pogo, please stop trying to smear me. I am a Christian. The fact that Wisconsin elected Baldwin sickens me.

Original Mike said...

"Since Baldwin became the first openly gay congresswoman in 1998, she has received violent threats against her person and family from hate groups and deeply troubled individuals."

Troubled individuals I believe. Hate groups? Not buying it.

That said, I don't care if her address is public or not.

Ann Althouse said...

Calypso Facto said..."And the tempest is already resolved in Baldwin's favor."

Yes, of course, it is noted in the article I linked to that the challenge to Baldwin's name on the ballot has been resolved. But it can still be an issue in the election. That's why I phrased my question the way I did. I think the real, substantive issue is whether Baldwin has the right kind of connection with the people she represents. Does she understand and care about what is going on in her district or has she been absorbed in the culture of Washington over the last 12 years? I'm not purporting to answer those questions. I haven't much followed her career. Could Baldwin supporters tell us what she's done for the district?

jeff said...

He does have a similar style to Titus, doesnt he? And yeah, writing like his fevered imagination of what a conservative is does get old. No doubt he's considered the height of wit around like minded people, but in a group of triple digit IQs, he's pretty lame.

Ann Althouse said...

"Tammy Baldwin is a sick Sodimite."

That's spelled Somdomite.

Original Mike said...

How many times has she met with constituents in the district? Seems to me that Lee should be able to guesstimate that (public meetings are public, after all), and if the answer is "not much", that would be a more fruitful tack. I know I got a phone call last summer inviting me to stay on the line for a "telephone town hall meeting" with the Congresswoman. Why the phone? Was she not in the District? Was she afraid to address constituents in person?

Meade said...

Tidy Righty said...
"Pogo, please stop trying to smear me."

Why would suggesting you might be Titus be a smear?

Tidy Righty said...

What I have read of Titus here, he is a sick, perverted, queer.

(Yes, I realize people will complain about my using "queer". Up until recently it was considered ok. The the PC police around here will not like it though.)

Jay Fellows said...

Early this year, news sources in Indianapolis compared Evan Bayh's mansion in the DC area with his low rent condo/mailing address in Indy. There was no doubt where he really lived.

He knew that there was an anti incumbent fever brewing and chose a gracious exit.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why would suggesting you might be Titus be a smear?"

There's no smear on the tighty whities.

jimspice said...

That's right. Every tea partier with a racist sign is a "plant" and every bigot commenter is a "moby." Unbelievable.

Ann Althouse said...

The reason I think Tidy Righty isn't Titus is that he's not as funny.

Joe said...

"Tammy Baldwin is a sick Sod[o]mite."

I'd suggest she's a rather healthy sodomite (and I fully endorse her preference for pussy.)

downtownlad said...

Maybe you can get your friend Dr. Helen to do some reparative therapy on her.

Calypso Facto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

Well, Tammy Baldwin's defense is bogus. Lesbians have to fear for their very lives in Madison??? Can we all agree to call BS?

Washington, DC, is an extremely expensive place to live, and the surrounding suburbs are not much better. Every other March the local scandalrag (the Washington Post) runs an article in its "Style" section about some newly-elected Congressmen who are living in their offices or sharing a cheap basement apartment with another Congressman in a run-down, Civil War-era, row house. They come to town thinking that their generous -- maybe even munificent, by the standards of their district -- Congressional salaries will easily stretch far enough to maintain the old homestead and rent or buy something nice to live in. Reality is a rude shock for newly-minted Congresscritters of both parties.

The temptation for the ones of them who aren't rich (or who didn't marry money the way Kerry and McCain did) is to get rid of the house back in the district and buy or rent something nice in a tony DC neighborhood: Georgetown, Adams-Morgan, the gentrified areas of Capitol Hill, maybe even across the river in the nice parts of McLean or in Old Town Alexandria.

But then there's that pesky business of residing in their district.

So the title question of the Professor's post is fair, and unlike MadMan my own suspicions are that she doesn't really have a legal residence in Wisconsin. This suspicion is heightened by the realization from spring 2009 of how many Democrat politicians cheat on their taxes. (MadMan and I disagree? How'd that happen?)

Triangle Man said...

Does she understand and care about what is going on in her district or has she been absorbed in the culture of Washington over the last 12 years?

She is at least accessible to people in her district and meets with constituents regularly.

Original Mike said...

"The reason I think Tidy Righty isn't Titus is that he's not as funny."

Agreed. However, I am entertaining the possibility that he is JimSpice.

Calypso Facto said...

Delete Comment From: Althouse


Calypso Facto said...
I agree that it's worthwhile to check that our representatives meet the basic qualifications of the office. (Not an invitation to you, Mick.)

But apparently she has satisfied the Gov't Accountability Board in that regard. Whether or not she's in touch with her district and has done a good job on behalf of us is another thing altogether.

Here are the top bills she's introduced (Library of Congress, linked from Baldwin's web site):

* Expressing the support of the Congress regarding the need to facilitate State innovation in national health care reform. [Ha!]
*Supporting the goals and ideals of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
*Recognizing the 40th anniversary of the National Eye Institute (NEI) and expressing support for designation of 2010 through 2020 as the "Decade of Vision".
*Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that President Barack Obama should immediately work to reverse damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration and collaborate with Congress to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power.
*Recognizing and supporting the goals and ideals of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
*Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there is need for further study of the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder (FGID) Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

12 years in Washington obviously allows her to be an important voice in feel-good tripe, and the use of public funds for partisan hate. So at least she's got that going for her.

Sorry for the re-post. Just fixed my math on TB's term.

Big Mike said...

... but there is the more substantive question whether someone who is supposed to represent us had a good connection to the people of the state. Which is more important?

Well, Professor, one of those criteria is both objective (in the sense of easily and definitively evaluated) and carries the force of law. The other is purely subjective. Which does a Con Law professor think is more important?

edutcher said...

Her sex life isn't the issue, really. Most Congresscreeps represent themselves after a couple of terms, making sure they send home just enough pork to make sure enough useless idiots keep voting for them.

The idea is how accountable are these people to the home folks? Are they willing to address a Tea Party (calm down, Wack)? Will they attend an unscripted Town Hall? Basically, whose side are they on?

That's the reason to have them living in the district. Otherwise, they're just absentee landlords.

Ann Althouse said...

"Tammy Baldwin is a sick Sodimite."

That's spelled Somdomite.


Sodomite. (No sweat, you fat-fingered it)

WV "bioniz" When they put a shine on your DNA.

jimspice said...

Sorry OMike, I'm a boxers kinda guy. I AM currently Mobying one site (not this one) just to see how far over the top one would have to go to get banned. However, I use my real name and email address, so anyone could easily contact me to put me in line, or at least Google me to find out I'm actually messing with them. So far, lots of lefties have showed their disdain, but no one from the right has suggested I pipe down.

AC245 said...

So far, lots of lefties have showed their disdain, but no one from the right has suggested I pipe down.

After a while it just gets to be too tedious to point out all the lies from the various leftists hiding behind their sockpuppets and moby accounts.

The sad thing is, you think that you're somehow proving that conservatives are bad people because they don't drop what they're doing and spend all their time and effort denouncing the lies and intentional slanders you spout in an effort to disrupt meaningful discussion.

Free clue: if conservatives were as bad as you imagine, you wouldn't have to moby.

Sofa King said...

"The sad thing is, you think that you're somehow proving that conservatives are bad people because they don't drop what they're doing and spend all their time and effort denouncing the lies and intentional slanders you spout in an effort to disrupt meaningful discussion."

Even while he tries to argue against conservatives doing that VERY THING in this VERY THREAD!

*facepalm*

Big Mike said...

@edutcher, the Professor is referring to a famous law suit. Back in Victorian England Oscar Wilde had seduced one of the sons of the Marquis of Queensberry (yes, the same Marquis of Queensberry who established the modern rules for boxing). Queensberry left a card at Wilde's club saying that we was "posing as a somdomite [sic]." Wilde sued for libel, but lost when it turned out that Wilde was, in fact, a homosexual who frequented male prostitutes when he wasn't sodomizing Queensberry's son. Wilde was forced to reimburse Queensberry's legal expenses, which bankrupted him, and since homosexuality was illegal in Victorian England, Wilde was forced to flee the country.

Original Mike said...

"So far, lots of lefties have showed their disdain, but no one from the right has suggested I pipe down."

The best way to deal with Mobys is to ignore them.

Joe said...

That's spelled Somdomite.

Click the link to get the reference.

AC245 said...

Even while he tries to argue against conservatives doing that VERY THING in this VERY THREAD!

*facepalm*


Yes, Sofa King.

I've noted in a few other threads that when Tidy Righty pops up to moby, there's usually a leftist wingman (moby/sockpuppet/disposable account) nearby to immediately start shrieking about how TR represents the true, secret viewpoint of all conservatives.

After seeing enough of this behaviour, one starts to wonder if lies and deceit are all that leftists have to offer to the marketplace of ideas.

jgm said...

Damn, Althouse, just finished reading Richard Ellmann's old bio of Hoscar. As a result I've decided to put "posing Somdomite" on my business card. It'll go well with "ex-con" and "available for children's parties."

c3 said...

In the end, the whole thing is a pretty bald-faced political stunt

you mean like this one?

Isn't that what happens in campaigns?

(Your side does it more!!!......
pre-emption)

Revenant said...

I would assume that all Congresscritters regularly receive death threats. One percent of humans have severe personality disorders, which works out to around 7000 people per Congressional district.

Comrade X said...

That's right. Every tea partier with a racist sign is a "plant" and every bigot commenter is a "moby." Unbelievable.

I AM currently Mobying one site (not this one) just to see how far over the top one would have to go to get banned.

are your racist/sexist/homophobic moby comments from your own brainpan or are you plaigarizing someone?

dick said...

My friend who lives in Dayton, Ohio is a very close personal friend of the congressman from that district. He was advised by the Secret Service to sell his home and move to another that would be safer for him now that he was a congressman and might need protection. His new home is listed on his website but it is in a neighborhood that is very safe and the local cops take special notice of the home. I would think this should be sufficient for Ms Baldwin as well, especially after serving 6 terms.