Wyden selling his Portland condo
Our post of yesterday, taking another cheap shot at Sen. Ron Wyden, has led to an interesting discovery: He's apparently listed his condo on Portland's Washington Park for sale. At a time when some of us are questioning whether he really lives in Oregon any more, that's a development worth watching. Where is he going to claim residence next?
Our latest ruminations started when we read this feature in the Wall Street Journal, in which Wyden's wife, New York City bookstore magnate Nancy Bass Wyden, shows off her prowess using books as decor items. It's odd that she treats books as part of the furniture -- make up your own joke about her spouse here.
But anyway, with a wife and two toddlers ensconced in a very lived-in-looking apartment in Manhattan, we continue to wonder how Wyden, who spends most of his time in Washington, D.C., can still be claiming an Oregon residence. We checked the state's voting records, and they show the senator as living in a third-floor condo in this building, right next to Washington Park in southwest Portland.
Checking a little further on that address, it turns out that the unit is a two-bedroom, 1,070-square-foot number that sold (apparently to Wyden and his then-spouse) in 1997 for $125,000. And Googling just a bit further, we find that it's currently on the market -- has been for a few weeks now.
Here's a version of the real estate listing, and don't miss out on the virtual tour here. The place looks completely unlived-in, and certainly without that Bass touch. Heck, one of the few books on the shelves is actually placed upside down! But there are a lot of men's clothes in one of the closets -- the only sign of life in the place, really. No sign of two-year-old twins, that's for darn sure.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see whether the senator continues to vote from this address. Or where his next Oregon address might be. Meanwhile, we continue to ruminate on the Oregon voter registration law, which we discussed last week in connection with questions raised about the residence of the state university chancellor:
An elections official may consider, but is not limited to considering, the following factors in determining residency of a person for voter registration purposes:Wyden clearly flunks (d), rather notoriously. How he might score on the other five factors is open to discussion. For example, Multnomah County sends the property tax bills on the Park Place condo to 312 A St. NE, Washington D.C. 20002-5938. That's the yellow building in this Google street view -- a residence that Wyden apparently also purchased in 1997, for around $1 million.
(a) Where the person receives personal mail;
(b) Where the person is licensed to drive;
(c) Where the person registers motor vehicles for personal use;
(d) Where any immediate family members of the person reside;
(e) The address from which the person pays for utility services; and
(f) The address from which the person files any federal or state income tax returns.
The state income tax returns would be interesting information indeed. Is Ms. Bass paying Oregon income tax on her worldwide income? That would be surprising. For state tax purposes, the two of them could be declaring separate domiciles -- he in Oregon, she in New York -- not unheard of, but not commonplace, either.
Finally, a retraction: The other pot shot we've been taking at Wyden for a while now -- that he isn't a Democrat any more -- needs to be withdrawn. He's a Democrat like President Obama is a Democrat -- champions of corporate America under a fake progressive banner. With friends like these two, the little guy doesn't need enemies.