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Friday, April 1, 2011

Wanted: Wyden watch

After our posts of earlier this week wondering about the true domicile of one Sen. Ron Wyden, we thought it might be revealing to compile a calendar of which cities Wyden sleeps in each night. And so we have signed onto his website and sent him a message asking if such information is available anywhere.

Think we'll get an answer? And if we don't, is there any way we can compile such a calendar independently of the senator's office?

Granted, the number of nights slept in any town is not controlling when it comes to determining one's domicile. But it's certainly relevant. And the comparison between New York City (where Wyden's wife and kids live) and Portland, Oregon (where he maintains a mostly-empty condo unit, currently on the market) would be quite interesting.

Comments (10)

I think the key to answering this question may lie in getting access to Wyden's travel records. I bet that his New York/DC trips are via Amtrak or the USAirways shuttle. Obviously when he returns to Oregon he flies. Travel records in combination with Senate attendance records would give a good indication of where Wyden spends his time.

It might be interesting to see how Wyden's travel between DC and NYC is paid for. Or if he charges the Treasury for trips between Oregon and NYC. I'm no expert on this, but I suspect it's against the rules to dip into public funds to visit his family in NYC.

Probably can't use FOIA because it doesn't apply to Congress, but the refusal of any elected representative to disclose his/her travel records is a refusal that speaks for itself.

I recall a few years back investigating what it would take to establish residency in Washington when I thought it might help if my son chose to attend University of Washington.

It used to be quite easy: simply have a mailing address there. This was a giant loophole that many students took advantage of. Potential students applied from out of state, and paid out-of-state tuition for that first semester of their Freshman year. Subsequent semesters, the student paid in-state, resident tuition, using their dorm or apartment address to establish Washington residency.

Since then, the loophole was eliminated, and there is a long list of criteria used to determine residency. This includes an in-state drivers license, establishing a residence, receiving and paying utility bills, registering a vehicle, etc. A fairly long list. Since Washington did not have an income tax, there was no need to prove payment of taxes in Washington.

Does Oregon have any criteria to determine who is a resident, and who is not?

The NYT did an article about a month ago about how NYC tax authorities use all sorts of info to prove someone is a NYC resident and thus liable for city income tax.

Might help here....

Anybody want to bet Combover Ron spends 80% (or more) of his time on the East Coast? It would be revealing to find out when his Portland neighbors say he was home the last time.

Wasn't the address he gave in Forest Heights? How is that not in his district?

I think WW confused "northwest" with "northeast"-- a common confusion. It seems like Ron Wyden has much the same issue!

My mistake-- I didn't realize that Blumenauer's district extended so far west.

I'd guess the OR nights = the number of nights he's in town for his famous OR tours that check the pulse of OR voters - The year before his next election.

Don, who is "he", Wyden, WU, Blums? Wyden's condo is right next to Washington Park, up from the MAC.

I think he should qualify as an Oregon Citizen as long as his MAC Membership is current.

Or a Portlander at least.

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