On the campaign trail last week, the rhetoric was all location, location, location.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who has received no end to the grief about her $2 million “mansion” in Washington, D.C., took a few minutes during a Bogalusa speech to jab at the lakefront “mansion” owned by her main Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Meanwhile, Garret Graves, a Republican who is running for the 6th Congressional District, has been batting back blogger attacks on his $800,000 “mansion,” located a few blocks from Landrieu’s.
Like Graves, Landrieu says she bought a D.C. house to keep her family together under the same roof. Though aimed at Landrieu, the residency issues have become so toxic that most of the Graves campaign opponents shut down any talk of living in Washington.
But the idea is for congressmen to speak for their community, he said. That requires lawmakers to spend time at home, run their businesses, mow their lawns, go shopping and surround themselves with neighbors, not special interest lobbyists.
“The biggest influence on legislators ends up being their peer group,” Jenkins said. “It’s the question of who is in the legislator’s peer group.”