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Pence’s Arlington Home Causing Indiana Election Flap

by Katie Pyzyk — May 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm 2,756 31 Comments

An election battle is brewing in Indiana over Rep. Mike Pence’s home in Arlington.

The Republican congressman is running for governor in his home state of Indiana. According to The Journal Gazette – a publication in Fort Wayne, Ind. — accusations are flying due to Pence’s house in the Williamsburg neigborhood.

His Democratic opponent, John Gregg, claims Pence spends too much time in the D.C. area and not enough time in Indiana. Gregg acknowledges that Pence is a legal resident of Indiana, but believes his time living in Arlington may have caused him to become out of touch with Indiana residents.

The article quotes Gregg as saying, “It’s a question of whether or not they’ve gone Washington with them being out there.”

Although he hasn’t offered a specific breakdown of how much time he spends in each location every year, it’s common knowledge in political circles that Pence’s family lives in Arlington while Congress is in session. His two younger children attend school in Arlington, and his oldest attends Purdue University in Indiana.

Pence, who has been in Congress since 2000, bought his house in Arlington in 2002 for almost $400,000. Currently, records show the property to be assessed at nearly $620,000.

Photo via Google Streetview

  • yequalsy

    My respect for Pence just went way up. One of the most toxic developments in congressional politics over the last several decades is this expectation that families have to stay back home in the district while the member shuttles back and forth constantly.

    • MarcyG

      Amen to that.

      • Bob the Builder

        Indiana elected him to be their representative HERE in Washington. Part of the problem with Congress today is the lack of personal relationships that exist between Members. It’s a lot easier to bash someone and their beliefs when you barely know them. Having Members live in this area means more time getting to know your colleagues on both sides of the aisle. By using this in a political fight, it means you don’t understand that they were sent here to represent you in the first place.

  • TGIF

    Wow, a Congressman actually lives in a normal house? Heck that doesn’t even look like North Arlington!?

    • Huh?

      What do you think N. Arl looks like? It’s about 30% colonials, 30% Cape Cods, 30% bungalows, and 30% ’50s ramblers, and 15% mcmansions.

      Oh, wait…

      Math aside, lots of it looks like his house.

    • House

      Dude, that house is pretty much iconic North Arlington.

  • Southeast Jerome

    I think a lot of congressmen and congresswomen do this.

    Maybe we can instead focus on the ugly shutters on this house.

    • DarkHeart

      Don’t get me started about the brats on their Razors scooters who hang out at Toronto and Williamsburg. They play in the crosswalk and act like a car needs their permission to proceed through the intersection.

      • WeiQiang

        I actually saw kids doing that for the first time the other night. I didn’t think that parents still admonished their kids to “go play in traffic!”

      • Amen

        Had a couple of moms yell at me the other day because I DARED to drive *very slowly* down their street (N 17th), right past their pylon, well after their kids had wisely seen the car and gone back into their yards. WTF? You can’t just decide on your own to block off part of a street to traffic. (I confirmed this with ACPD later just to satisfy myself.)

        I just ignored them and kept going.

        Why do people want their kids in the street instead of the backyard anyway? Throwing the football for long passes, I could see–but not general running around.

        • MomofTeens

          Seriously? People think they can block off a public street? Ugh, no, you need a permit for that.

    • nauckneighbor

      To be fair, it is really hard to figure out what to do with shutters on a brick house. I bought my brick house over a year ago and still haven’t figure out what color to paint them. I feel like White is way too boring. Any advice is appreciated!

      • a handy dude

        Don’t paint them. Replace them with vinyl ones. Look the same as wood, no maintenance, never paint again, lots of color choices.

        • Mary-Austin

          I actually like the look of painted wood shutters much better than vinyl. They just look tacky to me, especially when they fade on houses in direct sun.
          Personal preference I guess.

          • drax

            Until they rot.

            Paint fades in the sun too.

      • Clarendon

        Lots of examples around, black sometimes looks nice, or some people do crazy color like purple. It’s only paint so (at least on the first floor) its easy to change. I assume we’re talking faux (decorative-only) shutters? If yours are real, then I’m impressed.

      • WeiQiang

        Most of it depends on your personal preferences for color and for conformity. You say ‘white’ is too boring; would sunflower yellow be too garish for you? It would be a great contrast, but might not be appealing to you and your neighbors [if you give a calf's testicles about what your neighbors think].

        Some more sedate ideas would be: a colonial/slate blue or an evergreen … or mustard if a yellow really is down your alley. Paint stores have pre-coordinated pallettes of color for exteriors; they would have a brochure that would help.

        An idea I used: my house came with old-school functional shutters on the front of the house, but shutters at all on the side [like on the photo above]. If you don’t have any shutters other than on the front, adding shutters to the side windows really adds interest.

      • Loocy

        A neighbor recently painted her shutters and trim a dark brown and I thought that looked really nice. She made the door match, too, though.

  • Citizen

    I’m no fan of Pence, but in this area, he has a modest family house for living close to work.

  • Lou

    Oh look, a pic of my street!

  • brendan

    eh… this attack has become increasingly popular the last 2-3 cycles. Pretty lame. It’s requires a certain amount of cynicism about the district’s voters to take this angle, tho unfortunately polling shows it does work.

    Several members i’ve worked for have faced the same attack from the Republican side of the aisle so the strategy has clearly been adopted by both parties as part of the anti-incumbent narrative that challengers use. Everything from publishing the value of the dc area home, which comes of as absurd to most of america despite the fairly modest price in this market, to bringing up the family and where the kids go to school. Pathetic.

    Unfortunately in this case, Gregg shows a complete lack of understanding of congress since it’s been the Republicans who have been pushing for more and more district work periods aka time back in the district, while largely neglecting their legislative duties. If anything Congress doesn’t spend enough time in Washington, whether it’s working or at social gatherings with their colleagues, where they used to build the cross-aisle friendships that formed the foundation for compromise and legislative action.

    • welcome to politics

      Of course it’s pathetic. But it works. Nobody cares about you or your viewpoint in Indiana. They laugh at it. But you don’t vote there. They will say whatever they need to.

    • Bob the Builder

      Apparently, I should have read brendan’s comment before adding my nearly identical one above.

      • WeiQiang

        Nah … express yo’self.

  • FairlingtonD

    This used to be the norm for Members of Congress. They would move their families here and spend more time here getting to know their colleagues instead of jetting back to their districts/states as soon as a work week was finished. While I understand the need to be seen back home, Members just don’t each other at all and can’t bridge the divide on issues to find common ground.

  • asdf23sadds

    Where is this house? Looks like one of the houses near Virginia Square?

    • Lou

      It’s up around O’Connell.

  • WalksToWork

    Where’s he supposed to live? On the “Indiana Daily Express Shuttle”? I don’t understand the criticism.

    • ArlForester

      Seriously, its not like he’s from Delaware or someplace where he can go home often. I bet they’d prefer he never see his kids during the week and fly back and forth on the taxpayers dime instead. This is and has always been a lame argument.

    • drax

      It’s standard challengerspeak. The incumbent is “out of touch” and “Washington has corrupted him” etc. If he wins, the next challenger will use the same crap against him.

  • The Usual Suspect

    There is so much about Pence not to like, but this argument is sad. I must agree, Congress members serve their state, HERE, not back home. I ran by the house on Friday, there is a “Sale Coming Soon” sign in the yard. I bet you can have it for a reasonable price. Something tells me, though, that if he loses the election, he’ll be back (on K Street).

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