Idaho Sen. Lodge says she’ll live in a mobile home to quiet critics

Sen. Patti Anne Lodge says delays on construction of a new home at Sunnyslope have kept her away from her legal residence for a year. On Tuesday, she told the Idaho Press-Tribune’s Mike Butts she would move a mobile home to the site and live in it to quell those making a “political issue” of the matter.

Among those questioning Lodge’s absence from the home in District 11 is Maurice Clements, who got 40 percent of the vote in a bitterly fought 2012 Republican primary won by Lodge with 60 percent.

“I’m puzzled that she is allowed to continue to live outside of the district she is supposedly representing,” Clements told the Press-Tribune.

Lodge has been living at another family-owned home in Caldwell, in District 10. Lodge chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and is married to U.S. District Judge Ed Lodge.

During the 2013 legislative session, I was urged to ask Lodge about her living outside the district and did so. She told me it was temporary, as allowed by Idaho election law. But the Press-Tribune reports that the Lodges have experienced “numerous delays” in the project. The couple removed their former dwelling to make way for the new home.

Lodge told the Press-Tribune she will discuss the matter with the Canyon County Republican Central Committee at its Sept. 17 meeting at the county courthouse, at 7 p.m.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa told the paper that Lodge’s absence appears to fit within the definition of an allowed temporary absence from a residence. “But the final arbiter of that would be the State Senate,” Ysursa said.

 

 

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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