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.