NYT: Kansas Senator Isn't in Kansas Very Much
'Times' criticizes Pat Roberts, and Roberts fires back
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2014 1:00 PM CST
Sen. Pat Roberts speaks while Newt Gingrich listens in the background during an appearance for Robert's Senate re-election campaign Nov. 8, 2013, in Overland Park, Kan.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – Pat Roberts has represented Kansas in Congress since 1981, but where does he call home? The GOP senator insists the answer is "Kansas," but a New York Times story raises some doubts. The particulars: Roberts, 77, owns a home near DC in Alexandria, Va., and that's where he spends nearly all his time. He also owns a home in Dodge City, Kansas, but he's rented that out to tenants for years. When he does go back to Kansas for business, he stays at the home of friends and pays them $300 a month to do so. That's the address listed on his voter registration.

The premise of the story by Jonathan Martin is that Roberts faces a primary challenge this year and is suddenly "desperate to re-establish ties to Kansas and to adjust his politics to fit the rise of the right in the state." That is, he wants to avoid the fate of Tea Party victim Dick Lugar. The Roberts camp has lashed back at the article as a "hit piece" that distorts the facts, notes Politico. But at the conservative Hot Air, blogger Allahpundit isn't exactly brimming with sympathy for Roberts, and he proposes this "modest" idea for lawmakers: "Either they’re capped at three terms in either chamber or they can run as much as they like but need to prove that they’re physically present in their home state for at least half the year. If you want to stop politicians from going native in D.C., it’s time for tough love."