Soon-to-be ex-Senator Scott Brown now seems more than a little interested in running in that special election prompted by John Kerry's recent nomination to Secretary of State. Which is to say that, much like the nasty fight he started over Elizabeth Warren's Native American heritage, Brown is already accusing a potential opponent of exaggerating where he comes from. According to the Boston Globe's Political Intelligence blog, Brown doesn't think Congressman Edward Markey, who has emerged as the leading Democrat to run for Kerry's Senate seat, is really all that eligible — or at least he doesn't think Markey visits Massachusetts enough. The blog quotes a Boston-area radio program that hosted Brown this morning (emphasis ours):
“I’ll tell you what; They’re making it awfully tempting. You got Ed Markey: Does he even live here any more?” Brown said with a laugh as he called into the “Jim & Margery Show” on WTKK-FM.
“You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth (from Washington to Boston) every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane — ever,” Brown added.
The Globe's Glen Johnson noted, in December, that "Massachusetts election law does not require members of Congress to live in their districts, only that they be an 'inhabitant' of the state when elected." Still, controversy over residency requirements have been something of a theme in Massachusetts politics: in 2002, Mitt Romney, who was running for governor, came under fire when he revealed that he hadn't declared the Bay State as his primary state of residence for the previous three years. Romney still ran and won, however, after the state's Ballot Law Commission ruled him eligible for office because he hadn't "severed" his "ties" to Massachusetts. Which, although bad news for the Democratic party then, could be a blessing now.