During last week's interview between long-shot GOP candidate Fred Karger and David Frost, Karger intimated that he was going to be "filing some papers" in Massachusetts over former Gov. Mitt Romney's residency status. Karger said the GOP primary frontrunner had "fudged a lot in his political career and I'm going to be calling him out on that." Well, courtesy of Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones, here's what Karger was talking about:
In his complaint, Karger lays out a chronology of Romney's real estate moves since his failed presidential bid in 2008. According to Karger's timetable, Romney and his wife, Ann, bought a $12.5 million home in La Jolla, California, in May 2008. ("I wanted to be where I could hear the waves," Romney told the AP of his move to the West Coast.) Thereafter, Romney became a regular at California political events, even campaigning for Meg Whitman during her gubernatorial bid. A year later, in April 2009, the Romneys sold their home in Belmont, Massachusetts, for $3.5 million, and registered to vote from an address in the basement of an 8,000 square-foot Belmont manse owned by their son Tagg. But where the Romneys really lived these past couple of years seems to be a bit of a mystery. While Romney was appearing at so many California political events people were speculating he was going to run for office there, the National Journal reported in May 2009 that the Romneys had made their primary residence a $10 million estate in New Hampshire.
The discrepancies in the news coverage prompted Karger to take a closer look, in part because he found it dubious that a guy worth $500 million would really be living in his son's basement.
What brings the allegation of voter fraud into this? Well, in the January 2010 special election for the Massachusetts Senate seat, Romney cast a mail-in ballot for Scott Brown. Of course, the fact that Romney was using his son's house at the time didn't escape notice: Here's a Jan. 8, 2010 item from Christina Bellantoni at Talking Points Memo, reporting the matter. At the time, Romney's spokesperson said that he "never gave up his Massachusetts residency." There seems to be no evidence that he cast ballots in any other state during this time.
Though Karger has made it his mission to do so, I'm not convinced that there's much here to derail Romney's run. That won't prevent all the various "Stop Mitt" forces from having themselves a look at the allegations. Go read the whole thing.