Milton Wolf, the tea-party Republican challenging Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas in the state’s May primary, is getting some media coverage beyond the elevator pitch that he’s an anti-Obamacare doctor who happens to be Barack Obama’s second cousin on his mother’s side.
Recently, someone from Wolf’s campaign snapped a photo of Roberts’ private vehicle, which bears the vanity plate ”PR-USS.” That stands for “Pat Roberts, U.S. Senator” and is of little note. But what is galling some Kansans is that the license plate was from Virginia. Wolf says it’s almost as if Roberts is saying he’s the Old Dominion’s third senator.
It’s common for members of Congress to live near Washington, D.C., but Roberts has gone further than most in putting down roots there. In his last reelection, he filed for the ballot using the address of his rental property in Dodge City, Kan., which was occupied by someone else, and he had a Kansas absentee ballot mailed to his home in Virginia.
Is it time for Roberts to start worrying he has Lugaritis?
That’s the disease that claimed the political career of Dick Lugar, the 81-year-old Indiana senator who in 2012 was defeated in his state’s GOP primary. Lugar was accused of “going Washington” after it was revealed he lived in Virginia and didn’t have a real domicile in Indiana. Lugar’s defense was that he couldn’t afford two homes, but at the same time he was pleading poverty he owned a farm in Indianapolis that was worth millions.
Roberts is fighting back and has now rented a room in Kansas. But he is still having trouble batting away Wolf’s attacks on the issues.
A 42-year-old radiologist, Wolf accuses Roberts of raising the debt ceiling, bailing out Wall Street, and claiming last year that he couldn’t see a way out of using military force in Syria. Wolf also says Roberts voted to confirm former Kansas Democratic governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. The senator has now called on Sebelius, the daughter-in-law of the Kansas congressman Roberts first went to work for 40 years ago, to resign.
It’s unclear if Wolf will have the financial resources to really beat Roberts, but he certainly is giving him fits.