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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kansas Sen. Roberts won't say how many days he spends in Kansas -- By Byron York

Recently the New York Times reported that Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who owns a duplex in Dodge City as well as a house in Alexandria, Virginia, does not live in the Dodge City home when he is in Kansas. Instead, Roberts has rented out the house for several years; he told the Times he pays a friend $300 a month to stay in a room in the friend's house during visits to his home state.

The article set off an uproar, with both Democrats and Republicans slamming Roberts. But the piece did not shed much light on the bigger question, which is how much time Roberts spends in Kansas. In the story's second paragraph, the Times quoted a Dodge City resident who said, "I've been here since '77, and I’ve only seen [Roberts] twice." Readers who stuck around for the third-to-last paragraph learned that "in the last year, [Roberts] has visited 72 of the state's 105 counties, several of them more than once," although the Times suggested Roberts only did so because he fears a primary challenge. (He has one, in Kansas City physician Milton Wolf, who has used the Times story to attack Roberts as a Republican who really represents Virginia, not Kansas.)

But the question remains: How much time has Roberts spent in Kansas? Not just in 2013, but in years past, when he was less concerned about his immediate re-election prospects?

After the Times piece came out, I posed that question to Roberts' spokeswoman in Washington and his campaign manager in Kansas. Roberts has schedules and records; it wouldn't be too much trouble to see how much he had been in Kansas. His aides said they had begun gathering that information and at one point had six staff members reconstructing Roberts' Kansas visits. They worked Saturday, Sunday, and much of Monday, promising to have the information soon.

And then, late Monday afternoon, Roberts' office got in touch to say they wouldn't be giving out any details of the senator's days in Kansas. "We're not going to release numbers because we're not sure that any number would be acceptable to some of these outside groups," said spokeswoman Sarah Little. "We're worried about what the yardstick is. Who defines how much is enough days in the state?"

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