Here’s a good lesson for all of you would be reporters and pundits: always check both sides of a story before you embarrass yourself.
I almost learned this one the hard way. Yesterday, Fox News published a story about the Republcian Congressional Committee trolling freshman Representative Lucy McBath (D, GA) by sending a box of Tennessee themed swag to her house. In Tennessee. Get it? Because she doesn’t actually live in Georgia.
For those of you who haven’t been following this story, McBath defeated Karen Handel last November for Georgia’s 6th District congressional seat, despite allegations that she was a legal resident of Tennessee. And Cobb County recently revoked her homestead exemption declaring that she did not meet their legal requirements for residency. That means that technically she was not a legal resident of the state when elected to Congress. And although there is no legal requirement that a Congressman live in the DISTRICT that he/she represents, they are required to live in that STATE.
But rather than file any legal challenges, the RCC decided to send a box containing a University of Tennessee hat, Memphis BBQ sauce and some Jack Daniels coffee to her supposed address in Tennessee. I wonder how many advisors it took to think THAT one up. And their supposed smoking gun proving that McBath lives at this Tennessee address, they provided this signature where she supposedly signed for the package:
Except that’s NOT her signature. You can clearly see (if you can still read cursive) that the first initial matches the “M” in Mcbath. According to the congresswoman, the package was signed for by her mother-in-law and she was actually in NY at the time. Fox still has not backed off its story. McBath has fired back on Twitter that her family is being harassed.
All of this is very amusing. But it still begs the question as to whether McBath is a legal resident of the state and district she was elected to represent.
Maybe instead of playing gotcha with UPS packages, the GA GOP needs to get its act together. They spent the 2018 election basically recycling the same attacks they used in 2017 against Jon Osoff. And whereas they worked the first time, I guess voters were tired of the “she doesn’t even live in this district” rehash or the “a vote for her is a vote for Nancy Pelosi” scare tactics. Cobb County GOP chair Jason Shepherd complained that the state party had his group focusing on phone calls to rural Georgia rather than concentrating on Cobb County voters. And although the rural strategy proved to be a winning formula for both Donald Trump and Brian Kemp, the Republican party was wiped out in Metro Atlanta. They lost the 6th district and barely held on to Rob Woodall’s 7th district seat.
I don’t know if anybody has legal recourse here. If so, then put up or shut up. “She’s not from around here” isn’t a viable campaign strategy. (And note to Democrats: can you not find SOMEBODY who lives in this district to run for office on the Democratic ticket? I know Cobb has traditionally been Republican territory, but your last 2 candidates have questionable ties to the district at best.) And I’m sure Congresswoman McBath has ample time to finish getting her boxes out of her mother-in-law’s house or register her car or do whatever else she needs to do to clear up her homestead issue before the 2020 election. Whatever it is, she needs to do it.
As for Republicans, they need to find a way to appeal to suburban voters again instead of playing pranks on the Democrats. Otherwise, they will lose even more House seats (and other offices) next year.