If one were to compile a list of hypocritical, clueless members of Congress, Adam Schiff (D-CA) would be near, if not at, the top of the list. Now, as he is engaged in a campaign for a California Senate seat, we find he claims as his primary residence a 3,420-square-foot house — in Maryland.
For more than a decade, California Senate hopeful Rep. Adam Schiff has claimed his primary residence is a 3,420 square foot home he owns in Maryland, according to a review of mortgage records.
At the same time, Schiff has for years taken a homeowner’s tax exemption on a much smaller 650 square foot condo he owns in Burbank, California, also claiming that home as his primary residence for a reduction in his tax bill of $7,000. He did not take an exemption on his home in Maryland.
While Schiff has signed documents asserting both the Maryland property and the significantly smaller Burbank condo as his primary residences, tax records indicate that he paid his California property taxes in 2017 with a check featuring his Maryland address – the only year he paid with a personal check. And a review of past comments, pictures shared on his public social media, and records indicate Schiff makes his full-time home in Maryland.
It’s likely that, since he claimed his homestead exemption on the California property, he meets the legal requirements of residency; presumably, if he has a driver’s license, it’s a California one.
But what about the ethical issues? It staggers belief that he spends much, if any, time in a 650-square-foot condo; that’s essentially a hotel suite, and it’s very likely that he uses it as a crash pad while campaigning in the state he supposedly represents.
Granted, Schiff is one of the most reliable people in Congress: Every time he opens his mouth, something daffy comes out. He doesn’t seem to even understand the workings of the Congress of which he is a member. Even so, Schiff is the front-runner in the California open primary, in no small part due to constant missteps by his equally (or even more) clueless and feckless opponents.
Would it be too much to ask, though, to demand that Representatives and Senators live in the district or state that they, you know, represent? It’s not asking too much, but the practical solution is another matter. California’s requirements for Senate and House members are simple:
Senate: At least 30 years of age, citizen of the United States for at least nine years, and resident of California when elected
House: At least 25 years of age, citizen of the United States for at least seven years, and a resident of California when elected
The requirement of “resident of California” presumably could be met by the possession of a California driver’s license or state ID and the filing of California state income taxes. So Schiff may be meeting the letter of the law, but it’s arguable that he is not complying with the intent of the law. It’s difficult to see a fix for this short of a constitutional amendment stating that elected officials may not maintain any residence other than the one in their state of residence, and that, honestly, just isn’t going to happen. So, while the optics may be bad, expect Adam Schiff, whether he be in the House or Senate, to continue this practice.
If you need any further evidence that Adam Schiff is unfit to hold a Senate seat, just consider this: He was endorsed for the seat by Nancy Pelosi.