Pat Roberts Staff Says NYT Residence Report is a ” Hit Piece”
February 8, 2014


Sen. Pat Roberts’s office lashed out Friday at The New York Times over a story that questioned the nature of the Republican’s residence in Kansas, calling it a “hit piece” and stressing that the lawmaker does own property in the state, even if he doesn’t live in it.
In an interview with the paper published Friday, the three-term senator is cited as acknowledging “that he did not have a home of his own in Kansas.” The address where he is registered to vote, a red-brick house on a golf course where neighbors say they’ve rarely seen him, belongs to longtime supporters C. Duane and Phyllis Ross, the paper reported.


Roberts faces a primary challenge this year, and tea party activists trying to oust him quickly pounced on the information in the article as the latest example of him being out of touch with Kansans. The Times said Roberts is “now desperate to re-establish ties to Kansas and to adjust his politics to fit the rise of the right in the state.”
Shortly after the Times story was posted, Roberts’s office pushed back. An aide to the senator emphasized Friday that Roberts owns a property that he rents out to others in Dodge City, Kansas.
The Times piece noted at one point that, “Mr. Roberts moved his address from a rental property he owned in Dodge City but had long since leased to tenants, and got a new driver’s license giving the golf course home as his address.”
The senator’s office insisted, however, the piece was nonetheless vague on that rental matter and left the impression Roberts had no property in the state.
According to his 2013 financial disclosure form, Roberts owns a Dodge City residence valued between $100,000 and $250,000. The same form indicates he brings in between $5,001 and $15,000 in annual income from the property, which his office said he has owned since 1992.
In a statement, Roberts’s Senate communications director Sarah Little also criticized the reporter on the Times piece, Jonathan Martin, as having a “clear agenda.”
Roberts “rents a room from friends in Dodge City because he cannot stay in the house he rents out,” Little told POLITICO.
An earlier version of POLITICO’s story on the Times piece interpreted it as suggesting that Roberts did not own a house in Kansas.

Read more: