In the days leading up to the Republican National Convention, which opened Monday in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the presumptive GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain, made news not for his policies but for his mental paralysis.
Asked how many homes he owned with his wife, Cindy McCain, the Anheuser-Busch distributorship heiress, McCain couldn't respond. "I think—I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico on Aug. 21. (The answer is, at least eight.)
Here in Oregon, House Speaker Jeff Merkley, a Democrat who's running for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), made an issue of Smith's lodging near Washington, D.C. A Maryland McMansion within jogging distance of the area's most exclusive golf course, Congressional Country Club, Smith's house is a brick colonial worth $3.5 million.
"It's a nice home," Smith told WW on Aug. 14. But, he added: "If they think your house disqualifies you from public service, then they would have to disqualify half the Democratic caucus."
Really? WW digs a house tour. So we went to Washington, D.C., to check out how all seven of our federal lawmakers live in the nation's capital. See the image above.
REP. EARL BLUMENAUER (D-Portland)
More than $500,000
Blumenauer's duplex sits on a street with a dedicated bike lane. (Funny, someone once mentioned Blumenauer was into bikes.) He lives upstairs and rents the unit below, earning him more than $15,000 a year.
REP. DAVID WU
Northwest Hoyt Street between 17th and 18th avenues
The paint was tired. The trash needed to be taken out. No one had tended the lawn or taken in the newspapers for days. On the plus side, WW guesses that means our congressman is busy working, right? Purchase price in 1999? $291,500.
REP. DARLENE HOOLEY (D-West Linn)
Near RFK Stadium
Gentrified Alberta Arts District
Neighborhood gossip: Hooley co-owns her condo, in an old trolley station called the Car Barn, with Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver), author of Sex, Science, and Stem Cells, and the chief deputy whip. Hot.
REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D-Springfield)
The Gangplank Marina
Big Eddy Marina
Market value: $30,000
Neighborhood gossip: Nicknamed "Eastward Ho," DeFazio's home away from home is a 32-foot cabin cruiser named for his father's youth camp. "It's great," DeFazio says of his 1987 boat, purchased for $16,500 in 2007. "It's very comfortable. It's like a studio apartment."
REP. GREG WALDEN (R-Hood River)
Laurelhurst, if it were closer to downtown
Market value: $620,950
Neighborhood gossip: Just down the street from Wu's house, Walden's pad is surrounded by blooming flowers and looks like a mini South Carolina-style Rainbow Row.
SEN. RON WYDEN (D-Portland)
Behind the U.S. Supreme Court
Northwest 11th Avenue in the Pearl District
Market value: $999,000
Neighborhood gossip: Purchased in June 2007, Wyden's new home welcomed twins Ava Rose and William Peter four months later in October. ￼
SEN. GORDON SMITH (R-Pendleton)
D.C. neighborhood: Bethesda, Md.
Neighborhood gossip: Smith, who skipped this week's RNC, is a member of nearby Congressional Country Club, described on its website as "an informal common ground where politicians and businessmen could meet as peers, unconstrained by red tape."
(D-Portland), candidate for U.S. Senate
Market value: $550,000-$700,000
Neighborhood gossip: Merkley's Ledroit Park neighborhood sits behind Howard University. Purchased in 1984 when he worked for the Pentagon, Merkley's home is also a bank; the Senate candidate borrowed $250,000 from the rental unit in April.
Slideshow: Homes of the Oregon congressional delegation