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Running for a House Seat in WI…via California

Great find here by Jack Craver over the CapTimes.  (Seriously, how Jack is still there is strange to me.  He’s a fine enough reporter you’d think the JS or Gannett would have snatched him up by now.)

At the very least, Amardeep Kaleka is an unconventional candidate for Congress.

That is apparent from any media coverage of his candidacy, which the 35-year-old says was inspired by his father’s tragic death at the hands of a deranged white supremacist who last year opened fire on a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, killing six.

But other aspects of his candidacy are unique as well.

For starters, unlike most Congressional candidates, Kaleka’s campaign is not based in the district he hopes to one day represent. Currently the campaign address is listed in Los Angeles, where Kaleka has worked in recent years as a filmmaker, not southeastern Wisconsin, where the First District is currently represented by Republican Paul Ryan.

Kaleka says he splits his time between Wisconsin and California, where his film business has an office.

“The way our business works, we’ve been in and out of California for four years now,” he says by phone from the west coast. “We pay taxes in Wisconsin as well as here. Our home has always technically been (in Wisconsin).”

And he dismisses the suggestion that he is not sufficiently in touch with his district to provide adequate representation. He points out that he grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and argues that being a member of Congress is as much a national duty as a local one.

According to Craver’s report, Kaleka’s day job is that of “Documentary Filmmaker.”

His latest film, “Sirius” is on how the federal government has been hiding the existence of UFOs, ETs, and proof that they’ve been the Earth.

(Wow, the “he’s a wack-job” direct mail nearly writes itself.  How does a picture of this guy look next to the Hale Bop Comet Cult leader?)

In all seriousness, the issue here is Kaleka’s primary residence and where he is paying taxes.  That information can be easily found and is eligibility under state law determined then and there.  It’s whether this guy seems to think he has to actually do constituent work which frankly seems to worry me.

“I don’t know if (where you live) corresponds to whether you’re going to do a good job in Congress,” he says. “I would rather elect somebody who has a lot of national leadership experience and international experience.”

The point of being in the House is that you are to be the closest connection — both in terms of the size of the district you represent and the term in office you have — to the people.  That’s laid out fairly well in the Federalist Papers (See. #53) so I have no idea what Kaleka’s talking about by saying the job “is a national duty, not a local one.”

In reality, it’s both.  Always has been.

So I wish the kid luck in his primary against Rob Zerban, who apparently still has only $12.49 in his campaign bank account. 

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