The 'room' Kevin McCarthy rented from a major pollster violated the building's bylaws: report
When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared on Fox News' morning show, "Fox and Friends," on May 4, one of the things he discussed was his relationship with veteran conservative pollster/consultant Frank Luntz and a "room" he had rented from him in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, in a Fact Checker column published on May 11, gets into the specifics of the "room" that McCarthy was referring to — and reports that in fact, that "room" was "in a 7000-square-foot space."
McCarthy told the "Fox and Friends" hosts, "Frank has been a friend of mine for more than 30 years.… I've rented a room from Frank for a couple of months, but don't worry, I'm back to — going back to where I normally am: on my couch in my office. But, yes, we pay fair market rate."
According to Kessler, however, "The 'room' that McCarthy rented from prominent pollster Frank Luntz for at least two months was in a 7000-square-foot space — a combination of four penthouse apartments."
Kessler reports, "It turns out that the bylaws of the condo building, Clara Barton at Penn Quarter, specifically prohibit condo owners from renting anything less than the entire space — and for not less than six months."
Those bylaws, according to Kessler, state, "No portion of any Unit (other than the entire Unit) shall be leased for any period. No Unit within the Buildings shall be rented for transient or hotel purposes … No lease shall be for a term of less than six months."
Luntz, Kessler notes, did not respond to interview requests from the Washington Post. Nor did a McCarthy spokesperson.
According to Kessler, "The District of Columbia regulates short-term and room rentals, saying it 'considers renting out a spare bedroom a business' and requires landlords who rent out a bedroom to fill out Form FR-500 with the D.C. Office of Tax Revenue, which provides the city with the location and ownership of the business. Hotel and 'transient accommodations' under 90 days are subject to a 14.95% tax on the listing price."
For decades, Luntz was a prominent figure in the Republican Party. But in January, Luntz, now 59, left the GOP following the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building.
Kessler points out that in addition to the "room" he rented from Luntz, "McCarthy would have had access to a 24/7 concierge, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, a media room, a business center and a party room with a bar and pool table. The homeownership association fees alone on the units are $4976 per month, according to Redfin.com."
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