"... The two-story house, gray with red trim, is badly in need of paint. The front lawn is a patchwork of grass and weeds with brown splotches of dirt. Much of the once lush ivy covering the chain-link fence has died.
"The red wooden gate sprawls on the lawn, unless someone props it up. A toilet sits on the back patio.
"The backyard weeds, which neighbors said had grown three or four feet high, were cut a day after The Times wrote about them a few months ago. Dead leaves have gathered behind the hot tub. Rosebushes are struggling from lack of water, since the sprinklers are never turned on. Gone are the rose of Sharon, miniature crape myrtle and primroses the previous owner had labored over for years."
Since Richardson wasn't taking care of the property, the neighbors started to. They have mowed and watered Richardson's lawn, they've paid neighborhood kids to rake leaves, they've picked up trash. Things were really bad in 2008, when rats began breeding in Richardson's back yard and soon migrated to the adjacent house.
Letters, emails, even a desperate attempt to get Richardson's attention by contacting Nancy Pelosi -- nothing worked.
There's a great quote from neighbor John Bailey, who describes himself as a liberal democrat:
"What I don't get is how she has the time to visit with Fidel Castro but doesn't have time for her own house. If you can't manage your own household, you probably shouldn't get involved in international affairs."
Not a comforting thought that somebody as irresponsible as Richardson is passing laws that affect the country.
Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach/For The Times