Mayor Sulaimon Brown
Last year, before then-Council Chairman Vince Gray declared his intent to run for mayor, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander got a visit from Sulaimon Brown, who asked for her support in his bid for mayor.
Alexander says Brown acted as though they were old friends, and seemed sure of his ability to win the race. Alexander, however, remembers thinking: "I don't even know who he is."
Likewise, a source on the Gray campaign says Brown let it be known last campaign season that he would be a lock to win if Gray wasn't in the race. (Adrian Fenty ran a bad campaign, no doubt, but it wasn't that bad.)
At first blush, one might think the more news that comes showing Brown is not a serious person, the better it is for Gray, who is currently in a world of hurt because of Brown's accusations that Team Gray promised him a job and gave him illegal cash payments.
One one level, that's true. Brown's made so many ludicrous pronouncements it's hard to take anything he says seriously. Here's just a few of LL's favorites:
- Media outlets had violated some kind of law by not covering his mayoral campaign and Brown was considering legal action.
- The "Gray administration spin machine" had fabricated court records related to a 2007 protective order in order to discredit Brown.
- The Gray campaign paid precinct captains to withhold votes in pro-Fenty areas on campaign night.
- Brown says he never had a Maryland driver's license, despite plenty of evidence that says otherwise.
But there's a paradox at work here: The worse Brown's credibility looks, the worse Gray's line that he only promised Brown an interview, and not a job, looks.
LL's already tread this ground before, but it seems worth pointing out again now that Gray supporters are calling Brown a "nutjob" and "crazy." If Brown has been so consistently crazy, and he'd been thoroughly vetted, then why did get a $110,000-a-year job? Could the Sulaimon Brown who's running around the District now have landed himself a six-figure salary only on the strength of a promise of an interview? Or would it have taken a bit more help? It seems to LL that there's only one reasonable answer.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery