Loose Lips

Michael Brown Goes On The Offensive

During the 2010 D.C. Council chairman's race, Vincent Orange attacked his opponent Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown over Brown's dismal personal finances, which included more than $50,000 in unpaid credit card debt.

Brown, according to a former campaign aide, was angered by Orange's attacks and wanted to mount a vigorous rebuttal. But Brown was talked down, says the aide, by campaign adviser Ivanhoe Donaldson, a former aide to Marion Barry who went to prison for stealing city funds.

Donaldson told Brown, who was the clear favorite at the time,  to relax and ignore Orange's attacks. Responding, Donaldson argued, would just give Orange more attention, the aide says. Brown took the advice and cruised to an easy victory, winning by nearly 17 points.

Two years later, At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown is taking a different approach. Brown, who is favored to win re-election in next month's general election, has been under constant fire from his opponents for problems with his personal and campaign finances. And it looks like Brown isn't going to take it anymore!

Today on Newstalk with Bruce DePuyt, Brown lashed out at his opponent David Grosso for a 1993 misdemeanor conviction in Florida for marijuana possession.

"Talk about your arrest and conviction ... talk about it." Brown said. "Everyone gets into my stuff, get into yours. ... Did you tell the voters?"Later on Twitter, Brown explained that it wasn't so much the crime, but Grosso's "hypocrisy" that he was going after.

"If running on platform of good govt/transparency— [should] have disclosed all charges/convictions," Brown wrote.

LL profiled Grosso in August. During an interview, Grosso said he'd been a follower of the Grateful Dead. Naturally, LL's next question was about drugs. Grosso freely copped to the pot charge during the interview—which LL didn't include in the story because, c'mon, who wasn't busted  for having a small amount of pot while camping in Florida when they were 22?

It's hard to see how Brown is doing himself any favors with these attacks. Do they take attention off his own troubles, which include pleading guilty in 1997 to being part of an illegal straw donor scheme? Maybe, but they also give Grosso, who is much less well known than Brown around town, some attention. And Brown just comes off as angry and a bit whiney when making these attacks. On Newstalk today he did his best Sarah Palin impersonation when he complained about the fairness of the media.

"If I sneeze without a tissue I get on the front page of the paper," Brown said. "They pick on me."

Brown might want to find his own Donaldson to get him to focus on what's important on the race. The latest campaign finance reports show that Grosso has a large cash-on-hand advantage going into the final weeks. Grosso has $67,000 in the bank, while Brown, who says his treasurer walked off with more than $100,000 of his campaign money, has only $16,000.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Photo by Darrow Montogmery

  • Logan Circler

    Michael Brown should retire gracefully. Too bad the minor political career to which you felt you were entitled hasn't worked out Mike.

    Whatever communications support Brown is getting is inept and amateurish. Its more then a newsletter spammed to assembled mailing lists boys!

  • Welllllllll!!!!!

    Angry and whiney or angry black man?
    I am one of quite a few other people I know who were not busted for pot when we were 22. Wasn't camping in Florida but was camping a few other places, smoked a little herb too, but never got busted.

    How bout chu LL? MM? Were you two of those 'who didn't get busted....?' Is that why you cut 'Grasso' some slack by not reporting his transparency about the matter?

  • DC Antics

    Talk about petty and tit for tat! A misdemeanor marijuana conviction from 1993 does not compare to Brown's misdeeds and it is no comparison to Brown's campaign finance issues.

  • Welllllllll!!!!!

    @ DC Antics: Never said there was a comparison, but if we're gonna throw stones, lets throw them at everybody; not just the angry and whiney Black man. 'Grasso' owned up to it but old LL/MM decided not to broadcast it. If I remember correctly, that is what another MB was found guilty of and damn if it wasn't a REALLY BIG DEAL. Matter of fact, I think he was sentenced to 6 months in jail for that misdemeanor pot bust. Wasn't 22, but hey, who's counting age here but LL/MM. Guess it was okay for a White youth to get a misdemeanor pot bust. It certainly wasn't mentioned on purpos because 'come on, who wasn't busted for' a whole lotta shit because they were White?

  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    Michael Brown is an idiot and he will not get my vote. How many college students or young people haven't experimented with reefer?

    Faints at my computer eating a fish sandwich. hehe

  • NE John



    @we!!!!! - you are right, what a double standard not to mention it after it was disclosed in an interview. Wow.
    And BTW, I have been to "Dead Land" and there was a whole lot of other drugs being used and passed around besides pot. There were pink ones, red ones, purple ones, green ones etc. If you been to Dead Land you will know exactly what I am talking about. Can Grosso pass a piss test today? It is not the fact this "pothead/acid head" did puff but the fact this was mention in an interview and was not disclosed is horrible. Is this the Post?

    This is becoming a "turkey race". Yes, Brown has some bs going on around and with him. But Grosso is the constant whiny whistleblower and has not campaign on anything but how Brown is a screw up. In the end, pot is illegal and this clown broke the law as a 22 year old adult, period. Then everyone wants to minimize it as "its only pot", who has'nt followed the Grateful Dead and has not used pot...... that is junk. Let me tell you it is not just pot that is what he was popped for and let me guess, that was his first and last time Grosso used pot..... right, who believes that?? LOL!!

    Sometimes the devil you know is better than one you don't!!

  • Weedy

    Word is this is not Grosso's only infraction. Wait and see

  • ColHeights

    Brown will win, Grosso will lose and go back to raising families insurance premiums higher as VP of Carefirst

  • Pingback: On to Game 5

  • Why Lie I Need A Beer!

    Yea Kwame cruised onto being a crook and resigning office.

    I still regret voting for that idiot.

    For once, Orange was right.... I think im getting sick after just saying that.

  • Typical DC BS

    Nice that Brown pretends he's not a Democrat so he can scam as a councilmember. He's in a seat supposedly set aside for anyone BUT a Democrat. But, this being DC, who's surprised at the typical scummy Dem manuever.

  • Drez

    Brown disgusts me for entirely different reasons than those reported here.
    I would have voted Swain, but he didn't campaign or outline any platform, so far as I can tell.
    Grasso it is.

  • mizwillis

    @ Drez: Was that a Freudian slip or are you joining the facetious club with the "Grasso" thing?

    Whatever! I'm not voting for 'Grasso' because of the hypocritical way his admission about his issue was handled by the media.

    I'm fortunate enough to say I've never used illegal drugs of any type. (Now I do love my martini every now and then), but after what they did to M Barry re his little pot bust it's only fair to expect the same for any candidate running for office. After all, the conviction didn't prevent Mr. Barry from being re-elected. The lack of transparency smacks of a hidden agenda.

    Ironically, Micheal Brown will probably win with a lot of the support coming his way because of this media attempt to hide Grasso's past.

  • Drez

    Brown runs, if that's what you call sitting back and expecting to win, on the strength of his Father's name.
    This is USA, not GB.
    Grasso should win.

  • mizwillis

    @Drez: Grasso or Grosso? Now that I think of it either way could be a pun.

  • Drez

    You got me. Grosso.

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