In case you missed it, on Nov. 4 we also had some local elections. Longtime D.C. Councilmember Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) lost her bid in the primary and ran as an independent. She lost in the general election, and Michael Brown was elected. Brown, a lifelong Democrat and outspoken supporter of Barack Obama, was running as an independent.
There's no question that Michael Brown is a Democrat. His father was Ron Brown, Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton and former Chairman of the DNC. You may recall Ron Brown died in Croatia on a trade mission when his plane crashed.
Anyhow, so Michael Brown, a lobbiest who has run for the D.C. Council and Mayor in the past, pretends to be an independent. Why? Beacuse there's this rule that says no more than 3 of the Council's at-large seats can be held by the same political party. There's already three Democrats and one Independent on the Council, so Brown could not run as a Democrat.
Now the D.C. Republican Party is suing, saying Brown can't take office because he's really a Democrat.
Now I don't even know where to start with this circus. I'll start off by saying I didn't vote for Brown, and for the first time in my life actually voted for a Republican, Patrick Mara. But that's neither here nor there.
I can tell you one thing, the D.C. GOP will not be successful, and Michael Brown will take office. Gonna happen.
The voters spoke and picked Brown... so we either have to go with that, or say the law trumps that and have a special election where only "real" Independents or Republicans can run. What's the litmus test for a real Independent? Brown is clearly a Democrat at heart... but on paper he is no longer a memeber of the Democratic Party. The law uses the term "affliation," not "registered member." Brown voted in the Democratic primary this past February, and then switched to Independent a few months later.
So how about this stupid rule? Should it stand? Should rules be used to try and prop up a minority party? Can we please have a law that says no more than 60% of the Council can be Democrats, and no more than 0% can be Marion Barry?