Thursday, June 04, 2009

Carlos Brown, Where DOES He Live?

Last week, I wrote about the primary race in Virginia’s 69th District for the Democratic nomination for the vacant House of Delegates seat. I mentioned that Betsy Carr and Antione Green were each my friends and were each running for the 69th District seat. I explained that because of this I felt I could not endorse nor campaign for either of them. I mentioned the third candidate running for the seat, Carlos Brown, and said only that I did not know him. Well, being a maven, I need to know everything. So, I started researching Mr. Brown and found out that…

This is not the first time that Carlos M. Brown has run in a Democratic primary for a vacant house seat. Only about six months ago, Mr. Brown was running in the 70th District for the seat vacated by Dwight Jones when he was elected mayor. And, according to Olympia Meola’s story in the Times-Dispatch, at the time he declared his candidacy in the 70th District Mr. Brown was not a resident of the district. He lived in Henrico County, outside the district. He had to find some place in the district to call his home so that he could qualify for the primary election. 1
Apparently, this was not a problem for Mr. Brown, because by December 6, Ms. Meola reported that Mr. Brown “now lives in the district.” 2

Mr. Brown lost the primary election. However, he had so much fun in that contest that he eagerly awaited another chance to run. And would you believe it, less than four months later, Frank Hall, the incumbent in the 69th District, announced that he was leaving the House of Delegates to take an appointed position in state government. This was another chance for Mr. Brown to run for a vacant house seat. There was a bit of impediment to Mr. Brown running—he did not live in the district. (It is not clear whether he still lived in his Henrico County residence or the residence he had established to run in the 70th District back in December.) Well, this was really no problem for our nomadic friend Mr. Brown. As indicated in Ms. Meola’s April 8 article in the Times-Dispatch, “He is currently working on establishing permanent residency within the district boundaries.” 3

Mr. Brown was apparently successful in his latest relocation because according to the Virginia State Board of Elections he now lives at 5926 Fairlee Road in the City of Richmond (or at least gave that as his address in filing his candidacy papers). On the other hand, the Virginia Public Access Project, which keeps track of political contributions in the Commonwealth, indicates that Mr. Brown’s campaign headquarters are located at 3029 Four Mile Run, which is a considerable distance outside the 69th District.

So now you have the story of poor Carlos Brown who can’t figure out where he lives. In the last six or seven months he has relocated from Henrico County to a residence in the 70th District and then to a residence in the 69th District. For the sake of Mr. Brown let us hope that future elections do not require him to relocate again.

This would be quite funny were it not for the fact we are talking about the person who will represent the residents of the 69th District in the House of Delegates. Our representatives in the General Assembly are elected from local districts, not at large. Presumably this is to guarantee that citizens of the Commonwealth are represented by people who live nearby and understand the issues they face. This intent is clearly violated when individuals jump from district to district to find some election they can win. I’m not sure where Mr. Brown lived last November, but that is the place he is best qualified to represent. His changes of residency, first to the 70th District and then to the 69th District, just to run for election did not change that.

I don’t know about you, but I sort of resent people who move into a state or local election district just for the purpose of running for office. Mr. Brown’s itinerant behavior should not be rewarded by electing him to the House of Delegates.


Scott said...

I agree. I don't know the guy personally , but it seems like he's a shifty Dominion lawyer guy.

Factchecker said...

SInce you are such a great researcher then you already know that Mrs. Carr moved into the 5th district from Windsor Farms in order to recieve her appointment to the school board when she was initially appointed. You would also know that Frank Hall had to move into his district to run for re-election in 2001. In addition you should discover that Mr. Green lives in Henrico with his mother and uses his grandparents address in Richmond for voting purposes. In fairness to Mr. Brown he was the only candidate that was honest about his relocation. The others just trusted that you all would be too naive to investigate it.