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Schwartz to run as a write-in; at-large race gets more interesting

You've probably already seen that Carol Schwartz will run a write-in campaign to retain her at-large Council seat in November.

Michael A. Brown. Image from his campaign site.

You already know GGW's opinion of Schwartz and the bad policy that came out of her chairmanship of the Public Works committee. As we've discussed before, Mara favors more bicycle infrastructure. But what about the person still favored to win, though a little less so this morning than yesterday morning: Michael A. Brown?

Brown (not to be confused with at-large Councilmember Kwame Brown or Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown) still has nothing on his issues page. His most recent events are from July. What kind of legislator would Michael Brown be? He's run for Mayor and for Ward 4 Council. For those of you who've been around longer, did issues that matter to this blog come up in those races?

Perhaps Jack Evans ought to consider changing his name to Jack Sea Foam Green, so that the Council isn't all Brown and Gray.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Yeah I totally agree. Brown seems to be a pretty blank slate. None of his prior campaigns have caught fire at all. I can't get a read from him whether he's a reformer or a machinist (although his choice to support Cropp over Fenty in 2006 should tell us something). What has he done besides being the son of a prominent Democrat? He doesn't seem to have any overarching political philosophy. What issues would he go to the mattress over?

I fear that he'd just be another Kwame Brown; i.e. a go along to get along type. At least with Carol you get a fiscal watchdog whose worst positions (anti-smoking ban, anti-school takeover) were out-voted. Mara could go either way. He could easily be a tool of the Committee of 100, or he could turn into another Catania (which I know for some is even worse, but I'm not one of those some).

by Reid on Sep 16, 2008 10:35 am • linkreport

Who is this mysterious Committee of 100? It almost sounds like a secret society. I know they are the main opponent of the new zoning proposition, but beyond that, I have no idea.

by SG on Sep 16, 2008 12:14 pm • linkreport

It is an organization of residents who advocate for "responsible planning and land use." In recent years the Committee's membership has shifted in the direction of those who take a more anti-change view, and in several cases, like parking, the Committee has been a leading force opposing positive improvements. The Committee did some excellent work in the past, including leadership in fighting freeways.

Reid: If Mara is bad, I'd guess it would probably be in a more pro-development way, supporting letting developers do almost anything in the name of economic growth. At least, under-regulating is the way Republicans generally lean when they are bad on land use, versus bad Democrats who lean toward over-regulating. (By the way, I'm sure very few (if any) members of the Commitee of 100 are Republicans.)

by David Alpert on Sep 16, 2008 12:19 pm • linkreport

The Committee of 100 sure behaved like a secret society, such as with their sell out of the Extending the legacy South Capitol Mall:

by Douglas Willinger on Sep 16, 2008 12:37 pm • linkreport

Douglas, you have a vivid imagination. The Dupont Circle Citizen's Association (as well as most other organizations with any link to Dupont) have held meetings and other events at the Order of the Eastern Star's building as well as at the Masonic Temple itself on 16th Street. I guess that means that the whole neighborhood is Masons and involved in some sinister an unknown plot! Not! I'm a member of the Committee of 100 and I assure you that there is no connection between the two. Most members of the organization have, like myself, come to it by being land use activists or otherwise having involvement in land use issues. For example, in addition to a lot of architects, we have a former councilmember and other "politicos" such as myself, a former ANC chair.

by Lance on Sep 16, 2008 1:06 pm • linkreport

Not that everyone in those organizations is a Mason.

But rather that there is some connection with Mason Orders with Masonry undeniably having a long history of involvement with the planning of Washington D.C.

And that there was some force causing the Committee of 100 to go totally apostate with its opposition to Extending the Legacy and their sell out of the South Capitol Mall.

by Douglas Willinger on Sep 16, 2008 1:19 pm • linkreport

I apologize. I get the Committee of 100 mixed up with the Federal City Council sometimes. They're both pretty secretive, and not particularly helpful, in my opinion. (And knowing the reactionary voice of Lance is among the 100 confirms my opinion of them.)

Anyway, it's the FCC, not the Committee of 100, who have bankrolled Mara. The FCC and the Board of Trade, that is. I'm not sure how a rookie like Mara would be able to refuse their orders if he were to win.

versus bad Democrats who lean toward over-regulating

Woah, that's not true. Well, it might be sometimes true, but it doesn't take a long read through the bio of such machinists like Vincent Orange or Marion Barry to see how Democrats can go bad on development issues. Just look at Orange's work wrt Florida Market or Brentwood shopping center. The latter is just poor planning, the former is pure cronyism.

Do I have reason to think Michael Brown would be like Orange? Not exactly, but I have no reason at all to think he'd be like, say, Wells either. He's a blank slate. Add to it the fact that the only reason he's ever gotten a single vote is who his dad is, and you can have at least an inkling that he's not terribly opposed to cronyism.

by Reid on Sep 16, 2008 1:52 pm • linkreport

My goodness, this is over simplified:

At least, under-regulating is the way Republicans generally lean when they are bad on land use, versus bad Democrats who lean toward over-regulating.

by Jazzy on Sep 16, 2008 2:33 pm • linkreport

Patrick Mara may be new to the scene, but if elected he would be anything but a "tool" of anyone else. He stood up to his own party and, despite tremendous pressure from party leaders, he challenged the status quo. That's character and courage.

I have gotten to know Patrick over the past couple of months. He's a guy with a core fiscal conservative philosophy, he's not going to be swayed just because someone gave to his campaign.

However, Michael Brown isn't a totally blank slate: we know he graduated from a fourth-tier law school.

Kris Hammond

Ward Five Republicans

by Kris Hammond on Sep 16, 2008 11:59 pm • linkreport

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