WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Michael Brown On D.C. Ballot Despite Petition Challenges

Play associated audio
At-large Councilmember Michael Brown will be on the November ballot, despite two challenges.
Mallory Noe-Payne
At-large Councilmember Michael Brown will be on the November ballot, despite two challenges.

Incumbent D.C. Council member Michael Brown can stay on this November's ballot, the D.C. Board of Elections ruled yesterday. Brown survived a pair of challenges to his candidacy for the at-large seat on the council. One was from an opponent and the other from a local activist.

The ruling follows Monday's contentious Board of Elections hearing that ended with Brown campaign spokesperson Asher Corson and activist Dorothy Brizill — who filed one of the challenges — in a heated argument over accusations that the Brown campaign was writing bad checks.

Brizill and Brown's opponent, independent David Grosso, separately challenged whether Brown had gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for November's ballot. They claimed Brown's petitions were riddled with duplicates, ineligible signatures, unregistered voters and even forgeries.

The board reviewed the challenges and tossed out more than 1,300 signatures, but ultimately ruled that Brown made the cut, barely, clearing the threshold by fewer than 200 signatures.

"You've got an incredible amount of sloppiness, which leads you to think maybe there was a forgery," David Grosso said after the board's decision. "You have people misspelling their own names; how do you misspell your own names or put down the wrong address?"

Brizill, who has filed numerous petition challenges over the years, took aim at the Board of Elections itself.

"In some instances, the board can't count," she said. 

Political observers say knocking Brown off the ballot was Grosso's best shot at unseating the incumbent, a feat that hasn't happened during a general election council race in over a decade. Grosso maintains the board's ruling will not affect his chances.

"We never thought the hearing was serious," said Brown campaign spokesperson Asher Corson. "We never thought we were close to getting kicked off the ballot. We were never close to being kicked off the ballot, and the council member has been focused on talking with constituents and talking about talking about the issues."

Brown, who did not attend the hearing, criticized his opponents in a written statement Monday.

"This gamesmanship and shameless attempt to disenfranchise voters represents the most unethical kind of dirty politics," Brown said.

NPR

Reggie Watts, Man Of Many Voices, Improvised His Way To Success

The comedian and Late, Late Show band leader beatboxes, imitates and impersonates with amazing accuracy. It was a phone call from Conan O'Brien that put Watts' one-man show into the spotlight.
NPR

At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking and serving pies at the local favorite since 2009.
NPR

SuperPACs Report Their Funds — And The Numbers Are Staggering

SuperPACs released their latest funding numbers Friday, and already it's clear that the committees' roles in 2016 will be gargantuan.
NPR

Despite Host Controversy, Amazon Takes A Chance On 'Top Gear'

The trio that made Top Gear the world's biggest car show will return to the small screen in a new show for Amazon Prime. The BBC canned one of its hosts last year after a fight with a producer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.