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GOP Files Legal Brief Against Brown's Council Seat

The District Republican Party has filed its brief to the D.C. Court of Appeals over Michael Brown's Nov. 4th victory in the D.C. general election as an independent at-large member of the D.C. Council.

The party is arguing that Brown is a political independent in name only, and really remains a Democrat.

The GOP asserts that Brown claimed independent status merely to seek office. D.C. law requires that at least one of the at-large council seats go to a minority party.

"The At-Large seat is designed to give a voice to those who don't always agree with the ruling party on the DC Council," DC Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kabel said in a statement. "Local Republicans and Democrats have worked together for years to give Voting Rights to the District in Congress. Silencing diversity on the Council and not complying with existing laws that gives a voice to minority parties is a step backwards."

Michael Brown told the D.C. Wire earlier: "My voter registration card says that I am independent, my petition says that I am independent, but my heart and values rest in the democratic principles that this country was founded on."

"There have been several examples nationally and locally in my situation, from Sen. Joseph Leiberman to Council member Carol Schwartz, who ran as an independent write-in candidate after she was defeated in the September primary as a Republican," Brown told us.

But that hasn't slowed the GOP in its efforts. Its executive director, Paul D. Craney, said this afternoon that the party is looking for a ruling sometime before Christmas.

"I believe the court has made a motion to expedite" the issue, he said.

(He also noted that Schwartz remained a Republican when she ran as a write-in candidate in November.)

By Marcia Davis  |  December 12, 2008; 4:13 PM ET
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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Hopefully, the Court of Appeals will uphold the right ove DC voters who spoke loud and clear against the Republican Party's candidate for the seat of Councilmember at large. For anyone whi can count 37,000 (Mara) is less than 39,000 (write ins),161,000 (Councilmember Brown) and 71,000 (Michael Brown). William Lightfoot who was a democrat, changed his affilation to independent and won a council seat decades ago--Mr. Brown used his knowledge of the election rules and won fair and square. You knocked off a progressive member of the republican party Carol Schwartz who managed to win for decades. Change has come in as the result of the failure of the DC Republicn Party's failure to convince the voters to support their candidate Mr. Mara. It is time for the u.S. Congress to eliminate the requirement for the voters to support a candidate from a party other that the democratic party--this is unamerican and not required of the other states.

Posted by: bill121 | December 12, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Get over it! If the GOP wanted to show their unity they should have blasted Catania when he gave up his GOP affiliation to become an independent. They now have another chance to get one. Look for someone to challenge Graham since he got caught using fire dept recruits to cater his parties and get Kwame Brown. He's useless. He only votes present! Go after the ones we are all tired of.

Posted by: candycane1 | December 12, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

This claim is totally ridiculous first how can someone tell anyonne what is going on in their mind or heart. Secondly concerning party affilations you may likes some of the democrats ideas and you may like some of the republican ideas. Being independent mean that you are open and go with what you think is best be it from a democrat or republican it is what is best for the constitutents that you serve. Get over it we know who is really behind this and it is a democrat that is pushing Mara.

Posted by: brink123 | December 19, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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