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Confusing Michael D. Brown robocall: 'Don't be confused!'

Remember Charles Moreland?

Neither did this reporter, who considers himself pretty well informed on the identities of city politicos past and present. Moreland is the city's first shadow representative, serving two terms from 1991 to 1995 before failing in an at-large council run.

He's prominent enough of a name to do a robocall circulating Monday for Michael D. Brown, the current shadow senator and Democratic at-large council candidate, who is facing accusations that he's riding voter name confusion with current council member Michael A. Brown to a substantial lead in the polls over incumbent Phil Mendelson.

Moreland introduces himself only as "former citywide elected official" and goes on to vouch for Brown: "He works hard for the citizens of the District and deserves our support," Moreland says.

"Don't be confused, vote Democratic," Moreland says. "Vote for Michael Brown, city council at large." Then, as in his last call, Brown himself comes on to announce the tag line.

It's become increasingly clear that confusion is exactly what Brown is banking on. Last week, in addition to the other robocall, Brown sent out a mailer -- one that does not feature a picture or, like the call, any mention of his shadow senator position.

The mailer mentions Brown's "days working at the Democratic National Committee" -- Ron Brown, Michael A.'s father, chaired the DNC from 1989 to 1993 -- and his work "getting D.C. statehood" -- Michael A. chaired the a council special committee on "statehood and self-determination."

By Mike DeBonis  |  September 13, 2010; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010 , The District  
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Oh give the guy a break! Its not his fault he has a relatively common name. Brown has worked actively on statehood for years, and did work for the DNC. None of that is remotely misleading. The idea of someone pushing the statehood agenda on the council isn't such a bad idea.

Posted by: RDS3 | September 13, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

As much as it's impossible to deny Brown's advantage on the name thing, I just keep finding myself not caring.

If Mendelson doesn't even have enough name recognition of his own in the city to distinguish himself from a challenger in any other way, then it's his race to lose. I won't shed any tears for Phil "protect the criminals" Mendelson.

Posted by: jamietre | September 14, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Phil Mendelson won in all 8 Wards. He won in 92% of precincts. He won more votes than either Vince Gray or Kwame Brown. He won more votes than he did in 2006 with roughly the same percentage; this time in a 3-way race. This is his fourth successful city-wide campaign. It is entirely possible that Phil actually knows how to campaign and win.

Posted by: bob74 | September 16, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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