Skip to comments.In Defense of Corrine Brown
Posted on 12/06/2017 8:49:35 PM PST by nickcarraway
The number of living elected officials whom I do not despise shrunk by one when Rep. Corrine Brown, who lost the Democratic primary in Florida's fifth congressional district in August 2016, left Congress in January of this year.
Brown will almost certainly never hold public office again. She was sentenced by a judge in her home state of Florida to five years in prison on Monday, on charges of using a phony charity to squeeze money from donors and into her own pockets. Of course, she could win the appeal she has vowed to pursue, and I for one am praying for her victory. But in all likelihood, Corrine Brown is done.
Brown is one of our most remarkable politicians not only because of the genuinely good work she did for her constituents, but because she is an extraordinary human character. Not since the death of Rep. James Traficant (R-Ohio) has there been a more amusing figure in Congress. Brown is a larger-than-life stateswoman, a free spirit, a tongue-lasher, a brawler, a pro-earmarks street fighter, a welfare pugilist, motivated not by ideology or party loyalty but by practical concern for the well-being of men and women in her largely black district, a long flood-ridden plain extending from Jacksonville to Orlando along the St. Johns River that was largely uninhabited until it became a haven for freedman in the immediate postbellum era for whom she secured hundreds of millions in federal dollars.
Brown's putdowns, invariably delivered from her favorite tables at the barbecue joints of Jacksonville and Tallahassee and full of casual obscenities ("My congressional office is for congressional matters. You need to know it's not for the b.s."), are the stuff of legend. Her opponent in the 1992 Democratic primary, a white liberal talk-show host, was a "bubba," she said, who "couldn't win at the ballot box, so he took it to court." Gov. Charlie Christ, he of ever-shifting party affiliation, was a ludicrous figure who was "good at taking pictures." She dismissed George W. Bush's administration as "a bunch of white men" and was rebuked by that beacon of virtue Dennis Hastert for referring to the 2004 presidential election as a "coup d'état." The charges against her in 2016 were "some b.s. a Peyton Place witch hunt." She is known to sign her letters "Your sister in the struggle, Corrine Brown."
It is impossible to imagine many of the numberless and indistinguishably venal creatures who represent us in our federal legislature caring at all about something as simple and life-enhancing as college football. When Brown appeared on the floor of the House in January 2009 wearing a tangerine Florida Gators dressing gown with a tasteful black pantsuit underneath, of course and gave a speech congratulating Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer, she secured my affection forever. In her wide-ranging remarks, she also heaped scorn on the then-embryonic notion of a college football playoff system. "One, two, three, four, five / Then the Gators don't take no jive," she said before yielding back the balance of her time.
The charges that eventually sealed Brown's fate are not the first time she has been accused of wrongdoing in her long political career. What is remarkable is how thin the record now looks. In 1998 she accepted a $10,000 check from a Baptist minister that may or may not have been used to bus supporters to a rally. Two years later she helped secure the release of Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko, a somewhat eccentric West African millionaire once alleged to have used black magic to obtain a $240 million deposit into his account at a Dubai bank, from prison. Sissoko, a gregarious man by all accounts, thanked Brown by buying her daughter a Lexus. "And," the Washington Examiner adds breathlessly at the end of its rap sheet, "in 2008, Brown took heat from the mayor of Jacksonville after she had sandbags delivered by the city to protect her home from Tropical Storm Fay. The congresswoman eventually pledged to pay the city $886."
The sanctimonious remarks of the law enforcement officials who successfully prosecuted Brown are a window into the world of liberal elites for whom the empty formalism of process and clichés about governance matter more than right and wrong. "Former Congresswoman Brown chose greed and personal gain over the sacred trust given to her by the community that she served for many years," said U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow. "Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown violated the public trust, the honor of her position, and the integrity of the American system of government when she abused one of the most powerful positions in the nation for her own personal gain," added Kenneth Blanco of the Justice Department.
What integrity and whose sacred trust? Brown's crimes pale in comparison with what many white congressmen in wealthier districts probably get away with every day. The law says that bringing home the bacon for one's poor constituents while quietly scheming with one's staff to put away a slice of it well shy of a million dollars, to be split three ways is a crime and that accepting 10 or 50 or 200 times that amount from Wall Street and Silicon Valley and pharmaceutical companies in order to implement their agenda is politics.
"If the law supposes that," said that distinguished legal scholar Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist, "the law is a ass a idiot."
She’s black, so it’s okay for her to be dishonest? These people don’t even seem to comprehend what they’re saying.
The article's "money line."
Yeah. Just like Marion Barry?
Democrats: Down, but NEVER out.
I'm sure that her future rehabilitation and comeback will be celebrated in Democrat circles.
Before you go to sleep believing that Corrine Brown will probably never hold public office again, think about one Alcee Hastings.
He was a Federal judge convicted of soliciting bribes; served his time. Now he’s a sitting Representative.
“Moral” of the story: It’s nice to be from a voting precinct that is predominantly made up of voters with your own skin color (viz: Mad Max represents Watts and will til she quits or dies).
Brown is going to prison and she's not guilty of doing anything the Clintons haven't done. Her biggest failure was not being nearly as talented at it.
I think that's the point the writer was making. And this Jacksonville resident feels a little sad for Corrine Brown and the sad little scheme she was running that sent her to prison. She just wasn't nearly as skilled a grifter as some of her friends are.
>> Brown’s crimes pale in comparison with what many white congressmen in wealthier districts probably get away with every day.
If there are white congressmen in wealthier districts committing worse crimes, let’s put them in prison, too. I’m not biased. But we have to start somewhere. I would have preferred to start with Bill and Hillary, but this is a good start.
It it looks like an idiot, writes like an idiot, it probably is an idiot.
Payback It Walther for your guess that: Brown's crimes pale in comparison with what many white congressmen in wealthier districts probably get away with every day. I also hear he probably likes to suck methane from dead corpses.
Written by an apologist of the worst sort for a politician of the worst sort.
I saw Corrine Brown in person during the 2004 election. She was there at the main polling place in Jacksonville walking up and telling people in line to vote for her, WAY inside the distance allowed at polling places. I knew right then and there she was a dirty rat (had never heard of her before, was there just volunteering).
Its hard to imagine law enforcement as being more sanctimonious than the journalist who wrote this.
Where was the “barf alert” normally attached to these BS opinion pieces from the left?
Hastings was never convicted nor served a day in jail. His former law partner William Borders (I think his name was) was convicted of bribery. Hastings was impeached by the House and convicted and removed from office by the Senate, both under Dem control at the time, so it was probably pretty open and shut. The bent judge has been my congress critter these many years.
Browne said, “GO GATA, GO GATA, GO GATA”.....on the House floor, dressed as described in the article. Remember? It was a total embarrassment.
I’d keep a lookout on that guy & make sure he stays on his meds. He looks like a good candidate for a future mass shooter with those crazy eyes.
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