What Is Kwame Brown's Legacy?
Should we have done something long ago about Kwame Brown's ethical lapses? Should we mind that the federal government - in which DC residents have little voice - can't seem to get enough of investigating our local officials?
If Chairman Brown's personal financial irresponsibility, questionable use of public funds and retribution against council members and reporters for questioning his ethics weren't enough to get him voted out, should an unelected District Attorney have had to push for his quick resignation under the duress of a plea deal? As Martin Austermuhle of DCist reports, "Brown's two loans—though fraudulently obtained—have either been paid back or are current."
Despite his addition to DC government's string of shameful corruption allegations, Brown did some good for the city. His disgrace, while shameful, is being manipulated into a specious claim that DC doesn't deserve autonomy and democracy. Well, as DC Vote director Ilir Zherka said on WAMU, "the basic rights of Washingtonians cannot be earned or lost based on the bad behavior of elected officials." The Post chimed in that residents of Illinois, Nevada, and Indiana didn't lose their rights when their elected leaders went to prison: "the last time we checked, the rights of citizens were not linked to the morality of their elected officials."
What is left is for us to show people that DC politics isn't all bad and work to make it better. That's why we're working with DC Public Trust to ban corporate campaign contributions to local officials. As the campaign hits the home stretch, it could really use your help. Contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.