By Tom Tillison
Florida Political Press
Democrat Alvin Brown is in a runoff for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida. He's been fortunate to gain the endorsement of the ever-shrinking Florida Times-Union, as well as a number of GOP donors.
One endorsement Brown does not appear to have much interest in is from the tea party, having rejected the invitation from Billie Tucker and the First Coast Tea Party to sit down and discuss his candidacy leading up to the primary election.
In light of this snub, the good folks at FCTP have put together some rather important questions that very few seem to be asking in Jacksonville.
So how about it, Alvin Brown? Care to engage with the citizenry of the city you wish to lead?
Question #1: Harvard Kennedy Business School; Jacksonville University sent out a press release regarding you joining JU as Executive-in-Residence with JU’s Davis College of Business. (See press release here: http://www.ju.edu/departments/marketing/news/3364.aspx). It stated you had completed post graduate work at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Upon checking that statement, Harvard referred us to this website to obtain the information: www.studentclearinghouse.org. This website could not verify any record of you attending school there. Why?
Question #2: Willie Gary Classic Foundation; The press release also stated that you were the CEO of the Willie Gary Classic Foundation. The Willie Gary Classic Foundation was given sponsorship money by the City of Jacksonville to the tune of more than $400,000. Can you explain how the money was spent; how much money you made personally from this foundation; why the City of Jacksonville decided to stop funding it; did the Foundation make money from this venture; what happened to the Willie Gary Classic Foundation; and why is it not in business anymore? We spent a lot of money on this sponsorship so the answers to these questions are very important.
Question #3: Brown Empowerment LLC; We reviewed your Form 6 posted with the Duval County Supervisor of Elections. You mention JU as your top source of income at $24,000 per year. You also mention that you own a company, Brown Empowerment LLC, but you do not mention how much money you personally take from this company. A spokesman in the Florida Department of State’s office said Monday, May 2 that The Brown Empowerment LLC has missed the May 1 deadline for filing its annual report. According to the Department of State, you are listed as chairman and resident agent of The Brown Empowerment LLC. Your wife, Santhea L. Hicks, is registered as managing director. You have not publicized this company nor has the company been disclosed in news articles with reporters nor when JU announced your position with them. Why do you not talk about the company you own, Brown Empowerment LLC? You do not mention it in any of your commercials either. Why? What does your company, Brown Empowerment LLC, do and why do you choose not to mention it in press releases or commercials?
Question #4: You parlay your former position in Washington for the White House Community Empowerment Board as evidence of your qualifications to serve as mayor. This board brokers federal funding deals with communities. This was created by the Clinton White House. The board offers “special incentives for government contract awards to businesses in distressed communities” through Clinton’s Empowerment Contracting program. Federal Empowerment Zones are laden with tax incentives and loan deals. Barack Obama has preserved the Clinton-Gore era programs. Tell us more about that job. What happened to this once-promising program? Why did you leave it? Are you still in favor of these types of programs? If so, why?
Question #5: According to Federal Elections Commission website http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml, you gave money to 13 different Democratic political candidates and stated on the FEC form that you were an attorney. We checked with the Florida Bar website (http://www.floridabar.org/) and they do not have Alvin Brown at your address registered as an attorney on their website. Are you an attorney and if not, why do these forms reflect that you are?
Question #6: Four years ago, in promotion of this event, you noted you were a Partner with Roger Staubach Company; http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NBMQ0307/index.php?startid=66
We contacted Roger Staubach Company and they merged with Jones Lang LaSalle. They did not have any record of you being a partner with Roger Staubach Company. Can you explain what happened and why they do not have their information correct? What did you do for Roger Staubach Company; how long were you with them; and why did you leave? Can you also tell us why you do not talk about this experience with this excellent company?
Question #7: In an article in the Times Union dated, Saturday, May 7, 2011, it stated, “Brown portrays himself as a conservative not linked to the national Democratic Party.” Early in your campaign, you received many contributions from individuals in Washington, DC and its suburbs. A campaign fundraiser was held in Washington in 2010, according to state election records. Why did the Democratic Party give your campaign more than $300,000? Also, why did out of town donations of more than $200,000 pour into your campaign for a local mayoral race? Those numbers can be found on the Supervisor of Elections campaign site at: http://duvalelections.com/
Question #8: Is it true that you were the Executive Director of the “Katrina Fund Interfaith Advisory Committee” after Hurricane Katrina? Is it also true that seven of the nine members of the committee resigned including Bishop T. D. Jakes? Is it true that the committee members said checks were cut to churches without first performing an audit to make sure the church “exists?” Can you tell us if this article noted here is true and what say you about how the money was spent: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_4_110/ai_n16609007/
Question #9: In the TU article dated Saturday, May 7, 2011, it stated: “Brown sought an apology Friday for the letter that Brown said unfairly calls him a liberal and links him to President Barack Obama.” You were recently quoted in an article in BlackAmericaWeb.com, “Brown said if he becomes mayor, bringing jobs to Jacksonville will be good for residents, good for the city and good for Obama since job creation is also Obama's top priority.” You can read the entire article here: http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/moving_america_news/26332. Why then would you say you were owed an apology because Mike Hogan linked you to President Obama?
Question #10: In another recent article published by The Jacksonville Ledger on April 11, 2011, it stated; Vaulted into a May Jacksonville Mayoral general-election, that no one seriously anticipated, may have thrown Alvin Brown‘s political ambitions for a loop. Since he announced his bid for Jacksonville’s top job, it had long been rumored by local politicos that his run was a ruse to raise local name recognition for a future Congressional bid. In 1994 Alvin Brown unsuccessfully ran against Congresswoman – and current “I’m with Alvin” supporter – Corrine Brown. Whether he makes another bid for her seat remains to be seen, but his past political posturing points to Alvin being more comfortable on Capitol Hill than in Hemming Plaza. Read the entire article here: http://jaxledger.com/2011/04/11/alvin-brown-for-mayor-or-congress-track-record-points-to-capitol-hill/ Our question for you Mr. Brown is this: Would you be more comfortable on Capitol Hill than in Hemming Plaza? If you would be, why chance being our Mayor when it is so important to have someone in the seat who really desires to be there?
Question #11: In an article by Folio magazine this week (http://www.folioweekly.com/documents/folio0503wkl004.pdf), it appeared to be written verbatim from a Press Release than an actual fact-based story. Do you agree with that statement? We have copied the Press Release that was sent to the local media by your campaign consultant. We believe if you lay it side by with the article from Folio you will see most of it is almost word for word. See the article noted above and see the email from your political consultant below.
Press releases are understandable and used to “help” a reporter dig up the facts. They are never to be used as a “story” because the reporter is expected to look for the whole truth and nothing but the truth and of course, they should never be biased in their reporting. Also note that this type of journalism does not meet the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. Check them out here at: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp Our questions to you: Do you believe this is excellent journalism or a horrible smear campaign against a good man, Mike Hogan? Do you think this is the type of politics that most Americans abhor? Do you believe Mr. Daigle served you well? Do you believe the First Coast Tea Party has a right to endorse a candidate who was willing to meet with us, went through the entire FCTP process and made himself available to us? Can you say you were not given the same opportunities as Mr. Hogan? Can you tell us why you refused to meet with us or participate in our process? Can you tell us why Mr. Daigle would think the First Coast Tea Party is important enough to use to send a Press Release but we are not important enough to meet with?
Question #12: At a recent unplanned encounter, you stated that you would be happy to meet with the First Coast Tea Party now. Why now? Why wouldn’t you meet with us before the primary when all the other candidates did so – except Audrey Moran?