WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia Councilmember Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) endured a weekend of bad headlines when The Washington Post dug into his driving record and discovered that his license was suspended five times in the past eight years because of traffic violations and failure to pay tickets.

It was the latest bad news for the son of former Democratic National Committee chairman and Clinton administration Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, capped off with an unflattering Post editorial on Sunday with a print edition headline: "Can you trust this politician?" (The online version is titled "A little loose with money.")

What's all the fuss about?

Brown, who narrowly survived a re-election signature petition challenge, last week detailed in campaign finance filings that more than $110,000 was missing from his re-election coffers. In June, Brown notified police and D.C. elections officials that a "substantial" amount of money was missing and fired his campaign treasurer Hakim Sutton, whom Brown has blamed for the mess.

In a statement released following his updated campaign filing last week, Brown, who is the D.C. Council chairman pro tempore, described the situation involving the missing funds as a "crime committed against the campaign."

Sutton's lawyer bit back hard last week, accusing the councilmember of being sloppy with his campaign finances.

"You mean to tell me that over two-thirds of your campaign treasury was depleted and you knew nothing about it? Incredible," attorney J. Wyndal Gordon said in a message posted to Facebook.

The Post's editorial recaps Brown's other unfortunate missteps over the years:


It is hard to divorce these latest issues from Mr. Brown’s past failure to pay his rent, mortgage and taxes on time or his previous campaign finance difficulties. An audit of his 2008 campaign found unreported expenditures and checks returned because of insufficient funds. In 1997 he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign violation for making straw contributions.

Brown also has been highly criticized this year for his efforts to bring Internet gambling to the nation's capital, which some have viewed as a conflict of interest for the councilmember.

Will the lastest headlines further dent Brown's image as the November elections approach? As the Post reported this weekend:

The son of Ronald H. Brown, the late commerce secretary and Democratic National Committee chairman, Brown would appear to have the ideal pedigree for a career in public office -- a politically solid family name and access to a network of deep-pocketed supporters.

Yet, despite those advantages and a charming demeanor, questions about Brown's judgment are fueling attacks from his political opponents and becoming a key campaign issue.

Although Brown comes from a family with deep Democratic roots, he is running for one of the two At-Large D.C. Council seats reserved for candidates not running for the majority party.

Brown is facing Republican Mary Brooks Beatty, Statehood Green candidate Ann Wilcox, and Independents David Grosso, a former D.C. Council and congressional staffer, Leon Swain, the former D.C. Taxicab Commissioner, and A.J. Cooper, a civic activist and former BET "Teen Summit" host.

Because of his incumbency and family name, Brown has been favored to retain his At-Large seat. But Grosso, a relative unknown, has been gaining traction and support by some bigger names in local D.C. politics. "I supported Michael [Brown], but not this time," former D.C. Councilmember William Lightfoot (I-At Large) told the Post. "I believe Grosso is qualified and honest."

Also on HuffPost: MORE D.C. POLITICS: VINCENT GRAY

Loading Slideshow...
  • Presumptive mayor-elect Vince Gray rallys fellow Democrats during a 'get out the vote' campaign event at the First Trinity Lutheran Church Oct. 14, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

  • Newly elected Mayor Gray delivers the winning speech of the election in front of his supporters at Love Nightclub on Nov. 2, 2010.

  • Mayor Gray

    Mayor Gray and Debra Lee speak during the 4th annual BET Honors at the Warner Theatre on January 15, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray with members of the Urban Land Institute, celebrating the group's 75th anniversary on Dec. 14, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Breaking ground at Cardozo Senior High School, Nov. 11, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray with former Office of Aging Director Veronica E. Pace at the opening of the new Office of Aging Headquarters on Oct. 27, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    The mayor bagging groceries at Safeway during a breast cancer fundraiser on Oct. 25, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Mayor Gray at DCOA's Senior Citizen Holiday Celebration on December 8, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Celebrating Nordic Food Day with students at Miner Elementary School, Oct. 26, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray marching at the D.C. Full Freedom Rally on Oct. 15, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray meeting with Mohammad Iqbal Aziz, governor of Laghman Province in Afghanistan, on Nov. 2, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray at a pizza party honoring local youth football players on Dec. 13, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    The mayor addresses an audience at the Cadillac display at the 2011 Washington Auto Show Jan. 27, 2011 at the Washington Convention Center.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray with Planters mascot Mr. Peanut at The Corps Network 'Plant' New Urban Park on July 12, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray

    District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray takes questions as he testifies in support of a House resolution expressing support for admitting the District of Columbia as the 51st state., Jan. 27, 2012, in Concord, N.H.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray chats with President Obama following his annual back-to-school address at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School Sept. 28, 2011.

  • Vincent Gray And Cathy Lanier

    Mayor Gray and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier during a news conference on April 10, 2012, to announce initiatives to combat the growing robbery rate targeting smartphones and other cell phones.

  • Vincent Gray

    Gray arrives at the opening gala of the historic Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2012.

  • Vincent Gray With Mary Cheh

    The mayor showcasing the city's newly-purchased snowplows on Dec. 14, 2011, with D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3).