Charlie Brown (California politician)
|Born||Charles Duane Brown
December 13, 1949
|Education||United States Air Force Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University|
|Occupation||United States Air Force, ret.|
|Known for||Two time Congressional candidate from California's 4th Congressional District|
Charles Duane 'Charlie' Brown (born December 13, 1949) is a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel and was the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 2006 election and the 2008 election for California's 4th congressional district.
Life and career
Brown was born in Grinnell, Iowa and grew up in small Midwestern farm towns. He received his commission after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1972 and served 26 years in the military. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1998, having served in every armed conflict from Vietnam to the Gulf War.
During the Vietnam War, Brown flew rescue helicopter missions in Thailand, and Cambodia and participated in the evacuations of Phnom Penh, and the Mayagüez incident, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He later flew fixed-wing reconnaissance missions in support of operations in Panama, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, and other countries. After the Gulf War, he served in Air Force intelligence and was assigned to Saudi Arabia where he coordinated surveillance flights over Iraq’s "no-fly zones". He also monitored worldwide airborne reconnaissance while assigned to Beale Air Force Base.
Brown holds a master's degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a California teaching credential. He was elected to two terms on the Supervisory Committee of the Sierra Central Credit Union and two terms as vice president of the Roseville Police Association. He also worked for eight years on the professional staff of the Roseville Police Department.
Brown and his wife Jan have been married since 1973 and have two children. Jan is also a military veteran, having served in the Air Force as a nurse. Their son Jeff, an Air Force Major, has served seven rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their daughter Stacey is a graduate of UC Irvine. The Browns have lived in Roseville, California since the early 1990s and have three grandsons.
2006 Congressional campaign
Brown ran as a fiscal conservative, calling for balancing the federal budget and emphasizing policy issues and personal character over party affiliation. He had himself been a lifelong Republican until he felt that the party’s leadership abandoned its core values of security, integrity, prosperity, and conservation.
Brown defined his number-one issue as defending America and "the Constitution, including the Second Amendment." He criticized Republican leaders in the George W. Bush administration and the 109th Congress for warrantless spying on American citizens; or creating huge and ineffective bureaucracies; or in fiscal responsibility and running up the largest deficit in American history. He criticized the incumbent, John Doolittle, for his connections to Jack Abramoff and Mark Foley.
As Doolittle faced an ongoing federal investigation into congressional corruption scandals, including ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes, Brown emphasized the need for ethical representation in Congress. Promising transparency in government service if elected, he further pledged to publicly disclose anyone whom he would have met with to discuss legislation, including lobbyists.
A social moderate, Brown identified his other top priorities as: protecting Social Security; keeping American jobs at home; stopping out-of-control deficit spending; strengthening national security while bringing the war in Iraq to a quick and secure resolution; supporting strong, safe schools; ensuring clean water and air; and making good healthcare accessible to everyone. Brown is pro-choice, saying, "the government doesn’t get to make personal decisions for Americans, no matter how much they might like to do so.... I don’t have to approve. I don’t even have to understand. It’s not about me. It’s about individual liberties."
Citing the fact that the incumbent Doolittle received less than 42% of the total votes cast in the June 6, 2006, primaries, Brown characterized the result as being a strong majority vote for change. And Doolittle, who had won past elections with more than 65% of the vote, did go on to win the general election with less than a majority (49%) in the three-way race with Brown (46%) and Libertarian Dan Warren (5%), leading Brown to declare that, "No Republican will ever take the 4th District for granted again."
2008 Congressional Campaign
Brown was nominated a second time in 2008, running against Southern California Republican State Senator Tom McClintock. CQ Politics forecast the race in this traditionally Republican district as 'No Clear Favorite'. Two polls paid for by Brown's campaign showed Brown in the lead; two polls sponsored by McClintock showed McClintock in the lead. As well, two independent polls by Research 2000/Daily Kos showed Brown leading.
The race proved to be so close on election night, with a difference of less than 500 votes between the candidates (out of more than 320,000 ballots cast) that its outcome was not known until four weeks after election day. Nearly 50,000 mail and provisional ballots needed to be counted to determine the winner. Initial counting of ballots was completed on December 2, showing an approximate 1,500 vote lead for McClintock. Brown officially conceded the race on December 3. Ultimately, Brown could not overcome a 3,500-vote deficit in Placer County, the largest county located entirely within the district.
In November 2009, Brown accepted an appointment from the Obama administration to work at the Department of Homeland Security. He worked in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Washington, D.C. for five years.
- "Race for your life, Charlie Brown". Sacramento News & Review. May 4, 2006.
- Doolittle, Brown Trade Verbal Blows at Fiery Debate News 10
- "California's 4th District (New Rating: No Clear Favorite. Previous Rating: Leans Republican". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- "2008 California CD-04 General Election: McClintock (R) vs Brown (D)". Pollster.com. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- "Brown concedes defeat to McClintock in Calif race". Retrieved 2008-12-03.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2009-03-12. "United States Representative (final results)" Office of the California Secretary of State, Retrieved on December 26, 2008
- "A Message from Charlie". November 10, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- "Doolittle takes stock after close win: He says he'll forgo any leadership role to focus on his district"[permanent dead link], Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2006
- "Abramoff ties stick to California Rep. Doolittle" (audio), NPR Morning Edition, October 5, 2006
- "Abramoff allegations make Brown a legit threat to Doolittle", New York Times, October 4, 2006
- "Doolittle fires back against Brown ad: Ad says Doolittle tolerated forced abortions, sex slavery", KCRA 3 Reports, September 29, 2006
- "Doolittle, rival duel on alleged abuses"[permanent dead link], Sacramento Bee, September 28, 2006
- "Perhaps it's time for a fresh face in D.C.", The Union, September 26, 2006
- "Editorial: Time for Doolittle to go; elect Charlie Brown", Sacramento Bee, September 18, 2006
- "Editorial: No Doolittle debate? District's voters deserve face-to-face forum"[permanent dead link], Sacramento Bee, September 15, 2006
- "Doolittle was Abramoff island client's 'hero'", TPM Muckraker, August 4, 2006
- "Doolittle accepts offer to debate foe"[permanent dead link], Sacramento Bee, July 12, 2006
- "Doolittle will face Brown in November", Tahoe Daily Tribune, June 8, 2006
- "Drop in turnout hurts Doolittle"[permanent dead link], Scripps Howard News Service, June 7, 2006
- "What low turnout could mean for the November race" (video), KXTV news10.net, June 7, 2006
- "Doolittle’s primary will test effects of Abramoff ties", Congressional Quarterly, June 5, 2006
- "State by State", The Hill, May 16, 2006
- "Democrats' best bet is Charles Brown", Auburn Journal, May 13, 2006
- "Race for your life, Charlie Brown", Sacramento News & Review, May 4, 2006
- "Doolittle's ties to Abramoff give opponents hope"[permanent dead link], Sacramento Bee, April 7, 2006
- "Rep. Doolittle is asleep at the switch", Sierra Sun, January 24, 2006
- "Brown joins other vets in House races", The Union, January 14, 2006
- "Veterans need to be remembered beyond today", The Union, November 11, 2005
- "Air Force vet to face Doolittle", Tahoe Daily Tribune , October 19, 2005
- Charlie Brown for Congress, campaign website
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org
- Charlie Brown at DMOZ