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At yesterday’s launch of the Statehood D.C. branding campaign, if you’d clicked on the “learn more” button on the new StatehoodDC.com site, you would have been directed to the web page of a single councilmember: Michael A. Brown. It seemed…convenient…that a campaign for self-determination would be so closely identified with a politician who happens to be running for reelection. It’s not his campaign website, sure, but the traffic sure wouldn’t hurt.
Well, according to Brown aides, that wasn’t the intention at all: He’s just the one taking the lead on the initiative, and all the website planning is being done by his staff, since his Committee on Housing and Workforce Development retained jurisdiction over statehood advocacy. While the bus advertisements, t-shirts, calendars, and other campaign schwag are being paid for with a $50,000 allocation from the Council, his office funds are paying for the web hosting.
“If somebody else wants to pay to host another domain for us, we can have that conversation, but this is under our purview,” said Brown chief of staff Amy Bellanca.
Still, they’re taking measures to play down the connection. Brown’s communications director called later to say that there had been much more Michael Brown stuff on the statehood site before its formal unveiling, and that their web designer was working on divorcing the two sites even further.
But Michael Brown would still like you to know that he’s on this statehood business. Cast your vote accordingly.