It was Will Rogers who said, “There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” That kind of sums up my feelings about a lot of what’s happened around here lately.
At the local level, the whole Josh Brown residency circus was finally settled in court. Our democracy worked the way it’s supposed to. Whether you agreed with the outcome or not, it’s time to move on.
While it seems to me to be a moot point now, Bainbridge Island resident James Olson, challenged Brown’s residency to the county Canvassing Board claiming he had “clear and convincing evidence” that would prove Brown didn’t live at the address he claimed.
The Canvassing Board is made up of Auditor Karen Flynn, Prosecutor Russ Hauge, and Commissioner Chris Endresen. All are Democrats and all donated money to Brown’s campaign. Endresen was quoted as saying she believes Olson’s challenge is “harassment by sore losers,” yet said she has no problem being impartial.
Olson understandably asked for a change of venue — which Flynn denied — and the hearing was set for Feb. 15. At the last minute, Olson withdrew the complaint, citing a “conflict of interest” on the part of the Canvassing Board. He then filed a felony complaint against Brown. In his trial testimony, Brown admitted under oath to what could be interpreted as a Class C felony.
After Olson withdrew the Canvassing Board complaint, Brown’s attorney said he would file a counterclaim for perjury. Olson dismissed it as “lawyerly bluster.” Stay tuned.
Will Hauge actually pursue the felony charge? Probably not — unless he is compelled to.
In my view, no matter what he does from this point forward, Brown will always be damaged goods politically. The outcome of the trial won’t really matter because most people understand he won on what amounts to a legal technicality. The question of his basic honesty will always dog him. Meanwhile, threats and attempts to intimidate citizens into silence who criticize his actions will only do him more harm than good with voters in the long run. Is it just me, or does Brown not realize he is continuing to dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole?