“Last week was very rough,” said the Democrat representing Florida’s 5th Congressional District.
From there, Brown went on to equate her arraignment with the national tragedies of the last week.
“Two black men were needlessly gunned down by police; five Dallas police officers were slain by a demented man, and on Friday I had to appear in federal court,” Brown wrote.
Having devoted a total of 17 words to seven of the most shocking killings of the year, Brown went on to address the personal impacts of her situation.
“My heart is heavy, but my spirit remains unbroken. Being indicted is very scary. Yet my conscience is clear because I’m innocent. I’m not the first black elected official to be persecuted and, sad to say, I won’t be the last,” Brown said.
The “persecution,” in this case: 23 felony counts in federal court, revolving around what prosecutors contend is a pattern of Brown and Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons conspiring to use the One Door for Education charity as a personal slush fund, one in which people seeking to curry Brown’s favor would donate.
Those donations, solicited for so-called educational purposes, instead allegedly were secreted from the foundation’s bank account to those of Brown and Simmons, where the feds claim they were used for everything from walking-around money to a skybox at a Beyonce show.
“The most important thing I want you to understand is that an indictment is not a conviction. An indictment is an accusation. Anybody can make an accusation. You’ve heard the prosecutor’s side, but you still have not heard the rest of the story,” Brown continued.
After the obligatory Bible quote, Brown then had a message for her supporters.
“Despite all the heartache my family and I have experienced, I want you to know that I’m still in the fight to provide the representation you deserve in Washington.”
Brown is in a tough fight. Polls have her and Tallahassee challenger Al Lawson in a dead heat, with spoiler candidate L.J. Holloway positioned to shear off support Brown may have in Jacksonville. And Lawson told FloridaPolitics.com yesterday he expects to have more cash on hand than Brown after the second quarter reports are filed this week.