Harley Brown — Idaho’s ‘profane clown given to kookiness’ — is back

Perennial loser Harley Brown says he’ll challenge two-term incumbent Gov. Butch Otter in the 2014 GOP primary.

Earlier this month, Otter learned that Rep. Raul Labrador would take a pass and run for Congress again, avoiding what could have been a bitter primary.

(ADVISORY: Brown’s message is riddled with bigotry. Parental discretion advised.)

Brown poses no serious threat, but he does set a standard for offensiveness unmatched in my 30 years of covering elections. He’s run for Ada County Highway District twice, Boise City Council, the Idaho Senate and twice for the U.S. House, most recently in 2010.

He has a robust website promising to be the “candid candidate” who “declares WAR on political correctness!” Brown also has been buying advertising in the Statesman, including a color display ad in last week’s college football guide, vowing “FREEDOM from Political Correctness” and appropriating the image of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.

Brown set his standard for incivility in the 2001 race for Boise mayor, where he spent $20,000 on TV ads and said, “I’m out to annihilate my enemies. Bombs away.” At the time, I described Brown as a “profane clown given to kookiness,” which prompted Brown to call and curse me. Some time later, he wrote a letter of apology.

Speaking with a German accent at a 2001 mayoral forum, Brown likened city annexations to Hilter’s Panzers. His campaign literature included such policy offerings as “NUKE THEIR ASS AND TAKE THEIR GAS,” and “KEEP THE QUEENS OUT OF THE MARINES.”

He laughed about politicians needing proctologists to find their heads; made light of alcohol and drug abuse; summarized the debate over strip bars by saying, “Let it all hang out!”; demeaned police officers by saying, “I’ve seen some real sphincter muscles wearing the blue”; and repeated bad jokes, including the one about the “Irish seven-course meal” — a six-pack of beer and a potato.

A high school girl’s assessment at the forum: “This is disgusting.”

Brown received 3 percent of the vote, finishing sixth in a seven-way race. In his 2010 run for GOP 1st District congressional nomination, Brown got 4 percent.

Trained as a civil engineer and a former Navy Seabee, Brown, 59, has driven a cab, called himself an “investor,” and been a stand-up comic. His website includes copies of his concealed weapons license (expiration date, Jan. 8, 2014) and the “presidential prophecy” signed by a Kenyan cleric, the Rev. Dr. Tom Abungu, who says that in November 1994 God ordained Brown to be President of the United States.

Brown’s sense of humor is more fit for a brothel than a Republican primary. His website includes a tab for “Harleyisms,” a sour soup of racism, sexism and poor taste that makes it clear he has no intention of running a serious campaign.

Among the 54 entries are:

No. 7: Register Communists, not firearms. That means domestic enemies of the United States Constitution such as Bloomberg, Schumer and Pelosi.

No. 9: A while back I visited Israel and discovered the REAL reason Jewish men get circumcised – Because Jewish women won’t touch anything that is not at least 20% off.

No. 20: Why wasn’t Jesus born in Poland? They couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin.

No. 31: How can you tell when an Arab reaches the age of maturity? He takes the diaper off his ass and plops it right on his head.

No. 46: If you want more inches – stroke it.

No. 39: God, how I wish we had picked our own cotton.

No. 50: If it has Tits or Tires you will have Trouble with it.

No. 52: A Jap will out Jew a Jew but a Chinaman will get the Jap’s socks.

Enough said.

Below is Brown’s explanation of why he’s running:

Why I Seek the Republican Gubernatorial Nomination

I naturally care deeply about my country as a patriotic American and disabled veteran. The fact that I have many children and grandchildren kindles a burning desire deep in my heart to hand them even a better country than our baby boomer generation inherited from the greatest generation of Americans – the World War II generation of American heroes.

I love Idaho. Truly this splendid dominion is majestic in natural beauty, blessed with wonderful people clinging tenaciously to a broad spectrum of conservative, righteous values, and has no vile helmet laws to boot.

I would delight in zealously advocating the God given Tenth Amendment Guarantee of states rights on behalf of all Idahoans and be overjoyed to mix it up anytime, anywhere with the feds whenever their minions of unconstitutional villainy dare to mess with the sovereign State of Idaho.

I want to severely restrict the Idaho Department of W-ealth and Hell-fare. As it is, all too frequently they forcefully take children from their innocent parents without due process of law. I do believe that it is essential that this organization have the power to protect innocent children. However, all too often their loose adherence to due process separates kind and loving parents from well adjusted children. This causes serious emotional harm to the children they are supposed to protect and causes mental anguish and an expensive legal battle for the parents. There are many problems with this frustratingly disorganized organization that I wish to address but, this is by far the most important issue.

I’m down on abortion like God Almighty is down on sin. I hate brutal baby murder and given the powers of governor I would be in a much stronger position to eliminate abortion forever. A special form of bloody murder that happens to be legal doesn’t make it moral or right.

Though the issues above are important, the following is more personal and to the point of “Why” I am running:

  • In November of 1994 at the age of 40, having been a company commander many years ago, I prayed to command a USN Seabee battalion of 1,000 men. God told me he was going to appoint me to a much higher rank – The Commander in Chief no less!
  • In Naval officer circles, its all about “Command at Sea”. I am aswking for your permision and your trust to allow me to take command of a 2,500 ton destroyer (Idaho) before I assume command of a 57,000 ton Iowa class battleship (the USA). If I am going to make any mistakes then let my learning curve be in the little league.
  • At the risk of having the credibility of Chicken Little: “The sky is falling!” I have disclosed the absolute truth. If you have any questions then ask God for yourself. I assure you that it is 100% His idea. (see exhibit “A”)

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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