FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
PSC candidates must be residents of the districts they’re running in. Brown is claiming a cousin’s home in Dillon as his primary residence, despite the fact that the house appears to be unoccupied, and that he filed official paperwork with the Montana Secretary of State stating his primary residence is in Helena, which is outside of PSC District 3. When asked where he spends more time, Brown lashed out, claiming that the answer is “not relevant.”
Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Complaint filed against PSC candidate disputing residency
By: Paul Schwedelson
The Montana Democratic Party is raising questions about where a Public Service Commission candidate’s residence really is.
Montana Democrats executive director Sandi Luckey filed a political practices complaint against PSC District 3 Republican candidate James Brown regarding his residency.
District 3 covers southwest Montana, including Dillon, which is where Brown says he lives. Luckey’s complaint argues Brown is a Helena resident, which is outside District 3.
“Montanans expect our elected officials and candidates to tell the truth — and when it comes to his residency, Jim Brown lives outside PSC District #3 in the home he owns in Helena,” Luckey said in a statement.
Brown’s business, James Brown Law Office, is based in Helena at 30 S. Ewing St. According to the Montana Secretary of State Business Entity Report, Brown’s home address is listed as 1822 E. Broadway, in Helena.
Brown said he has another office at 15 S. Idaho St., in Dillon. He put his Helena address as his home address, Brown said, because he had to pick one and it’s near the primary office.
When asked how much time he spends at each home in Helena and Dillon, Brown said, “I’m not going to answer that because it’s not relevant.”
Before 2019, Brown was registered to vote in Helena.
“Montana Democrats will pursue whatever avenues necessary to hold Mr. Brown accountable, make sure the people of the 14 counties in PSC District #3 have representation on the PSC, and defend the integrity of this vital race,” Luckey said in a statement.
In the complaint, Luckey said Brown must prove Dillon as his residency beyond his declaration. She wrote that he “has done nothing which would constitute ‘a union of act and intent’ to change his residency to Dillon.” The fact that his cousin “owns a home in Dillon is simply irrelevant to support a change in residency.”
Luckey added that the property at 108 S. Pacific St., appears to be unoccupied.
“(Brown) will have to meet the burden of coupling that declaration with facts supporting his residency in Dillon,” Luckey wrote. “Moreover … he must establish facts that demonstrate he ‘lost’ his residency in Helena when he registered to vote in Dillon.”
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