Double Agent Dorothy Brown

Or not

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Holding a press conference at your office: that's a no-no.

    Dorothy Brown's got game.

    It's just not clear what it is or who it's for.

    Late Friday afternoon, Brown ended her challenge to Todd Stroger's petitions - even though many of his signatures indeed turned out to be invalid. It turns out that Brown only challenged 12,810 of Stroger's 21,364 signatures - "only" because even if every challenged signature was knocked off his petitions, Stroger would have still had 8,554 valid signatures left. He needed 8,147 to stay on the ballot.

    Oops.

    Now, given Brown's track record, one might surmise pure incompetence. On the other hand, this is Chicago and other signs point to mischief.

    Surface speculators might guess that Brown's challenge was phony from the get-go; that it kept other challenges, like one from Toni Preckwinkle, at bay. On the other hand, Brown was recently accused of cavorting with fellow candidate Terry O'Brien in an effort to depose Stroger. Brown and O'Brien both used three of the same petition circulators for a period of three months, according to the Sun-Times. About 200 voters signed petitions for both candidates - in the same order.

    Stroger used the revelation as an excuse to skip a recent candidates' debate.

    Dorothy Brown, double-agent.

    Or maybe just a double-idiot. Remember when Brown announced she wanted to bring ethics reform to Cook County government? She did it in the halls of . . . Cook County government. You aren't supposed to campaign on government property. During your government workday.

    Shortly after that, Fox Chicago's Dane Placko reported that several Earnfare workers were assigned to gather signatures for Brown instead of doing real work. Another boo-boo.

    It's not clear what Brown is up to - or who she is really working for - but she's certainly not very good at it. Or maybe too good.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.