Leigh Brown Stands Tall Against FEC

For more than a decade, Leigh Brown has run radio advertisements for her real estate business, which have been vital to the company’s success.

She’s run the ads without a problem – until now. The Federal Election Commission recently deemed the ads electioneering communications, forcing Leigh to take them off the air.

“I shouldn’t have to choose between being a business owner and a public servant,” Leigh said. “That’s not how the Founding Fathers designed our system. It was designed for people to leave their homes or their jobs for a short time, do their service and return back. The system was not built for career politicians.”

The FEC needed four votes to allow the ads to continue, but only garnered three.

The lone Democratic commissioner voted against letting Leigh – a proud conservative and political outsider – run her ads, despite not mentioning the race or identifying Leigh as a candidate.

This is swamp behavior, behavior that Leigh wants to help President Trump put an end to once elected. This isn’t just a vote against the ads – it’s a vote against business owners running for office.

 But much like she’ll do in Congress, Leigh is not backing down.

 Leigh filed suit against the FEC for stopping the ads. The lone dissenter had a problem with both Leigh’s voice and name being used.

This neglects precedent set in Hispanic Leadership Fund v. FEC, where the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that when a speaker is not otherwise identified, whether the voice alone is sufficient to constitute a reference of a clearly identified candidate depends on if the audience recognizes the voice.

In this case, the court found that former President Barack Obama’s voice was not recognizable, and therefore the advertisement did not qualify as electioneering communication.

“This is all part of the progressive left’s agenda to keep good, conservative representatives down. I will bring change to Washington, and Democrats want none of that,” Leigh said. “I’m not giving up, no matter how much that would please the left. I have a right to run these ads and should be able to support myself and my team financially.”

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Leigh Brown for Congress Riding Wave of Momentum

As the Republican primary nears, Leigh Brown’s campaign is firing on all cylinders. The donations are rolling in and support is growing as voters realize Leigh is the conservative voice Washington needs.

Leigh isn’t your typical candidate – she’s a political outsider, a businesswoman, and an unapologetic conservative ready to bring much needed change to Congress. Voters are finding out what Leigh represents and loving what they’re hearing.

Leigh and the team have worked wonders on the fundraising side, raising more than $150,000 since April 1. This brings the campaign total to nearly $200,000 since Leigh filed for election.

 “I’m beyond grateful for everybody who has fulfilled a pledge they made early on,” Leigh said. “I’m grateful for people who have appeared out of nowhere to support me and I’m grateful for people who are making donations when I know their budgets are stretched thin. I’m appreciative for every donation, no matter the size.”

Leigh wouldn’t have this momentum without hard work and her dedicated team of supporters and volunteers.

This past weekend, Leigh and around 20 volunteers braved a downpour and knocked on almost 1,000 doors. While knocking on doors, Leigh has encountered plenty of voters who love what she stands for and asked to place signs in their yard.

“Before the first day we went out, I didn’t think people would actually come to the door but they are and they’re overwhelmingly positive and friendly and they are delighted to find out that somebody is running who is not a career politician,” Leigh said.

“They’re excited to find out I’m in favor of term limits. They are very supportive.”

The efforts don’t stop at knocking doors, as Leigh and dozens of volunteers have placed thousands of phone calls. Through this grassroots outreach, Leigh has constituents each day pledging to back her campaign.

 Leigh has received several endorsements in recent weeks from reputable people – including Indian Trail Mayor Michael Alvarez and Bettye Steen, a longtime teacher and GOP activist. Organizations have also joined the team, with endorsements from the National Association of Realtors® PAC and the Value in Electing Women PAC (VIEW PAC).

“I appreciate those who have backed me so far, but I’m just getting started,” Leigh said. “It’s the same way I learned how to sell houses at the beginning. You’ve got to work every day and that’s how I’m treating the campaign.”

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FEC Dem blocks pro-Trump GOP candidate’s business ads, free speech, ‘lifeblood’ threatened

In a move that could have a far-reaching impact on small business people running for federal office, the Democratic chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission has blocked a House GOP candidate from running ads for her real estate firm, cutting it off “from its lifeblood income.”

Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen L. Weintraub was the holdout against allowing Republican Leigh Brown, running in the special North Carolina House District 9 race, from continuing to air radio ads for her real estate firm Leigh Brown and Associates of Charlotte during the primary race.

Brown is one of 10 GOP candidates running for the seat that opened when a new election was ordered amid concerns about voting irregularities.

She has filed an emergency lawsuit to set aside the commission’s vote that blocked a 13-year practice of airing ads for her real estate firm because they might be seen as promoting her candidacy. The ads were ordered to be stopped last weekend. The primary vote is May 14.

“Leigh Brown & Associates is presently stymied in its ability to advertise commercially and thus is cut off from its lifeblood income,” said the suit. It said that 10% of her firm’s revenue comes from clients responding to the ads. The commission doesn't comment on litigation.

Weintraub was a lone vote against Brown’s offer to change the wording of her business ads, taped by a firm different from her political media company. She refused to allow Brown to continue to read the ads, claiming that listeners would know it is her and tie it to her House campaign.

“If it were somebody else's voice it would solve the problem for me,” said Weintraub.

Brown’s lawyers went to the commission in advance to ask if the business ads were OK, explaining that those ads are much different than her Leigh Brown for Congress political ads and do not promote her candidacy.

One of the key votes was 3-1 to let Brown adjust and air her ads, but the commission's rules require four votes to OK an advisory opinion. That can be difficult because the commission is down to four members from the regular six.

Brown’s lawyers said that in addition to hurting her company with the ad ban, her First Amendment rights were being curbed.

Federal Election Commission Democrats, including Weintraub, have in the past targeted conservative voices, such as the Drudge Report and other media.

In an interview, Brown, who supports President Trump, said she was being blocked by Washington’s “swamp” and its anti-Trump attitude.

“It’s swamp activity,” she said, adding, “I’m being targeted because I’m a Republican woman and I’m a Republican woman because the progressive left wants to act like all women must punch the ‘woman card’ in lockstep with one another on progressive left issues and hate men, not shave their legs and not live a traditional conservative life.”

She also said that the decision is a threat to other small business people and could scare some away from running for office.

“I’m not going to be the last outsider to run for office. There is obviously a growing movement in the country following in the footsteps of our president who didn’t have elective office under his belt either,” she said.

“I think that small business owners shouldn’t be disproportionately hurt,” she added.

Read the full article at the Washington Examiner.

9 th Congressional District Candidate Leigh Brown Sues Federal Election Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leigh Brown, 9th congressional district candidate, is suing the Federal Election Commission after she was forced to remove radio advertisements for her real estate business following the decision of the Commission’s lone Democratic commissioner to block the advertisements from running.

For more than a decade, Leigh Brown has run these advertisements for her real estate company. The advertisements are vital to Brown’s business, helping her and her team attract business in a competitive market with more than 10,000 local realtors.

These advertisements help support the firm itself and the livelihood of the five agents and four administrative staff that make up the team.

On March 21, eight days after filing to run for office, Brown submitted an advisory opinion request to the FEC, asking the commission to conclude the non-political advertisements did not qualify as electioneering communications.

The FEC refused to grant Brown the right to continue airing the same advertisements that she has aired for the past 13 years. The lone Democratic commissioner, refusing to act in keeping with established FEC and court precedent, voted to force Brown to take down the advertisements.

“The livelihood of people who rely on me to help generate business and client and customers is at stake here,” Brown said. “Right now is the busiest time of year in real estate. If my ads are off the air then it disproportionately hurts my business because this is when we have the most incoming phone calls and there’s more houses being listed and sold.”

The Federal Election Campaign Act allows the FEC to exempt certain communications from the electioneering communication definition, as long as they do not promote, support, attack, or oppose a candidate.

According to legislative history, the exemptions are routinely used for communications plainly and unquestionably unrelated to the election – which Brown’s business advertisements are. The advertisements identify Brown and promote her as a real estate agent, never once referencing her candidacy or office sought.

“It’s obviously real estate-related material and I’ve been doing these ads for over a decade,” Brown said. “Why it’s suddenly an issue when I’m running for office doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Brown continued, “This why you don’t see small business owners run for office because the bureaucrats are going to say, ‘Look, you’ve got to choose between your business and being a public servant,’ and that’s not right. The people who work for me, they’re not running for office so why should they be negatively impacted just because some bureaucrat somewhere doesn’t want me to advertise?”

In Hispanic Leadership Fund v. FEC, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that when a speaker is not otherwise identified, whether the voice alone is sufficient to constitute a reference of a clearly identified candidate depends on if the audience recognizes the voice.

In this case, the court found that former President Barack Obama’s voice was not recognizable, and therefore the advertisement did not qualify as electioneering communication. In Brown’s case, precedent set in Hispanic Leadership Fund v. FEC was neglected. The FEC took issue with both Brown’s voice being used and her name being referenced, although it was only in the context of her business – Leigh Brown & Associates.

“I knew that, if elected to Congress, I would have to re-consider my active role in my real estate company,” Brown said. “But, to be forced out of business while campaigning – that I didn’t plan for.”

Brown Announces Run for N.C. 9th Congressional District

RALEIGH, N.C. - Leigh Brown, a longtime successful realtor, CEO and author, announced her candidacy for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which comprises all or parts of Mecklenburg, Union, Anson, Richmond, Bladen, Robeson, Cumberland and Scotland counties. Brown filed in the Republican Primary at the State Board of Elections today.

Brown, a wife and mother of two, broker/owner of RE/MAX Executive and leader of the Leigh Brown and Associates team based in Concord, N.C., where she has helped people across the state -- including the 9th district -- buy and sell homes. With experience as a REALTOR® and business owner, Brown knows what it takes for businesses and communities to thrive.

“As a REALTOR®, there’s no better person to serve in an elective office than somebody like me who sits across the kitchen table from homeowners every single day and helps find solutions to their problems,” Brown said.

Primarily, Brown’s campaign is focused on implementing fiscally conservative leadership in Washington, while working with President Trump to create jobs, cut taxes and keep the economy on track by reducing regulatory overreach. Brown vows to always put North Carolina first and never back down from a fight.

A conservative outsider, Brown aims to bring a new perspective and business savvy to politics and change the way things are done in Washington. Brown will support President Trump and brings a strong pro-gun and pro-life mindset to the table.

Brown entered the real estate world in 2010, where she established one of the nation’s best real estate companies and served as an official for the National Association of REALTORS ®. Along with real estate, Brown ventured into writing where she became a bestselling author, including “Outrageous Authenticity™” and “The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales™.” She’s traveled the state and country giving inspirational speeches and helping audiences reach their goals.

Brown, born and raised in North Carolina, is a proud graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and currently raising her family in the state. She is the wife of Steve and mother of middle schoolers Cora and Timmy. Brown is no stranger to the 9th district, as most of her family is from Union and Anson counties. When time permits, Brown enjoys volunteering with Meals on Wheels.

“It’s about time we had somebody at the table who is willing to find solutions and do what it takes to get the job done. I am that person. I’m excited for the opportunity to serve the people of the 9th district.”