Archive for Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ex-Kline employee eyes own law firm

Brown’s hiring in AG’s office caused storm of controversy

May 12, 2007

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— Bryan Brown, the consumer protection division director under former Attorney General Phill Kline, hopes soon to be fighting for what Brown called "pro-family" issues from a building that housed an abortion clinic that he used to picket.

In an interview Friday, Brown said he has been given first option to purchase the building in Fort Wayne, Ind., from a group of like-minded people called the Donegal Corridor, whose identities Brown declined to divulge.

Brown will be leading a "memorial" at the former abortion clinic on May 19, which will include an exorcism by request from a local Greek Orthodox church, he said.

Brown said he hoped to be able to raise the funds necessary to purchase the building and start a law firm and center that will focus on "pro-family" issues, such as helping crisis pregnancy centers, which oppose abortion.

He grew up in Fort Wayne and his parents live in the area. "I have a lot of friends who would like to see me return," he said.

Kline's hiring of Brown in 2003 to lead the consumer protection division caused a political storm.

Brown had been arrested a dozen times in the 1980s and 1990s while participating in anti-abortion protests including those during the 1991 "Summer of Mercy" rallies in Wichita.

He later got a law degree and worked for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy before Kline hired him.

During the 2006 election campaign, Democrat Paul Morrison criticized Kline's hiring of Brown. Kline defended Brown, comparing his civil disobedience to that of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

But Morrison noted that under Brown's tenure, restitution to consumers plummeted. Brown said figures from previous years were inflated, and that under his leadership the division stopped pursuing trifling complaints to focus on scams and fraud.

"I apologize to no one," Brown said of his performance in the attorney general's office.

When Morrison defeated Kline he publicly stated that Brown would not be kept around.

Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said the possibility that Brown will work out of the former abortion clinic was good news.

"It's perfect that the pro-life, pro-family movement is taking over the symbols of death," he said.

The abortion clinic in the building has moved its procedures to another part of Fort Wayne.

Comments

bjbrown 8 years ago

A factual article about me, without much bias? Have I died and gone to heaven? It is so rare that a journalist can bring himself to type Kline or Brown and not then launch into a rousing round of "kill the ogre." Thanks, Scott. Anyone wanting to know more about the truth on me, what went on in the Consumer Protection Division before and during my watch, and comments on the new and "unhostile" Consumer paradigm run by Mr. Morrison can monitor http://bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com/. I am attempting to bring balance back to Kansas journalism, one small post at a time. And set the record straight on my history. I am probably biased, but I do not think I am near the ogre that the Morrison campaign and Kansas media teamed up to present to the public last fall. Bryan J. Brown

overthemoon 8 years ago

and finally, sorry, don't care to visit your site, but if you're concerned about American families, this is a must read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-coontz/unconventional-wisdom-on-_b_48231.html

Baille 8 years ago

With the return of practicing attorneys to the AG office we can now compare what competent and professional attorneys can do with the power that Phill and his sycophants wielded so poorly.

Maybe your $40 KFC anecdote will prove to offer a reasonable explanation between the $3.1 million per year that Stovall claims to have returned to cheated and defrauded Kansas citizens and the $376 thousand per year you managed to obtain. I doubt it, but the proof will be in the comparisons four years from now.

I for one wish you happiness in your future endeavors, Bryan. May you enjoy a long career and a happy life in the great State of Indiana. My only suggestion is that you keep a position open for Phill. I have a feeling he will be looking for a job in a couple of years.

bjbrown 8 years ago

When the ends justify the means, the government can do no wrong. Isn't it interesting how the liberals get all worked up about constitutionally violative actions in the service of national security (i.e. listening in on calls to Saudi Arabia) but think it wonderful when government agencies pistol whip businesses merely to polish up some politician's public image!

To quote the final paragraph of the now-government repressed Annual Consumer Report detailing the change in direction under Team Kline: "We have, after the massive restructuring of the past four years, a Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division that once again operates as the 1973 Legislature intended. It is my hope that all future Divisional managers will have the constitutional fortitude to keep it."

Read it for youself. But you will have to ask for it under KORA, for Team Morrison erased if and all past Annual Reports off the AG's website. (Team Kline had pre-Kline reports posted.)

Concerned citizens, the business community and especially those who believe that government power should be limited (as in those who decried the Supreme Court's recent Keho decision on land use) owe to themselves to read the repressed report and ensure that the raw power of the Consumer Protection Division is not harnessed, as it was in the mid nineties until 2003, merely in the service of politics.

It looks to me like that is just what is now happening, in, to quote the current regime, an "unhostile" manner.

That brings to mind a quote that Kline's Consumer Team held dear:

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial.... The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.

Louis D. Brandeis' dissenting opinion in United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925).

caveatguy 8 years ago

Is this the same Bryan Brown who as a homeowner simply walked away from a house he owned and stopped making payments on it. Instead of recognizing this and other financial obligations to others, he said: "I'm gonna make sure that they (his creditors) have nothing." http://www.pitch.com/2003-05-15/news/born-again/1

Is this the same Bryan Brown who while being the czar of Kansas Consumer Protection, bought a house on contract without exercising the smallest amount of due diligence (as in hiring an inspector....duhh) and then sued the seller for fraud.
http://www.cjonline.com/stories/030605/loc_shallenburger.shtml

Yea, I really respect his Consumer Protection skills and service, for which he has no apology, and his basic ability to follow up on his legal and financial obligations.

Bryan, in my humble opinion you are fortunate to still have a ticket to practice law. Good luck. To the people of Indiana: Caveat Emptor. (you might have to explain the phrase to Bryan)

Bubarubu 8 years ago

Team Kline? Seriously? Perhaps therein lies the problem. Public servants should not see themselves as allied with one single other government employee, but instead as serving the larger interests of the state. When your role in consumer protection is so drastically reduced, what benefit do you bring to the state of Kansas? The hiring of ideologues when other, more qualified candidates, exist is one of the reasons Kline is no longer working in Topeka, and why two DOJ officials resigned, and why AG Gonzales got to spend some time on Thursday with the House Judiciary Oversight Committee. The problem embodied by Mr. Brown is not restricted to Kansas, nor would I say it is restricted to Republicans, although there is certainly a bothersome pattern here.

Bubarubu 8 years ago

Sorry to post a second time right away, but I re-read this: "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial:. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." and could not help but think how wonderful it would have been if someone had taken the time to share the quotation with some of "Team Kline's" other divisions. Government restraint, it seems, was something "Team Kline" valued only when it came to the defense of individual consumers.

oldgoof 8 years ago

Brandeis would vomit if he knew such a prosecutor was using his words for such purpose. Protection against government indeed!

bjbrown 8 years ago

I should probably ignore the fiery darts, but I will briefly defend: As for the house in the Fort, the mortgage holders were satisfied in full, and it was years before I even attended law school. The one most hurt in that deal was me.

As for the house in Topeka, there was an inspection for the very problem that plagued it most. Tendering of that inspection was delayed for over two weeks (the reason remains unexplained, but I was requesting it during that time), until just days before closing, and it was then accompanied by fraudulent statements as to the condition of the house. I have it on good authority that inspections can be end-runned if one has an intent to defraud and if trust is misplaced.

More on these issues can be found

Consumer Protection 101 is must germane to the story in the LJW today.

caveatguy 8 years ago

I don't care if the mortgage holders actually profited by 50%. That is not the point. You walked on a contractual obligation, with your expressly stated intent of a "scorched earth" policy. That should be fraudulent conduct by itself. This is without even asking if you satisfied your other legal judgments and financial obligations of the time? Or does your legal compass allow you to selectively chose which financial laws you follow or not? It does not matter in this regard that you did not have a legal education. It is not a matter of legal knowledge. It is a matter of following up on a promise. Third grade education in this regard will do.

Regarding the house, was your inspector fraudulent too? Or incompetent? Why not sue him? Did the delay in the inspection set off any caution lights in your head? Your statement "I have it on good authority that inspections can be end-runned." Dude, you were not, and are not, a naive under-educated consumer to begin with. You, after all, were being paid public money to run the state consumer protection office. You are an expert, per se. To feign ignorance or fraud is laughable. You probably should have been imputed with commercial skills far beyond the average 'consumer' purchaser...and having had the opportunity to inspect, you should probably have been foreclosed from even alleging fraud as a matter of law. I say this as a matter of equity, not that the laws don't protect even you.

And furthermore...this statement that your division is 'now being operated like the 1973 Legislature intended.' I know a number of these legislators, and early directors of this division. I highly question the accuracy of your assertion.

'Team Kline.' ...... I don't even want to start on the various 'insididious encrouchments' to liberty by these 'men of zeal,' whom I do not necessarily grant either the label of 'well meaning' or 'without understanding.'

But since you started with the quotes, I chose the words of Joseph Welch, who when challenging the actions of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, said: "Have You No Sense of Decency?"

bjbrown 8 years ago

Friend, You seem to have a hobby, and it appears to be me! I hope you are enjoying reading me about me on by blog. bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com Stay tuned, I have some fireworks planned over the next weeks!

bjbrown 8 years ago

Hey prospector, don't fear the Truth. It is out there, usually beyond party labels. See my blog at bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com for details. No advertising for lawyers, the GOP or any party. Some nice articles about Dems, including Wichita Judge Paul Clark, when others in the pro-life movement were assailing him.

So come over see me sometime, prospector. Open your mine (pun intended) and you might be able to see things from a more equitable perspective!

Oh, and I see the tune to "kill the ogre" has not been lost!

overthemoon 8 years ago

I do not understand the obsession of people like you over abortion clinics. It borders on sociopathic behavior...especially when young children are dragged along and told to hold up signs they can not possibly understand. This utter disregard for the innocence of childhood is counter to every single claim made for the sanctity of life. It is disgusting exploitation beyond comprehension

If the energy, zeal, money, time you waste on curbside protests and were instead directed helping to solve the social problems that lead to unwanted pregnancy...or worse, unwanted children, there would be little or no demand for abortion. I'm sure you had a comfy life in Fort Wayne with little exposure to children born into generational poverty, violence and addiction. Nor perhaps with cultures who devalue women but aggrandize machismo. You were exposed, I'm sure without being aware, to what happens when a nice girl from Indiana faced the unbearable prospect owning up to her 'condition' within sanctimonious family, community and church constraints.

Fortunately, nice girls in Indiana (and everywhere else) are finding more support and understanding these days, but with every new generation the problems created in the growing divide between our upper and lower classes are compounded. And the irony of it all is those fervent antiabortionists who use this single issue on which to evaluate public officials are the very ones who elect a public body hell bent of increasing that divide by reducing social services, devaluing education to a regimen of test taking that insures mediocrity, failing to resolve health care costs, and continually using deluded zealots like you and Phil Kline to keep people focused on non issues like gay marriage and bible mythology in science classes. Lets those 'Christian brethern' politicos ruin the Justice Department, destroy our diplomatic relations around the world and all the other behind the scenes debacles they had hoped you would keep us from noticing.

And finally...yes I am in strong support of safe and legal abortions. HOWEVER, I am not pro-abortion, nor do I believe that you will ever find anyone on the pro-choice side of the debate who is. We are realists that understand that abortion is a symptom of an malfunctioning society and that only in reducing the causes of the desperation that leads a woman to this choice can we make abortions a thing of the past.

Get off the curb and do something worthwhile for all those children who are facing a life without hope because they are starving for food, education, medical attention and the hope of a way to lead productive lives.

oldgoof 8 years ago

This guy's shameless use of this site for his advertising plugs reminds me of Fred Phelps. Where do I call to find someone who knows anything about consumer protection?

bjbrown 8 years ago

Hey oldgoof, if I arouse your liberal prejudices quoting Brandeis, I bet this quote will send you to the medicine cabinet for the nitro pills!!!!

"Natural law teaches that humans were created with a nature and that through reason we can discern moral values as well as laws that conform to that nature and enable us to live the fullest lives.. Natural-law proponents draw insights from Scripture, but reason enables all to see the requirements of the natural law. Natural law, therefore, can create a common legal agenda for people of all faiths and of no faith."

Robert F. Cochran, Jr. is the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and Director of the Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics at Pepperdine University of Law

bjbrown 8 years ago

Overthemoon: I appreciate your thoughts. Very mature. Stop by my blog sometime. In fact, post them there. The Pro-life movement needs to hear such things, and we need to render such criticism moot by our actions.

Oh, did I remember to give the address: bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com. I have already had someone make a comment similar to yours, albeit not as well thought out or well written.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Prospector, Actually I was hired for more than my pro-life views, but it is true that those did not hurt me any in the interviewing process. At that time Phill and I discussed how to help the aged, which was the beginning of the Consumer Protection Division's Vulnerable Adults Task Force, which was a preference for cases involving frauds against seniors. Check our litigation record, we did much more than write letters, and were not "unhostile" once we had target acquisition. We nailed bad guys on a pretty regular basis. (Flu shots, Transmasters, Cemetery abandonment, storm shelter sellers, Gold Crown telemarketing, more than a few car dealers, just to name a very few.) I would tell you to go to the AG's website and read all about it, but, alas, Paul Morrison decided to end the longstanding practice of making annual reports available online. Hmmmmm, I wonder why? Probably because his CPD plans to set such high records that the comparison as to enforcement actions would be too embarrassing for the Kline Admin, which set a four year record for such filings, right?

Oh, and thanks for pointing out that the Maggot Punks finally got around to discussing me. They got much of it wrong, which is one reason I am out to set things straight at bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com. I have already discussed six of the twelve arrests there. See the current article on Elizabeth Horan and the article defending Judge Paul Clark for the story on those six arrests. And do leave me a note, I want to know that you were not too prejudiced to read the thoughts of an "anti." (Not, not Christ .)

cutny 8 years ago

Please move to Fort Wayne...now

bjbrown 8 years ago

I will be soon enough, cutie. But know this: I have many wonderful friends and family in Kansas, and am licensed here. So I plan to stay active in this great state, and on this board when invited. (Thanks for the invite today, Scott!)

I first came to Kansas in 91, left in 93, back in 03, leaving in 07 or 08? Hey, maybe I will be back in a few to run for office? With 2/3 of my name being John Brown I just might have more destiny to fulfill here in Kansas, no?

ps. I just posted something new at bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Please do try to get over it right.thinker. (An oxymoron in your case?)

Outside of Lawrence, there are more people that think like I do than you ever want to consider. Once one puts Mass Street in their rear view mirror, Self-evident Truths, Natural Law and Common Sense become the standard by which social order is reviewed.

Try western Kansas sometime. Life as it ought to be!

Rothschild probably realizes that my story transcends the Fort. Honest Inquiring minds want to know. Others just want me silenced. Same as when I played "letstalk" on FirePhillKline.com. The hosts were patient, some guests, having failed at out arguing me, demanded I be banned.

You, rightthinker, need a lesson in Realpolitik. Lucky for you I am running just such a special right now on my blog. Simply point your browser to ::

Nah, I can't do it again.

Good night all, it has been great fun. I will miss you when I get back to the Fort. Thankfully we have Bloomington, and so the Twilight Zone will only be four hours south of me should I grow to miss mindless, knee-jerk, shout-down-the-opposition liberalism!

oldgoof 8 years ago

Old Goof is pleased that Mr. Brown can cite a bit of Western Civ., he just wished he would be a bit more widely read... like many real Kansans are. Goof long ago learned the difference between theocrats and others. These people would be funny, if they weren't so scary. And not so different than the Taliban. Now Mr. Brown, what is the name of that trashy site of yours again? We certainly wouldn't want to miss it. But I'm afraid you will not see the Goof around.

Old Brownie came to Kansas in '91. Ha! Quite a Kansan that makes him. And where was that law degree from again? Ha! Brownie should have spent a bit of time at a real Kansas university instead of a Madrasah.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Good one old man! To quote a rocker, "everybody's funny, now you funny too."

My and old Osawatomie have spent about the same amount of time in this garden. I am hoping for a happier ending.

overthemoon 8 years ago

Mr Brown, It seems perhaps you don't read many of the posts here at the LJW. If you did, you would understand the most active knee jerkers around here are not of the liberal persuasion.
If you care to make my critique moot by your actions (a notion i honor and look forward to seeing realized, though with some skepticism), let's quit referring to either liberal or conservative, and quit being one or the other yourself. A truly enlightened and educated citizen is far above such catagorizations and realizes that the pressing issues facing our country and world are only to be solved by deep thought and actions that are what I call 'meta-political'...way beyond what the misunderstood notions of "liberal" or "conservative" that are merely divisive and paralyzing our system. A respectful understanding of all sides of any given issue is the civilized norm we should all strive for.

bjbrown 8 years ago

OK Prospector, I called you out and even emailed you. You look to be laying low tonight. I do not blame you, friend. You really fell into it on this one.

I will be gentle.

Here is the deal: Prospector found an anonymous blog attributing the following quote to me:

"May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my underground paper- the sole object of which was to educate all Christians to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your manmade, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."

NOW, HERE IS PROSPECTOR'S BIG PROBLEM. IT WAS NOT THAT LOATHESOME OGRE BROWN WHO SAID ALL OF THE ABOVE..............

OH NO.........

IT WAS (DRUM ROLL, PLEASE)

FEMINST ICON SUSAN B. ANTHONY!!!

See, e.g., Suffrage Movement-Lesson Two Excerpt ... unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang ... I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but ... memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/99/suffrage/trial.html

And many, many other places on the web.

SO NOW, PROSPECTOR, HOW DO YOU "DIG IT?"

ARE THE WORDS OK NOW? OH, I AM SURE THEY ARE. I mean, it was not a pro-lifer, right?

You should have read the WE Blog a bit further, friend.

PS Actually SBA was a pro-lifer, but that is a whole 'nuther post.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Overthemoon,

Now, had you been a bit more tolerant and gone to my sight before lecturing me again on the virtues of being like you, you would have found at bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com a post close in content to the one you put up at 11:29. (Albeit up a full hour earlier than yours.) But, while you admonish me to drop the labels, you reserve the right to label and excoriate me, repeatedly. Oh to be so wise!

Your claim to not be pro-abortion while obviously showing yourself a great supporter of the status quo (and I would bet good money that you decried the High Court's recent opinion on the subject) brings to mind the following quote from 140 years ago:
"What we want, and all we want, is to have with us the men who think slavery wrong. But those who say they hate slavery, and are opposed to it, but yet act with the Democratic party -- where are they? Let us apply a few tests. You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else that you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong? Why are you so careful, so tender of this one wrong and no other? [Laughter.] You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow it to be even called wrong! We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such unsuitable places, and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong! [Continued laughter and applause.]" Abraham Lincoln, March 6, 1860 in New Haven

oldgoof 8 years ago

Yup, I knew it wouldn't take long; here is the slavery-abortion canard appearing on my screen. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Now what is the address of that trashy web site Bryan? I've been looking for it all over the place. Are Indiana consumer protection laws any more simple and/or printed in oversize type for you?

bjbrown 8 years ago

Right thinker, My hearty apologies are tendered! My bad, not yours, I did misunderstand. Bunker mentality and all. You are the victim of friendly fire.

Now we need a coverup story. You still get a purple heart.

Mea Culpa times ten! The last thing I meant to do was shoot at a compatriot. I did not know that I had any defenders at all on this board.

Please forgive and return to the battlefront to stand for Truth, Justice and the American Way. bjb

Baille 8 years ago

While it is obvious from these exchanges alone that we are all better off with Phill and Friends confined to Johnson County, I can't help but to wonder how long it will take the next Johnson County DA to repair the damage done.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Prospector, Getting ready to shut down for the night, but was taking one last read of your posts today. Especially your 11:48 post laughing about me, the one where you accused me of shooting from the lip.

Wondering if you would share your thoughts on your own faux pas in the 1:15 post, as I did regarding my own earlier in this thread?

Nothing to involved, a short apology for libel will do.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Prospector!!!

I love you, man! You just fell into a hole that was set on the WE blog clear back in October! HAR!

My defender was hoping the WE Ed Bd would bite, but they did not. You did! (chuckle)

Digger Dude, google what you have attributed to me! This is too rich to put all in one post.

You really should be more careful while mining gold on blogs.

Must need a new battery in your helmet, prospector! You are now lying in the bottom of the mine with a broken leg. Better hope Lassie can hear your cries for help.

I will pause now and allow my tag team partner, RT, to reveal to the prospector just how deep a hole he is in! (Hint, go to the thread he posted and just keep reading!)

How sweet it is!!!

Baille 8 years ago

What are you giving Phill credit for, RT? The feds and local authorities started the investigation 18 months ago. The feds broke the ring and brought the principals up on federal charges. The local DA then comes along later and adds some state charges. Run of the mill legal work from the DA's perspective albeit a fairly exotic topic for the metro.

The proof of proficiency will be if and when Phill's office actually prosecutes those charges and if so whether they are successful at trial. Keep in mind, there is no doubt that Phill won't be trying any of the cases himself.

Johnson County's best hopes lay with the US Attorney's office. Word on the street is that Johnson County has become a criminal defender's dream jurisdiction.

caveatguy 8 years ago

I see lots of chitter-chat has occurred since I last saw this thread, and Mr. Brown is still here, and now wrapping himself in the drapes of slavery and sufferage.
. But he is still a fraud.

I don't quite understand the glee he receives from hiding under the quotes of historical figures. I did not know a lot about Mr. Brown before this article. But from links posted by others, I have learned too much about him. I am glad his goading has established the opportunity for this record to be fleshed out.

I again say I am surprised he still has a ticket to practice law.

Baille 8 years ago

"What are you giving Phill credit for, RT? The feds and local authorities started the investigation 18 months ago." - Baille

"Good, so you like the outcomethat's great." -RT

You bet. Sex slavery is horrendous. If Phill and Friends do end up taking some of these before a jury, I hope they win. But that won't change the fact he was a horrible AG, that he was slapped by the Supreme Court for willfullly and knowingly violating a court order for his own personal interests, that he threatened to arrest medical providers who refused to draw blood when he commanded, or the fact that he is currently mismanaging the Johnson County DA's office.

bjbrown 8 years ago

Interesting. The Right rests an argument on history, they are "hiding under historical figures." I suppose when the Left does the same it is evidence of cohesive thought.

The caveat seems to be "I am too biased to think straight."

Which is no surprise. Caveatguy probably works for the LJW or other Kansas media. Which is why I was compelled to launch bjbrownsblog.blogspot.com

oldgoof 8 years ago

Mr. Brown sure likes to try to get in the 'last word.' Of course his persuasion techniques are well-honed. (body armor and ear plugs suggested)

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