Carlos Allen says he’s going from the HushGalleria Mansion to the Wilson Building.
“I’m confident I will win this election,” says alleged White House crasher turned independent mayoral candidate. “I don’t get involved in anything unless I strongly believe I can win and achieve success.”
Allen, the founder of what he has called an “internationally recognized humanitarian website” and a “world recognized” magazine, came to public attention when it was reported he was the “third crasher” of the November 2009 White House state dinner that introduced the world to Michaele and Tareq Salahi. They got a TV show; Allen decided to run for mayor.
The 40-year-old Allen was born in Panama, the son of a military father, and spent his childhood in Germany, Georgia, and New York. He came to the District 20 years ago, where he became “a self-trained financial consultant,” as he put it. He created “Help Us Support Humanity,” or HUSH, in 2009, and purchased a swanky Mount Pleasant rowhouse that he dubbed the HushGalleria Mansion. According to DCist, Allen put the house, which he “used to host gaudy invite-only parties,” up for sale last spring.
Allen has said that last November 24, he happened to fall in with an Indian delegation on its way into the White House for President Obama’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and, once inside, was shown to a table. But Allen has also claimed he was invited to the dinner, and in a national television interview, displayed a photograph of something he said was his invitation. The Washington Post’s Reliable Source provided pretty clear evidence that it wasn’t.
In March, flyers started appearing touting an Allen mayoral campaign, with the none-too-subtle slogan “Let’s Crash the Nonsense Out of D.C. Politics!” Allen failed to acquire enough signatures to make the Democratic primary ballot, and instead launched an independent campaign. But he now suggests that was his plan all along.
“For me, the word ‘independent’ is liberation which is much more than a political label,” Allen told me. “It represents my nonpartisan belief in what I’m doing and reinforces my self-determination to help all District of Columbia citizens.” Allen said the city “needs a trustworthy and dependable leader of the people and not another gump who is for the rich and affluent.”
Allen’s agenda is rather vague. “I want to aid all generations, those of today and in the future, to actualize their aspirations to truly live the American Dream,” he said. “I want to cultivate a District of Columbia where each of us are our brother’s keeper” and to be “a mayor that will positively impact the lives of all D.C. citizens.”
He also says he would “advance education and promote individual empowerment to thereby increase the tax base and employment” to turn the District’s budget deficit into a $1.1 billion surplus -- while simultaneously reducing taxes on the city’s less wealthy residents. How is this possible? By using government “to advocate and produce careers rather than individuals simply having a job.”
Allen is far less vague when it comes to expressing his thoughts about his main rival, Democratic nominee Vincent Gray. On the weekend after the Sept. 14 primary, Allen’s campaign placed more than 15,000 campaign signs around the city. They were up for a few weeks, but recently vanished as quickly as they had arrived.
“Word on the street is, Vincent Gray’s campaign either paid individuals or directed supporters to tear down all the Carlos Allen for Mayor signs,” even those in supporters’ yards, Allen told me. “We’re also hearing rumors being spread that I’m a convicted felon and street pimp.”
Allen hits Gray hard in a new campaign ad, in which Allen claims that “Gray opposes keeping blacks in D.C.” The ad claims Gray “allowed vouchers to be used to move poor blacks out of D.C.,” and says the black population of the city has dropped from 70 percent in 1990 to 46 percent under “Gray’s administration,” and that Gray will “bamboozle us like Fenty did, because we all know, by law whatever Fenty implemented, by law Chairman Gray had to approve.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2009, 54 percent of the District population was black, and “Gray’s administration” has yet to begin. And there is no law requiring the D.C. Council Chairman to sign off on mayoral policies.
“Gray should know the attacks are coming,” the Allen campaign said in a statement. “They’re as much a part of D.C. as go-go music.”
Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC