Monday, March 02, 2009

"This campaign was never about me..." 

..."because I made the whole thing up."
Just days before DFL caucusing begins for Minneapolis City Council elections, Charles Carlson � University of Minnesota student and Minnesota representative at the Democratic National Convention � said he will announce Monday his withdrawal from the Ward 2 councilmember race following a series of lies regarding his past and his qualifications.

Carlson, who speaks with an English accent, previously claimed he grew up in Ramsgate, England, but admitted recently that he grew up in the United States.

The Daily confirmed that Carlson attended elementary school, middle schools and high schools throughout Minnesota, including Northfield High School, where a former classmate said Carlson did not have an accent. Also, the classmate did not have any knowledge of Carlson previously living in England.

In a Feb. 1 Daily article, Carlson said his English background would help him connect with the 2nd Ward�s immigrant population.

Carlson also provided the Daily with two fraudulent transcripts to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and Princeton University. These schools, along with two other English schools he claimed to have attended, had no record of Carlson.

Carlson said he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia affective disorder, which impacts an individual�s ability to accurately judge reality. Although he said he did not know whether it has affected his perception, he admitted in a recent interview to making false claims in an attempt to hide a �messy past,� which Carlson said included two years in a mental institution.

�I spent six years being a gay nothing that people just made fun of, and then when I was discharged I found out that people would believe anything you told them,� he said. �And in an effort to substantiate who I am, to be something, I went too far.�

...�This campaign was never about me, it was really about the fact that I felt students were being neglected,� Carlson said. �I�m very sorry for not being honest.�

I hope Mr. Carlson, age 23, gets the help he needs. It appears he was diagnosed properly and, while it doesn't seem he was institutionalized more than a couple of months he was under care and given a guardian. He actually is correct that people want to believe things you tell them about yourself, and a good story will seldom be checked.

But I do like the "the campaign was never about me" part. Look, son, in politics it's ALWAYS about you. Where did you learn that lying about yourself was acceptable if the ends were right? My first suspect: University.

(h/t: Tony.)