Gay Minneapolis City Council Candidate Drops Out Over Bio Lies

Charles Carlson, an openly gay candidate for Minneapolis City Council, has dropped out of the race, the Minnesota Independent reports, following revelations that he fabricated his biography, deceiving financial supporters and the Minneapolis gay community:

"Carlson, who speaks with a thick British accent, claimed to have grown up in England. It turns out, he hadn’t. He also claimed to have been enrolled in Princeton University, which
proved to be false. Carlson supplied the Minnesota Daily with false
transcripts to Princeton and a New Hampshire school. He also claimed to
have attended two schools in England, but those schools had no record
of his attendance. Carlson claimed to have officiated tennis at the 2008 Beijing
Olympics, a claim he admitted was false. He also claimed a childhood
connection to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which he later
admitted was false."

The lies were uncovered by a Star Tribune gossip columnist who discovered a police report for harassment by a former boyfriend. Carlson had also been ordered to a mental institution for schizophrenic affective disorder by a Court in 2003.

Carlson announced his withdrawal on his campaign site, but offered a different reason for dropping the campaign: "This past week, I was offered an opportunity to officiate professional
tennis at various tournaments around the world. With this presented to
me, I cannot whole-heartedly continue this campaign."

The paper adds: "The openly gay Carlson received a large amount of financial, volunteer
and in-kind support from Minneapolis’ LGBT community and businesses
over the course of his campaign, as well as from University of
Minnesota students, where Carlson was enrolled."

Gay city council candidate drops out, admits falsifying much of his life story
[minnesota independent]


  1. Scientitian says

    This is all a very unfortunate, sad situation – clearly this person doesn’t have the mental health to make even remotely sound judgements. I hope he can get help…

  2. Strepsi says

    You know guys, we don’t need to be so desperate that we throw support at ANYone claiming to represent us… all his stories seem so easily disprovable (especially the one where he was an official at the Beijing Olympics…). Sad situation. But — this actually did make me LOL:
    “This past week, I was offered an opportunity to officiate professional tennis at various tournaments around the world.”
    Most out-there withdrawl reason EVER.

  3. BC says

    Strepsi: remember the Will & Grace episode where the gay guy was running against the woman for city council and Will and Grace backed them respectively due only to their orientation and gender, only for it to turn out that there was nothing likable about either one. Your point reminded me of that. I do think that we are so excited to get a viable gay candidate that we’re quick to support ANY gay person without checking credentials. We need to be real careful about who we support. Because even if I say “He doesn’t speak for me as a gay man,” others will see him as speaking for me.

  4. gr8guyca says

    I am always amazed by these stories of people pretending to be someone else.

    There was story in Vanity Fair about a guy who posed as a Rockefeller. Then, inexplicably, they enter the public arena where they stand the greatest chance of the truth being discovered.

    Clearly, this guy has a severe mental illness. But this interweaving of pathological lying and the need for attention seems like interesting psychological territory.

  5. paul c says

    How long til Obama tries to recruit him for a cabinet position?

    You really have to wonder what goes on in the minds of chronic liars. Do they think they’ll never be uncovered? That’s naive beyond belief for anyone in the age of the internet — let alone someone jumping into a very visible campaign for a public office.

    Maybe they get some kind of risk-induced thrill over the chance of being caught…or they’re just so fucked up they don’t think ahead at all.

  6. noah says

    Paul C,

    Did you miss the part about the guy being a schizophrenic? He’s mentally ill. There’s a difference between someone lying to advance his career and someone having been “ordered to a mental institution for schizophrenic affective disorder by a Court in 2003.”

  7. TANK says

    From the pages of a patricia highsmith novel, yah. Only this guy has schizophrenia and isn’t a psychopathic murderer. He’s crackers and cheese, though, and that’s a shame as he seems fairly capable and gifted with a good imagination.

  8. Marc says

    The point is; whether you are gay or straight or whether the candidate is, we need as a society to be sure who it is that we are voting for. It doesn’t matter what platform, party affiliation or personal preference they espouse. We need to be holding these officials and potential officials accountable for the overall welfare of our nation first, then the world! It is the highest standard of ethics we should be seeking not the lowest common denominator needed to garner votes.

    And Paul,

    Why aren’t you at the Watergarden? I thought we we’re supposed to meet up today?

  9. anon says

    Actually, he sounds like a perfectly typical pol. There is nothing here that is the least bit unusual.

  10. says

    I went to high school with a guy who years later i ran into at a party in Weho. He dragged me around the room telling the most fantastical stories. At many points during the evening he would turn to me and say, “remember that!” By the end of the evening I had to remind myself that everything he said was a lie.

    He actually seemed to believe every single thing he said. Only now do I realize he was probably mentally ill. Thanks for the post.