For Immediate Release

September 18, 2014

Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun

(202) 724-8105

Grosso Announces Hearing on 'Clean Hands' Bill

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Committee on Government Operations will hold a hearing on the Clean Hands Elections Reform Amendment Act of 2014, a bill which Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced with his elections reforms package.  The hearing will be held at 11:00 am in room 120 of the John A. Wilson Building, located at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The Clean Hands Elections Reform Amendment Act of 2014, if enacted, will require that all candidates for elected office obtain a "clean hands" certification from the Office of Campaign Finance prior to qualifying for the ballot for any election.  Currently, the Board of Elections can fine candidates who fail to comply with the rules and procedures in our election laws. However, there have been many cases where fines have gone unpaid because the Board of Elections has little enforcement authority. "By requiring candidates to certify that they have clean hands, particularly when it comes to their prior campaigns, we will encourage our candidates to be more attentive to the elections and campaign finance rules," Grosso said.

Councilmember Grosso has introduced a series of election and campaign finance reform bills in an effort to engage the residents in the political process. Those bills include the Public Financing of Political Campaigns Amendment Act of 2013, a bill to allow candidates to run for office on a blend of small contributions from individuals and limited public funds; the "Instant Runoff Voting Amendment Act of 2014," a bill to allow voters to rank candidates in the order of their choice and the candidates with the least number of votes would be eliminated; and the "Open Primary Elections Amendment Act of 2014," a bill to allow qualified registered voters the opportunity to change their party affiliation through Election Day.

Each bill has been referred to the Committee on Government Operations.