HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The State Elections Enforcement Commission is backing legislation requiring candidates who participate in Connecticut’s public campaign financing system to certify they’ve not been criminally convicted of any election law violation within the past eight years.

The bill was discussed Monday at a public hearing before the Government Administration and Elections Commission.

It stems from the case of former Bridgeport state Sen. Ernest Newton, a Democrat who received an $80,550 grant last year for a failed state Senate race after serving more than four years for accepting a bribe and misusing campaign contributions for personal expenses.

In January, Newton was charged with falsely obtaining the grant funds. He has denied the accusations.
Michael Brandi, the commission’s executive director, said if the legislation doesn’t pass, nothing bars Newton from receiving future grants.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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