Loose Lips

Anti-Corporate Giving Activists Will Sue D.C. Elections Board

The folks who want to ban direct corporate contributions from D.C. political races say they did, in fact, gather the required numbers of signatures to get their initiative on November's ballot and the Board of Elections can't count.

Earlier this month, the BOE ruled that the anti-corporate giving folks, known as D.C. Public Trust, were 1,726 valid signatures short of getting on the ballot. After that ruling, the group says it double-checked the BOE's math and found the board had miscounted. From a news release:

Specifically, following the review guidelines outlined by the Board, the group counted 24,645 duly registered voters identified by the Board—1,346 more than the 23,299 (5 percent) required by law. The review also found that this figure included the required 5 percent of registered voters in six (wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) of the District's eight wards. D.C. law requires that threshold be met in at least five.

The group says it also found more than 1,000 valid signatures that were improperly thrown out.

"What we found in our review raises concerns about the integrity of the democratic process in local D.C. elections," Bryan Weaver, a Ward 1 activist and former council candidate who help lead the petition drive, said in a statement. D.C. Public Trust says it plans on filing papers in D.C. Superior Court asking that a judge essentially overrule the BOE's decision and put the initiative on November's ballot.

  • http://dcpublictrust.org/wordpress1/media/press-releases/ Green Eyeshade

    Click my name for the DC Public Trust press release.

  • And . . .

    Gotta love that Ward 7 and 8 are conspicuously missing from the ballot endorsement. Plus ce change . . .

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Not sure what the anonymous person means by wards 7 and 8 are missing. Signatures gathered in both wards counted towards the citywide total, and 4 of the 5 ANCs in ward 8 voted unanimously to support the initiative.

  • Truth hurts

    Hope they win in court.

  • OMGeeee

    Instead of getting signatures, why not try out-raising an incumbent.

    You new DC people are so quick to cry foul, you all are the reason the natives cant live here anymore. Im sure lots of you have money.

    Support Weaver, so he can LOSE!

  • http://greatergreaterwashington.org/ David Alpert

    Good post, but it seems to me that calling them "anti-corporate giving" sounds a little misleading. "Corporate giving" is generally a term that applies to charitable contributions; if a company is putting more money into local educational or health programs or some such, people talk about their "corporate giving."

    This is "corporate campaign contributions." I know that's longer, but I'd think a little about how to concisely describe the folks without using that possibly confusing term. "Campaign finance activists"?

  • OMGeeee

    @DavidAlpert I agree, maybe in 30 years corporate giving will stop, I dont see it stopping anytime soon.

  • Sally

    The real issue isn't the total number of voters that signed the petitions.

    The real issue is how many signed in each Ward and the total percentage that represents.

    The I-70 press release focuses on the total number, but is very hedgy on the ward-by-ward breakdowns. That sorta raises eyebrows.

    So, for the I-70 supporters: What was the percentage breakdowns by ward?