Fl. City Requires Candidate Background Check


Political candidates in Miramar, Fl., must be fingerprinted and undergo a background check, says the Miami Herald. Both the Florida League of Cities and its national counterpart said they knew of no other cities with similar policies. The American Civil Liberties Union opposed the ppractice. The ACLU’s Howard Simon says it “may raise legal questions as to whether or not it is an illegal addition to eligibility requirements to run for office.”

Miramar commissioners approved the requirement in December 1990, after two commissioners ran afoul of the law. The city’s background checks showed that 2001 candidate Fitzroy Salesman was arrested for resisting an officer and disorderly intoxication, both misdemeanors. Salesman, who won and is seeking reelection, had no qualms about the voters learning of his arrest. “When someone is running, what does being arrested for resisting arrest without violence and so-called intoxication, what does that mean to the issues?” he said. “If we wanted a saint we would need to elect the Pope.”

Link: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/10567490.htm

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