House to Consider Requiring Candidates to Disclose Felony Convictions

Jan 28, 2014

Bill would require felons to declare their past if they go into politics

By Rick Pluta and Jake Neher  

The state House could vote soon on a measure to require political candidates to reveal felony convictions that occurred within the prior 10 years. A state House committee approved the legislation today (Tue.) that would require political candidates to declare felony convictions within the past 10 years.   

 The bill would require candidates to indicate the convictions when they file to run for office. Convictions that are expunged or sealed by a court order would be exempt.    

State Representative Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Twp.) sponsored the bill.   

 "We're trying to make sure the electorate knows who we are, and we're being transparent," said Kesto, a former prosecutor. "Because when it comes to criminal activity, it comes to the integrity of certain individuals who are the candidates, and we should be held to a higher standard."    

Kestko says the measure is not aimed at anyone in particular. However, there is a House Democrat, state Representative Brian Banks (D-Detroit), whose eight felonies for fraud remained a secret until late in his primary campaign.