Why Convicted Felon Ernie Newton Can Run for Office

by Categorized: Politics Date:

The news that former state senator and former federal inmate Ernie Newton is back in electoral politics was met by many with surprise that Newton was even legally eligible to vote, much less run for office. So how is he back on the ballot?

While convicted felons in every state but Maine and Vermont lose the right to vote while they are behind bars, most states restore that right – and with it, the right to run for office – either after incarceration or after the completion of parole or probation. Permanent disenfranchisement for at least some felonies remains the law in 11 states, according to Project Vote. (Click here for a state-by-state rundown of felon voting rights.)

Connecticut is in the middle of the pack, allowing released felons to vote while on probation, but not while on parole — with one important exception: Those convicted of election-related felonies must also complete probation before they can vote again.

Newton served four years in prison for “accepting a $5,000 bribe, evading taxes and pilfering campaign contributions to pay for car repairs, personal cellphone calls and other expenses,” my colleague Christopher Keating writes in a story reporting that Newton won the Democratic endorsement for his old seat.

Newton completed his sentence in August 2010. Two months later, after making the last payment on his $13,862 restitution order, former Inmate No. 16316-014 raised his right hand at Bridgeport City Hall, took an oath, and got back on the voting list.

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12 thoughts on “Why Convicted Felon Ernie Newton Can Run for Office

  1. Hot Dam

    On another part of this COurant website, there is a poll of readers where 90% of the respondents say NO to Newton running for office.

    Comparatively, yesterday, Gub-ner Malloy did everything he could to remain circumspect but provide an underlying unspoken support for Newton running for office. In that same story, however, Malloy also derided former governor Roland harshly – How can Malloy talk out of both sides of his mouth so boldly, and in the same damn story !!!

    The bottom line here is another stunning example of the Dem-Lib-Socialists, headed by Malloy, who DO NOT CARE what the taxpayers and voters of this State think. They will simply do what THEY want, with total impunity, and say “to hell with the voters”.

    Is the coming election day finally going to be a case of the taxpayers and voters taking back their state from these ignorant, self-serving whack-jobs ???

    1. Derek W. Brown

      90% of the respondents to that poll most likely do not live in Bridgeport. This is a forgiving sort of place, where everyone is entitled to a second chance.

  2. dennis

    No big suprise…The demosheep contralled state wide political machine shows it’s colors every chance it gets

  3. kit

    Sooo like the democratic party to endorse a convicted felon who took bribes and stole money while in office the last time. The Dems’ value system is totally messed up which is why I left the party.

  4. Albert Einstein

    A convicted felon can run and be elected for public office, but those convicted of a class A misdemeanor cannot possess or own a firearm…..That’s why this state is known as Corrupticut.

  5. Max

    I assume everyone that thinks a convicted felon can never Run for or hold elected office feels they are better than that person. He served his time, paid his price to society, pays taxes, why then can he not serve in elected office? If you want to take the right to vote and the right to serve in elected office away from people who have made mistakes and been convicted of a felony then also be willing to not force them to pay taxes. You don’t want them to own guns, you don’t want them to vote, you don’t want them to be able to hold elected office, you do however want to force them to pay taxes while you are taking their rights away. No where in the constitution that you people would say you hold so dear to you does it give anyone the right to take someone’s constitutional right a way to serve an elected office.

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