At-large D.C. Council candidate requests probe into Elissa Silverman’s Ward


Independent at-large D.C. Council candidate Karim Marshall is asking the city’s Office of Campaign Finance to investigate whether Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), one of his opponents in the race, violated any rules while polling the Ward 3 contest ahead of the June primary.

The complaint, filed Tuesday, brings renewed attention to the sequence of events leading up to the crowded Democratic primary, in which three candidates — Tricia Duncan, Ben Bergmann and Henry Z. Cohen — dropped out to coalesce around the eventual winner, Matthew Frumin, and in opposition to another leading candidate, Eric Goulet.

Following their exit from the race, Silverman confirmed to DCist that she had polled the contest and spoken informally with Duncan and others in the ward about the poll’s conclusions, which suggested that Goulet — who had already emerged as an antagonist among left-leaning candidates after a controversial campaign-trail comment and because he had the backing of the big-money, pro-charter school group Democrats for Education Reform D.C. — was slated to win.

Silverman said at the time that the poll was properly listed in her campaign finance reports and that she was careful not to share specifics with other candidates, which could be considered a campaign contribution and would need to be disclosed as such. But now, with just over two months until the general election, Marshall is asking campaign finance officials to determine whether Silverman’s actions constituted an unauthorized, in-kind contribution — if she used the poll to, as the complaint reads, “affect the composition of the field of candidates and the outcome of the Ward 3 race.”

Silverman on Tuesday disputed Marshall’s characterization of events, adding that the complaint is “just not factual.”

D.C. general election ballot takes shape as November approaches

“If candidates are using public financing to settle grievances or interfere in other elections, that’s not consistent with what we’re using tax dollars for,” said Marshall, a lawyer and first-time council candidate. “It’s possible she shared the information and said, ‘Do what you want with it.’ But what we don’t know is the degree to which the campaigns collaborated.”

D.C. OCF spokesperson Wesley Williams confirmed Tuesday that the agency had received Marshall’s complaint; the office’s director, Cecily Collier-Montgomery, will have 10 days to determine whether the matter warrants an investigation. Williams also said that OCF, after reviewing Silverman’s June 10 finance report, sent her campaign a request for additional information related to the $6,177 polling expenditures.

Silverman says she hasn’t heard back from OCF after she sent them a response to their inquiry six weeks ago. She pushed back strongly against Marshall’s allegations in the…

Read More:At-large D.C. Council candidate requests probe into Elissa Silverman’s Ward

Related Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest News Today