making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler

Outside Ethics Commission Members
According to an article in yesterday's Salisbury (MD) Daily Times, the mayor of Snow Hill (pop. 2400) has decided to look outside his town for members of an ad hoc ethics commission to deal with an ethics complaint arising from a zoning appeals board decision.

"It's not that the...
Robert Wechsler
When people support ethics programs that feature toothless enforcement, reel off the names of the countries that support toothless enforcement of the UN Convention against Corruption (according to an article in this week's Economist):

Robert Wechsler
I think it's safe to say that a local government ethics "first" has occurred in Montgomery County, Maryland. A transgendered council aide has filed a complaint against the county ethics commission on the grounds that the EC investigated her because of her gender identity, according to an article in...
Robert Wechsler

“People seem to listen to you more when you’ve got a bagful of cash.”

Thomas J. Donohue, president of U.S. Chamber of Commerce (from today's New York Times)
Robert Wechsler
Update: November 20, 2009 (see below)

The latest news from the federal trial of former New York state senate majority leader Joseph Bruno's is sadly not surprising. According to an Associated Press article yesterday, former senate legal counsel told Bruno to hand-deliver his financial disclosure forms so that there would not be any problems with federal mail...
Robert Wechsler
One can learn a lot about local government (and judicial) ethics by listening to local officials talk about a conflict situation they're in. Here's one from Dallas County,  where the district attorney's wife is a political consultant for the campaigns of seven judges before whom the D.A.'s office practices.

According to an article in today's Dallas ...