making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
An article on the Texas Watchdog website focuses on a serious loophole in the Texas gift disclosure policy, which applies to local government officials. Section 176.003(a-1) of the Local Government Code (Title 5, Subchapter C) states:
    A local government officer is not required to file a...
Robert Wechsler
It's always nice to see politicians provide evidence for the argument that ethics self-regulation doesn't work, but it's rare for it to happen in so public a way as occurred yesterday. According to an article in Roll Call, Rep. John Carter (R-TX), "the point man for Republicans seeking to strip Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) of his gavel," did not disclose large profits from a sale of Exxon stock, even after...
Robert Wechsler
Quote after Quote in Paris
Earlier this month the French president's son supplied me with a quote of the day. Now he has announced he will not pursue a job his father used to have, and he has supplied me with another quote of the day:
    If the question you are asking me is, ‘Did you talk to the president about [the government job]?’ No. Did I talk about that with my father? Yes.
In addition, the current...
Robert Wechsler
Is political deal-making a government ethics violation? This is a tough area. Government ethics is about the conflict of personal and public interests. Political interests are generally left out of the equation unless non-political benefits are involved. In politics, you are allowed to put your personal interests first, at least until you win.

According to an article in yesterday's Atlanta ...
Robert Wechsler
 A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about how several government officials in Wausau mishandled a conflict situation involving the purchase of property fixed up with an interest-free loan from HUD. Yesterday's The State of South Carolina covers two other HUD loan conflict situations in Columbia, which are...
Robert Wechsler
Global Ethics, an organization run by Rushworth Kidder, author of Moral Courage and other books, has a good Ethics Newsline, which you can subscribe to. His lead article this week is about government ethics awards, inspired by what happened in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa.

I think it's good...

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