making local government more ethical

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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...
Robert Wechsler
Blago watchers will be interested in the news in today's Chicago Tribune about his former chief of staff and campaign manager pleading guilty and providing detailed testimony about the schemes of Blagojevich and three of his friends to make money off Blago's position, "such as through operating businesses that would get state money or receiving fees from people who did business with the state."...
Robert Wechsler

Update: November 16, 2009 (see below)

On Sunday, the Lexington Herald-Leader took an unflattering look at Kentucky's legislative ethics commission. As in New York State, a central problem appears to be the commission's lack of independence.

Two important changes were made to the commission's independence in 1996, three years after it was created. The first change involved who...