Eula Biss's excellent book On
Immunity (Graywolf Press, 2014) is not about legislative
immunity, but about immunity to diseases. And yet there is a great
deal of food for thought in it about municipal ethics.
The first parallel can be seen in the "mun" in both "immunity" and "municipal." It comes
from the same Latin word "munus," which means service or duty. Who
Mixing Election Oversight and Professional Contracts
According to an Illinois Business Times article on April 5, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is chaired by an attorney whose law firm has received presumably no-bid contracts to lobby for city agencies, that is, contracts from the administration whose mayor and alders were...
I just read a classic work of philosophical psychology, Self-Deception(Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969), wherein Herbert Fingarette takes an interesting approach to a phenomenon common to politics, but which seems...
An example I often use for why government ethics laws are only minimum requirements is that these laws cannot include friendships or romantic relationships, because these are impossible to define with any precision. When a relationship is not included because it is undefinable, this does not mean that one should not treat this relationship like any other special relationship and withdraw from matters involving that individual. One should go beyond the minimum requirements of the law and...
Call for a State Municipal Lobbying Code
It may be a big holiday week and the end of the year, but there has still been
some news on the government ethics front. The
Boston Globe has called for the state to institute
disclosure requirements for local lobbying. According to the
editorial, the only rule now is to file a letter...