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
Robert E. Goodin's book Manipulatory
Politics (Yale Univ. Press, 1980) is valuable for its
"cataloguing [of] various modes of political manipulation," as the
author wrote in his Preface. Goodin found only a few of the cases
"ethically worrisome," but the fact that I disagree does not make
the catalog any less valuable.
Goodin's definition of "manipulation" is "power...
Last month, Jonathan Rauch published a sincere and well-written defense of political machines, entitled "Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy" (Brooking Institution Press; available free as a PDF or e-book). Although the essay scarcely mentions conflicts of interest, gifts, nepotism, and the like, and it makes no mention at all of conflicts of...
Last week, Edward B. Foley, who directs Election Law @ Moritz, Ohio
State's law school, put online the
draft of a paper entitled "Voters as Fiduciaries." The paper
makes the argument that voters should not be voting their personal
interests, but should instead be expressing their best judgment of
what is in the public interest, including the interest of future