making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
Dallas council members' control over development in their districts led earlier this month to the conviction of one council member and four associates for extortion.

Now the Dallas mayor, Tom Leppert, is effectively forcing the hand of the city council to enact...
Robert Wechsler

Update: November 11, 2009 (see below)

Is there any worse way to skirt government ethics rules and misuse public money and position than via a charitable organization? And yet it happens again and again. This time it happened in Baltimore, according to the results of an extensive investigation by the Baltimore Sun.

Robert Wechsler
I've talked about legal defense funds in the past as a way to accept large gifts from those doing business with a local government, but I referred, tangentially, to only one local government legal defense fund, that of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. So I did some research and came up with a few other examples, which are worth knowing about if the...
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.
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
“Unless you out-and-out stick it in your pocket and walk away, everything’s legal.”
--Spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections