making local government more ethical

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Ethics Environments

Robert Wechsler
A front-page article in yesterday's New York Times provides an excellent portrait of a government official who, although doing much good work, made it all about himself and those with whom he has special relationships. Although his misconduct caught up with him only when it took the form of the alleged sexual harassment of his...
Robert Wechsler

Corruption and American Politics, an essay collection edited by Michael A. Genovese and Victoria A. Farrar-Myers (Cambria, 2011), has some excellent essays, especially those that deal with institutional corruption. The only serious criticism I have of the book is its price: $30 in both paperback and e-book formats.

Michael A. Genovese's introduction focuses...
Robert Wechsler
A big controversy surrounding the race for mayor of Honolulu is focused on the state's pay-to-play culture of the past, and what pay to play actually is. The reason for this is that a former Hawaii governor is running for mayor, and he is being supported by Bob Watada, a former state Campaign Spending Commission executive director who is known for bringing the state's pay-to-play culture to its knees during his 1994-2005 term in office.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article in the Times of Trenton yesterday, the FBI raided the homes of Trenton's mayor, as well as the homes of his brother and a major campaign contributor.

For those interested in government ethics, the best thing about the raid is...
Robert Wechsler
New Orleans must have the largest number of civic organizations that focus on government ethics, and the greatest amount of activity among them. There is the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a watchdog group that has filed ethics complaints (see my two blog posts that mention them:  1 ...
Robert Wechsler
In recent years, Florida's elected officials have shown a great deal of leadership in the field of unethical and criminal misconduct. The state has a weak state ethics commission, which has jurisdiction over local officials, and until recently only one good local government ethics program, in Miami/Dade County (Jacksonville and Palm Beach County joined this list with ethics reform last year). The major voices in government ethics in Florida have, sadly, been grand juries.

The need...

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