One of the news media's biggest problems is failing to look at the
big picture and, instead, focusing on specific events and issues.
This is especially true when it comes to government ethics, where
the news media generally considers, and calls for, ethics reforms on
a piecemeal basis.
Local governments that lack a lobbying oversight program do not have to merely throw up their hands when a huge procurement matter arises. They have the choice to set rules for that matter which, if it works, may later be applied more generally.
This is the lesson that comes from the York, Ontario region which, according to a recent...
The big news in local government ethics yesterday was the
publication of the final report of Quebec's Charbonneau Commission,
which investigated bid rigging in the Montreal area, involving not
only government officials and contractors, but also the Mafia and
Hells Angels (see my
2012 blog post on the investigation).
Seattle's public campaign financing Initiative
I-122 passed easily on Tuesday. It should prove to be an
excellent experiment in campaign finance vouchers, an idea that has
been batted about at the federal level, as well.
Here's how it works. Each election cycle (two years) the city's
ethics commission will mail four $25 vouchers to each registered
voter, to be given, if they choose, to any...
Considering that it reflects a typical approach to lobbying, it is
valuable to look at the language of a resolution to improve
Austin's lobbying oversight program (attached; see below). It is
also valuable to consider the opposition to this resolution by a
coalition of local architects, engineers, and contractors, according
article in the Austin Monitor this week. ...