David A. Marcello, the Executive Director of the Public Law Center
at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, has been keeping
close tabs on New Orleans' troubled ethics program. In 2011, he
published a report on how Hurricane Katrina (2005) led New
Orleans' officials to turn a moribund ethics program into one...
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...
Anyone who follows my blog knows that my favorite city to write about is Vernon, CA, the "Dream Machine," a city with lots of industry and no one other than city employees who might complain about what's in their backyard, or call for oversight.
Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral primary this week brings the national focus on Super PACs to the local level. In that primary, which is the most important election in that Democratically-inclined city, most of the money that was spent was spent by Super PACs, not by candidates.
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...