The last Congress is known for doing very little, but a couple of
weeks ago it actually passed a bill that will have a serious effect on
local government ethics: the
Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012
According to a press
on the bill, it "removes the federal prohibition on
most state and local government employees who want to run for
partisan political office. Under current law, state and local
government employees may not run for partisan office if their job is
connected to federal funding, a prohibition that prevents
well-qualified candidates from serving their local communities. S.
2170 will strike this prohibition unless the employee’s salary is
fully funded by federal dollars. The Hatch Act will continue to
restrict state and local government employees from engaging in
coercive conduct, or otherwise using their government positions to
advance partisan political ends."