making local government more ethical

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Book Reviews

Robert Wechsler
The draft of Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout's new essay, "The Forgotten Law of Lobbying," which will appear in Election Law Journal, looks at the history of how American courts have viewed lobbying. This history provides a valuable perspective on lobbying, making it more clear what it is about lobbyists that attracts bad feelings.

After all, when looked at in terms of First...
Robert Wechsler
In a blog post last week, I listed the many reasons why city and county attorneys should not be providing ethics advice. One of those reasons was that "legal advice and ethics advice require different skill sets." But I limited this part of my analysis to saying that "A legal adviser sticks to the letter of the law, and is always on the lookout for...
Robert Wechsler
I've been writing a lot about government ethics and behavioral psychology over the last few years. I consider some of the findings of behavioral psychology, especially about blind spots, essential to understanding what leads to ethical misconduct and, therefore, essential to ethics training, ethics advice, and ethics enforcement. But behavioral psychology has not yet been embraced by American government ethics programs, at least as far as I have seen.

The first reason that comes to...
Robert Wechsler
I'm reading an excellent novel right now:  Quiet Chaos by Sandro Veronesi, translated from the Italian by Michael F. Moore (Ecco, 2004, 2011).

The narrator has just learned that his boss stole money from the company they worked for. He was very close to his...
Robert Wechsler
The Privatization of Economic Development
A fascinating report has just been published by Good Jobs First, entitled "...
Robert Wechsler
I recently read the latest, third edition of The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide by Carol W. Lewis and Stuart C. Gilman (Jossey-Bass, 2012). This is the second most popular text used in Public Sector Ethics courses, mostly in Public Administration programs. Most of the book deals with issues...