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Ethics Codes

Robert Wechsler
Unfunded Open Meetings Mandate in California
Local governments' protests against unfunded state mandates might, in this time of spending cuts, lead to the undermining of state ethics laws that apply to local governments. The first sign of this is in California, of course.

Robert Wechsler
Local party committees have a great deal of power. Most of the people we vote for have been selected and, where allowed by law, endorsed by local party committees. Most of the people who are appointed to boards and commmissions have also been approved by local party committees. In most places, they determine who runs our communities.

One of the principal roles a political party has, at least in theory, is assuring the public that its candidates have been screened in some valuable...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article in Friday's San Bernardino Sun, a San Bernardino city council member accused of a conflict of interest resigned. He owned a towing company whose major source of income is a contract with the city. The contract was made before he joined the council. According to an article Saturday in the...
Robert Wechsler
Update: February 10, 2011 (see below)

Trenton's city attorney and mayor have been going through an elaborate dance in the last week, since the city attorney decided to void a contract between the city and a law firm that made a large contribution to a PAC that supported the new mayor's candidacy. The city attorney's decision was made pursuant to a 2006 Trenton pay-to-...
Robert Wechsler
Last month, I wrote about how the Green Bay ethics board hadn't met much more than the Packers had won Super Bowls. Well, now that the Packers have won another, it's time for the ethics board to meet again (the last time it met was in 1999).

One thing Green Bay and Pittsburgh officials have in common is their payment for face-value Super Bowl tickets. You may wonder what is...
Robert Wechsler
Last month, I did a blog post on the huge exceptions to Alabama's new gift provisions (pp. 24-26). What I didn't note was the similarities, and the gulf, between the bribery provision in Alabama's constitution and the gift provisions in the old and new statutes, and how this has...