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Ethics Codes

Robert Wechsler
Another interesting ethics matter is raised in the article on the school board member in Santa Clara County (CA), which I discussed earlier today.

The DA's office notes that the contractor, for whom the school board member had worked as...
Robert Wechsler
More from Madison. According to an article last month on the website, a stagehands union sent 28 copies of a book on creating and maintaining healthy arts organizations to members of the Madison council and members of an ad hoc committee on the future of the city's arts center. The union insists that the books were loaned, not given, and that the book doesn't even take a position on how...
Robert Wechsler
There are some interesting ethics issues being raised in Madison, Wisconsin.

The mayor of Madison was asked to co-chair a committee that will be raising funds to sponsor a national conference of urban designers and developers to be held in Madison. One job for the mayor would be to send out fundraising letters and follow up with phone calls to companies and individuals, including some that do business with the city.

The mayor responsibly asked for an advisory opinion...
Robert Wechsler
A Resignation from an Ethics Board for a Possible Future Conflict
A member of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics resigned recently, according to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The reason for his resignation was a possible conflict of interest due to his representation of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) in...
Robert Wechsler
One group of individuals with a great deal of power in local government is not covered by local ethics codes or the other aspects of local ethics programs. That group consists of officers of local political parties.

Sometimes a party chair is the most powerful individual in the city or county, the individual who selects candidates and, if an elected official is disloyal, throws party support to another candidate in the next primary. In other situations, the party chair is the...
Robert Wechsler
Former House majority leader Tom DeLay is currently on trial for laundering $200,000 in PAC contributions from corporate lobbyists through the Republican National Committee to Texas candidates. In Texas, corporate money cannot be used for political campaigns.

According to an article in today's New York Times, it is not these facts that are in dispute, only whether they actually add up...