making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
"Access and Lobbying: Looking Beyond the Corruption Paradigm," by Dorie Apollonio, Bruce E. Cain, and Lee Drutman, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 36:1 (2008) (attached; see below), has some very valuable things to say about local government lobbying, even though it focuses on federal government lobbying.

The authors note that, despite the greater focus of academics and good government groups on campaign finance regulation, more money is spent by companies on lobbying...
Robert Wechsler
UC at Irvine Law School professor Richard Hasen's essay, "Lobbying, Rent-Seeking, and the Constitution," 64 Stanford Law Review 191 (2011), is a good complement to the Teachout essay I recently wrote about. Besides its valuable look at the idea that lobbying should be regulated because...
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
A dispute in Kansas raises the question:  which takes precedence, the First Amendment (free speech) or the Second Amendment?

On July 1, 2013, a Kansas state law became effective that prohibited the use of state funds to pay for promotion or lobbying on gun control legislation or regulation at any governmental level.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
When a lawyer decides to represent a private client, she does not give up her right to vote or petition governments on her own behalf. But what about when a lawyer decides to represent a public client, especially as a lobbyist? Does such a lawyer give up her right to vote on issues relating to the city government (assuming she sits on another government's board) or petition a government on behalf of her own beliefs?

These questions arise from a case in Cincinnati, where a city...
Robert Wechsler
This is the last of four blog posts on Florida Senate Bill 606 (attached; see below), one of the worst ethics reform bills I have ever read.

The Florida League of Cities was deeply involved in drafting these supposed ethics reforms, which I criticize in my last three blog posts. The question needs to be asked:  Was the League acting for its members as officials representing the public interest or...