making local government more ethical

You are here


Robert Wechsler
Indefinite conflicts can cause a lot of problems for officials. They see them as not yet ripe, not something they should have to deal with yet. But others see them as looming in the future, and want to know how the official plans to deal with them. One such indefinite conflict is the subject of controversy in Tampa, where a council candidate is the executive director of a nonprofit organization that has a large contract with the city to build affordable apartments. This sort of indefinite...
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
I chose to specialize in local government ethics because this is where it all starts. This is where the individuals who become our representatives experience their first unethical environment, become team players, learn the rules of the game, and begin to feel a special entitlement.

One good thing about election time is that we sometimes get the back stories of individuals running for higher office. We get to see how they started. One such individual is Carl Paladino, a candidate...
Robert Wechsler
The lead article in yesterday's New York Times was on charities set up by members of congress. I've written a few times about the use of charities to get around campaign finance and gift provisions (...
Robert Wechsler
Update: May 12, 2010 (see below)

According to an article in Tuesday's Sun-Sentinel, Broward County (FL) Commissioner Ilene Lieberman feels that the ethics code written by a special commission on ethics (most of whose members...
Robert Wechsler
Special Counsel Robert S. Bennett's report on the District of Columbia council's earmark grants and personal services contracts was made public yesterday by the Washington...