making local government more ethical

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Political Activity/Patronage

Robert Wechsler
The spread of corruption from local to state to national is often ignored. And when corruption is discovered, there is much litigation. In fact, it's often hard to see corruption clearly here in the U.S. That's why the occasional look at corruption abroad is useful, like looking in an only slightly distorted mirror.
Robert Wechsler
I learned recently that the Luzerne County (PA) ethics pledge movement, which I wrote about in May and September, is complemented by a draft charter which is to be approved or...
Robert Wechsler
Those who, like me, are fascinated by Vernon, California, the ultimate company town, with an ethical environment that breaks nearly all the rules, will be happy to know that it was given a long treatment in a front-page article in Sunday's Los Angeles Times. There are no new revelations, but a few good quotes.

From state Assemblyman Hector De La Torre:  "It's...
Robert Wechsler
The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) has been getting a lot of heat lately. The bi-state organization operates four toll bridges and a commuter system between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.

According to an article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pennsylvania treasurer,...
Robert Wechsler
The Kansas City, MO ethics commission situation is a mess. Last month, I wrote about the problem that arose regarding EC members who made campaign contributions to candidates over whom they had jurisdiction, leading to two resignations. Soon after, the council prohibited EC members from making contributions, and two more members resigned, leaving only three members. But that's only the icing on the cake.

Robert Wechsler
I hate to see people resign with statements such as this, as typical as they are:
    While I have been assured that I have violated no existing code, ordinance or statute, I cannot permit my integrity — and, by insinuation, Councilwoman Hermann’s — to be attacked.
Sadly, these are the words of a former Kansas City (MO) ethics commission member, according to an article in the...