making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
Are loans to businesses that do business with a city sufficient to create a conflict of interest? This is the question that has been batted around recently in Washington, D.C., according to an article in today's Washington Post.
Robert Wechsler
In ethics codes, campaign contributions are sacrosanct. Nearly every ethics code excepts them from the definition of "gift," "personal benefit," "anything of value," or whatever they call money and goods given to government officials and employees. Limiting campaign contributions is a matter for campaign finance laws, because there is no conflict of interest involved.

Or is there? It is a conflict of interest to accept (and, not often enough, to give) money when there is an...
Robert Wechsler
The decision of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal in In re Arnold (May 23, 2008) causes serious problems with respect to ethics enforcement against local government legislators, at least in Louisiana. It opens up a can of worms that I haven't seen discussed (I'd appreciate being alerted to where it has been discussed).

The court decided that the Legislative...