making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
In Milwaukee County, according to an article in Sunday's Journal-Sentinel, a county supervisor is seeking to add to the county ethics code a confidential information provision that would not limit the prohibition to what is common in ethics codes: information divulged for someone's benefit.

As I've written...
Robert Wechsler
The Supreme Court has been nibbling away at campaign finance laws for years now, but the one thing all but one of the justices agree on is that requiring the disclosure of contributions does not infringe on first amendment speech rights.

Then why, as stated in the Washington Post yesterday, have organizations sponsoring issue ads failed to list the sources of...
Robert Wechsler
Forget the fascinating range of ethics programs at the local level. It is congressional ethics programs that get the national attention. And with all this attention, what Congress does, and fails to do, has a great effect not only on what happens at the local level, but also on the rhetoric employed there.

When Congress self-administered its own ethics, every council or county commission member could say that if self-regulation is good enough for Congress, it's good enough for them...
Robert Wechsler
Four years after I wrote a blog post entitled The Ethics of Today's Municipal Pension Plan Problems, according to an op-ed piece in the New York Times, New Jersey agreed with the S.E.C. never again to fraudulently hide...
Robert Wechsler
San Marcos (TX) Council candidate Toby Hooper, in his first public statement as a candidate, said some of the right things about ethics:

On the role of an ethics commission (he's a member of the city's ethics review commission):

Robert Wechsler
Update: September 23, 2010 (see below)

Lack of transparency and voter indifference, especially relating to technical issues, are often considered minor issues not central to local government ethics. What happened the last few years in Bell, California (pop. 37,000; Los Angeles County) should make people think again about how central transparency and citizen participation are to preventing unethical...