making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
This week, Linda Greenhouse pointed out, in a New York Times op-ed piece, that an April 14 decision by the D.C. Circuit could have an effect on campaign finance disclosure. It could have an effect on government ethics disclosure, as well.

Robert Wechsler
Because Massachusetts has one of the better state ethics programs with jurisdiction over local officials, there are very few local ethics programs, unlike the situation in Florida, California, or Texas, for example.

But there have been some recent ethics reform efforts at the local level. Most recently, according to an article last week in the...
Robert Wechsler
In most cities and counties throughout the United States, the city or county attorney is in charge of the government ethics program. I have written a great deal about why this is not a best practice, but city and county attorneys still keep providing further reasons. Here's one from Tioga County, NY.

According to an article in the Star-...
Robert Wechsler
Here's another story involving the lack of transparency. This time, the lack of transparency involves a company getting government grants.

According to an article from a week ago on, Brevard County, FL's commissioners approved a $205,000 grant for Project Magellan, a business development at the Melbourne...
Robert Wechsler
According to Wikipedia, a Grand Unified Theory (GUT) is "a model in particle physics in which at high energy, the three gauge interactions of the Standard Model which define the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, are merged into one single interaction."

It appears that the case of Michael Quinn Sullivan and his trio of...
Robert Wechsler
Can anyone volunteer for a local political campaign without it being considered a contribution? Isn't it everyone's right to do so? Isn't this just about the most important thing a citizen can do, short of running for office herself?

According to the Toronto Metro News website last week, a "political strategist" and lobbyist who was...