Monday, November 14, 2016
Ethics Forum or Municipal Race Kickoff?
Without question, the League of Women Voters is at the forefront of many reform efforts, especially those aimed at the gerrymander. But I question this panel.
Dr. John Kincaid, Director of the Meyner Center for the Study of State & Local Government at the Lafayette University, is supposed to present an introduction on ethics in government. That's mighty nice of him, but I'd like someone to do an introduction on ethics at the Meyner Center. That outfit sells itself as an expert on everything to municipal governments, and they use Meyner to select Township managers, conduct meaningless studies that are ignored, etc. Kincaid is certainly no expert on ethics in municipal government, but he looks very dignified.
Two panelists are from the land of midnight payraises, i.e. with state government, and that hardly sends chills up and down my spine. I have no idea what Julio Guridy is doing on this panel. He's a nice guy, but has often been an apologist for all the corruption that went on under Fed Ed. Two panel members, from Philly's Ethics Commission, probably can share some insights.
Last year, the Martin Tower rezoning led to all kinds of suspicions and accusations about the pernicious influence of money in politics. But while something is better than nothing, meaningful reform has to come from the state.
I'd love to see every Bethlehem candidate pledge that he will accept no more than $250 from any person or PAC. That means each person running can rely on grassroots support, but not on developers who almost certainly while have their hands out later.