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At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

The following postings have been filtered by tag gifts and bribes. clear filter
  •  Free Travel for Politicians

    Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 2:00 PM

    While the state of Washington allows government officials to accept free travel and events, the amount and nature of travel by the state's attorney general are raising eyebrows.  "Rob McKenna has accepted $184,000 worth of free travel and events since becoming attorney general in January 2005," according to the Seattle Times. Several trips were paid for by conservative political groups.

    Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler commented for the Times: "When you take an oath of office, you vow to put the public interest first....Political trips or trips paid for by a political party or to rub elbows to advance a political career are inappropriate," she said. "There's a fine line between being an officeholder and being a candidate. You are supposed to be doing the public's job."

  •  Gifts to Public Officials

    Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 10:04 AM

    The corrupting influence of gifts, even small ones such as tickets to sporting events, is the subject of a recent article in the Delaware News Journal. 

    Reporter Maureen Milford spoke to Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler, who explained some of the dangers when public officials accept favors from those who do business with the government.

    "If you, as someone who has business before a lawmaker, have five hours of one-on-one time, it's inevitable that you are going to discuss politics. A lot of people say that's the way the system runs, but it is so inherently unfair. That's why the phrase 'pay-to- play' was coined." 

    "Indeed, studies have shown gifts do influence people, Nadler said. Physicians say they wouldn't be influenced by a free pen given by a representative from a drug company. But studies have shown doctors are more likely to write prescriptions for that company's products, Nadler said."