Santa Clara University

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Monday, Dec. 12, 2011

Are there any rules requiring an elected official to disclose board membership on a non-profit organization? Is it ethical for a councilmember to fundraise for a favorite charity? For the purposes of getting free tickets to a concert or sporting event, what is the definition of “ceremonial role” or “in an official capacity?” These were some of the questions discussed at the recent meeting of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL).

Nearly 300 individuals from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil traveled to Nashville to share best practices, get updates on ethics laws, and learn the latest on lobbying, campaigns, freedom of information requests, and many more issues.

The use of social media was a hot topic, and tech-savvy participants were busy tweeting during the panel discussions. Enforcement of ethics violations, including fine structures prompted spirited debate, as did the Citizens United decision.

Look to this blog and my tweets in the coming weeks for more on the conference. I invite all who attended to comment at the end of this blog on what was the your most significant “take away” from the meeting.

Tags: campaign finance, Council on Governmental Laws (COGEL), financial disclosure, transparency, Twitter

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