Council again considers whether to exempt itself from recusal for financial conflict

In June 2016 the City Council considered an update to the city’s conflict of interest rules that would allow Council members to continue to participate in a legislative act in which she or he has a conflict of interest if that conflict is publicly disclosed first. After a contentious debate, it was referred back to committee, where it has languished for almost two years. This week it will be revived and get another hearing in committee.

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The City Council paid a lobbyist $50,000 for the income tax ordinance, and other revelations

Last year Jason Mercier, Director of the Center for Government Reform at the conservative Washington Policy Center, submitted an expansive public document request for documents and communications from Seattle officials related to the development  of the city’s income tax ordinance. He’s been kind enough to share and discuss the resulting information-dumps with me, and the results are a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the City Council operates. I should state up-front: Jason and I disagree on the merits of an income tax (I’m for it), but we have a shared interest in government transparency and accountability, independent of government officials’ …

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