February 14, 2013 •
Chicago City Council Passes Watered-Down Ethics Ordinance
The Chicago City Council approved phase two of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ethics reform. This time, however, it didn’t come easy and the mayor is not completely satisfied with its outcome. The set of reforms focused mainly on public officials.
Mayor Emanuel’s proposal included a two year ban on lobbying after leaving city council office and allowing citizens to make anonymous complaints against aldermen. The city council was against both of these provisions and eventually passed a watered-down version of the proposal.
The ban on lobbying will only last for one year and does not take effect until January 1, 2014. The idea of anonymous complaints was completely tossed out; as the aldermen were afraid the tactic would be used by political enemies to gain an advantage. Emanuel was not pleased with the changes. He vowed to continue to fight for the anonymous complaints and mentioned the aldermen are just playing into the hands of the cynics.
Following the council’s vote Emanuel said, “I believe all of you work really hard. You don’t get credit for how hard you work. You get an unfair rap. But when you take an action like you just took, it reinforces a cynicism about you.” He added, “I want you all to know that is not the end of the process. I’m going to continue to do it.”
Photo of the Daley Plaza and Chicago City Hall by JeremyA on Wikipedia.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.