Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

More on ethics: political primogeniture ain't what the bosses believe it ought to be

Dilbert, 4/4/2010, let go of the caring
Frame from Dilbert comic strip, 4/4/2010.

Example 1: County Executive Jack Johnson's wife Leslie running for and getting elected to the Prince George's County Council upon his exit--so he could keep an eye on things. See "Ex-P.G. exec. Jack Johnson sentenced to more than 7 years: Former official also ordered to pay $100,000" from the Baltimore Sun.

Example 2: Harry Thomas Jr. running for and getting the seat on City Council once held by his father. (And yes, I've heard stories from merchants about Harry Thomas Senior's various shakedowns.) See "Harry Thomas following in Marion Barry's footsteps" by Harry Jaffe and "Ethics showdown in D.C" by Jonetta Rose Barras, from the Examiner.

Example 3: not quite the same, Marshall Brown, a chief lieutenant of Marion Barry, getting his son Kwame, elected to DC City Council, with aims--likely now dashed given improprieties of his own--for the ultimate office, Mayor.

Example 4: again, a matter of political bosses selecting their own, but not a matter of one officeholder passing his position down to the next generation, Michael Brown, son of Democratic Party honcho Ron Brown, becoming a DC City Councilmember.

Example 5: and the crazy talk that Marion Barry will hand over his seat to his son, Christopher. See "Barry said to be eyeing son as possible successor on D.C. Council" from the Post.

Political primogeniture serves officeholders, not "the people" and should, for the most part, be opposed (cf. Robert Wagner Jr. in New York City).

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