Lucas County applicants must reveal donations from family, selves

Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop mixed past campaign promises for open government with his recent feud over economic development to create a resolution approved by his fellow commissioners yesterday.

Mr. Konop, a consistent proponent of greater transparency in government, introduced legislation yesterday mandating that all applicants for appointments to county boards and commissions declare if they or their immediate family members have contributed to any of the commissioners' campaign funds in the last five years.

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071114/NEWS33/711140407

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...and when I suggested this in 2003 I was ridiculed...

this is so much fun!

As many of you know, I have consistently been concerned with issues in our government which can be perceived and result in conflicts of interest. Most of the time I have focused on TPS - it does have a budget of around $450 million and a very large construction program. Whenever there is that much money, you know there is temptation to "buy influence".

The commissioners should have done this a long time ago. But better late than never and young Ben should be praised for his efforts. The other two commissioners were aware of the issues involved here and have sat on their hands. At least they came to their senses - probably because it is obvious that young Ben has the Blade in his corner. What politician would ever want to run afoul of the Blade? Sometimes this relationship works for the best - as in this case.

Why don't we go further and demand that every business relationship in which the county enters into should require public disclosure of contributions by principals in the business to commissioners?

Maggie - is that a requirement now?

Without listing the employers of the donors, it makes it impossible to see if the principles of a business have contributed to a commissioner's campaign.

Does the county require that all principles in a business be identified as part of the process of requesting bids and awarding contracts?

So, perhaps we need to extend this to the process of requesting bids and awarding contracts. Then we don't have to chase all over for the information if it is available.

not that I know of... though all campaign donations are viewable at the Board of Elections via the campaign reports. When not on the ballot, every elected official (and anyone with a campaign account) files two reports a year (Jan-Jun filed in July and Jul-Dec filed in January). But the commissioners' reports are not required to list employers of donors...

The Rag

...ever seeing the owners/principles of a business on a bid submission...unless there were some qualifications (like a PE, CPA or similar and they listed the individuals who met the criteria)...

Some claim that many principals of a business have no principles.

I sent an email with the suggestions discussed to Ben Konop yesterday. If he is serious about transparent and open government, having principals identified along with all contributions from the principles and their family members as well as those from affiliated PAC's would do much more than the resolution passed to assure conflicts of interest and influence buying are not part of the business of government in Toledo, Ohio.

Pete - Thanks for the chuckle!

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