Sunday, October 26, 2008

Technodirt - Should Elected Officials be blogging anonymously during the work day from publicly-owned equipment?

Is it ethical for "full time" local elected officials to blog "anonymously" about elections and campaigns during the work day on publicly-owned equipment?

Let's take a look at Whatcom County's Code of Ethics chapter 2.104

Use of County Property.

"No elected county official shall sell, divert, convert, give away, or use any county equipment, vehicles, or other county property, real or personal, other than in the performance of his/her official duties in behalf of the county. (Ord. 2002-023 Att. A § 14; Ord. 98-057 Att. A § 14; Ord. 97-045 § 14)."

(I can not find a Code of Ethics chapter on the City of Bellingham's website governing the personal use of city property by elected officials).

If someone has information that I can post - please feel free to forward it to me.

We are only discussing alleged behavior by elected officials who post anonymous comments/opinions about "campaigns and elections" NOT issues, during work hours from publicly-owned computers.

I always appreciate reading a timely correction or a legislative update from our elected representatives, when the comment is posted under their own name and is for educational purposes. For example, Stan Snapp and Sam Crawford have posted information on the Herald site that is useful to citizens.

Anyone have a thought or comment on this topic that they would like to share?

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