Sun Sep 28, 11:58 AM ET
She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free "awesome facial" she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The "absolutely gorgeous flowers" she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home.
She also stepped in to help friends or neighbors with
That year, records show, she tried to help a neighbor and political contributor fighting
Some of her first actions after being elected mayor in 1996 raised possible ethical red flags: She cast the tie-breaking vote to propose a tax exemption on aircraft when her
She sometimes followed a cautious path in the face of real or potential conflicts — for example, stepping away from the table in 1997 when the
But mostly, like other
Two months before
"I would ask that the
But in August 2002,
A few minutes later, the mayor e-mailed back: "Sounds good."
On Sept. 10, 2002, the seven-member
The carport was never removed.
"I sincerely don't feel that
"Small towns are first-person politics, and if people are close, it's hard to separate one's own personal interest and one's own personal property from the work of the city,"
"I think in a small town there is a greater likelihood that people will accept that you will pay careful attention to friends and neighbors," he said, adding that there may be some local gossip about it, but not a lot of public scrutiny. "At the national level, there will be far more people watching, there will be far more pressures to come forward to try to influence the outcome."
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.