The anti-Pennsylvania Society trip

    While Pennsylvania’s political elite trek to New York for drinks, food and power talk at the annual Pennsylvania Society Weekend, I want to tip my hat to a local who went to a very different kind of conference this week.

    Shane Creamer, executive director of the city Board of Ethics went to Washington for the annual meeting of the Council of Government Ethics Laws, a collection of ethics watchdogs from all over the U.S. and a few foreign countries.

    Creamer has been going since 2005, when the city revived and empowered its Ethics Board. I imagine in the years since he’s come to be regarded as something of a stud, since Philly’s Ethics Board has blown the whistle and imposed sanctions on City Council members, Congressmen, sitting judges, and the region’s most powerful labor union.

    Creamer said he doesn’t know about that, but he draws inspiration and information seeing how other watchdogs bark and bite.

    “I learn from their experiences, on how to improve laws, how to better train people, and how to enforce those laws,” Creamer said. “And I can call them throughout the year for advice on things that are happening in Philadelphia.”

    At this year’s meeting in Washington, Creamer was elected to the organization’s steering committee.

    One more thing: He was there most of the week, and he paid his own way.

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