Evaluating the risk of corruption in your state government

The State Integrity Investigation, a partnership between the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International to measure the risk of corruption in every state, released full state report cards today. They include letter grades, reporter comments and research details, as well as each state’s rank among all 50 states.

See How Your State Ranks

The State Integrity Investigation is an unprecedented, data-driven analysis of each state’s laws and practices that deter corruption and promote accountability and openness. Experienced journalists graded each state government on its corruption risk using 330 specific integrity indicators. The Investigation ranked every state from one to 50. Each state received a report card with letter grades in 14 categories, including campaign finance, ethics laws, lobbying regulations, and management of state pension funds.

I’ve been a supporter of the Center for Public Integrity since it started over two decades ago. A source for serious research and journalist reports on the state of ethics in the United States and – the matching half of the equation – corruption.

Got this report in the morning’s block of emails and feel it should be up on every blog. Just as all politics is local, trying to change politics in this nation starts at the local level – if you want to take an active part in the process.

Read ’em and weep – or cheer. New Mexico surprised me by being 12th from the bottom. I wouldn’t have assumed we’d do that well. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Evaluating the risk of corruption in your state government

  1. Annabel Lee says:

    Let me fake surprise that Maryland was rated so low on the list. NOT MARYLAND!!! We seem so nice!!!!

    I mean, it’s bad enough that we’ve had multiple federal investigations and indictments over the past decade for everything from ethics scandals to corruption, embezzlement to improper relations with minors. It’s hard to see everything that happens in Annapolis, as most papers are not allowed into the legislature to report on the proceedings without invitation. Oh, and we cannot forget that the website is redacted frequently even when few pieces of information are released.

    The public focuses far more on Baltimore City than Annapolis, creating another problem. Annapolis, even when they are in session, barely makes the local news channels in Baltimore or Hagerstown. Even the DC stations rarely talk about anything coming out of Annapolis. The news is dominated by scandals in Baltimore, the constant violent crime in the Baltimore and DC Metro areas, and about schools that are underfunded, and facing even more budget cuts.

    I mean, who can be surprised that a state is corrupt when you have judges who took huge payments from the defendants to make rulings in their favor, and the judges did not lose their jobs nor were they censored by their cohorts.

    We can’t forget how Maryland raided the Transportation Trust Fund to give tax breaks to companies moving to Maryland, then raised taxes to repave streets for a Formula 1 event, despite traffic being a nightmare in the area. Even the public transportation system in the area is unreliable, as it hasn’t seen any improvements or expansions in 15 years. There’s no money for those projects.

    Hey, but there’s still 10 states more corrupt than Maryland. I feel sorry for those people.

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