States Get Their Ethics Report Cards - State and Federal Communications

March 19, 2012  •  

States Get Their Ethics Report Cards

government ethicsState Integrity Investigation has just published a study on government  transparency and accountability in the states. The partners in the project are The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International.

The bad news is that most states suffer from a lack of transparency and other ethical issues. The State Integrity Investigation website describes the following:

“Open records laws with hundreds of exemptions. Crucial budgeting decisions made behind closed doors by a handful of power brokers. ‘Citizen’ lawmakers voting on bills that would benefit them directly. Scores of legislators turning into lobbyists seemingly overnight. Disclosure laws without much disclosure. Ethics panels that haven’t met in years.”

For a summary of the report, take a look at: “Grading the nation: How accountable is your state?” by Caitlin Ginley on The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News.

Also, be sure to read: “Study: State governments at high risk for corruption” by The Associated Press on Fox News.

Here are some of the news stories about the report from various states:

Alabama:  “Alabama gets C- in report on most corruptible states” on

Arizona:  “Arizona gets D+ on corruption risk report card” by Maureen West in the Tucson Sentinel.

Arkansas: “Arkansas gets ‘D’ grade in public integrity” by Max Brantley in the Arkansas Times.

Florida: “When it comes to lobbying, Florida’s Sunshine law is dark” by Toluse Olorunnipa in the Miami Herald.

Florida: “Integrity index gives Florida politics a C-” by Kenny Malone in the Miami Herald.

Georgia: “Georgia last in public corruption laws” by Chris Joyner and Aaron Gould Sheinin in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Illinois:  “Illinois rates a C and ranks 10th in the U.S.” by Amanda Vinicky in the Quad-City Times.

Maine:  “Watchdogs fault state for lax ethical oversight” by Naomi Schalit, Lance Tapley, and John Christie in the Kennebec Journal.

Michigan:  “Michigan’s Corruptibility Rated An ‘F’ In New Report — And It Isn’t Just A Detroit Problem” by Matt Sledge in the Huffington Post.

New Jersey:  “New Jersey leads in national survey of sleaze-busting” by Dave Davies in NewsWorks.

New Jersey: “Report: N.J. has lowest corruption risk of any state” by Mary-Ann Spoto in the Star-Ledger.

Ohio: “Ohio rated as lax on ethics” by Paul Kostyu on

Oregon:  “Report: Oregon’s ethics rules occasionally undermined by ‘loopholes’” by Ryan Kost in The Oregonian.

Pennsylvania:  “Pennsylvania has right-to-know law, but austerity hinders transparency” by Peter Durantine on NewsWorks.

Tennessee:  “Tennessee Near Top of Nation for Anti-corruption Measures” by Nina Cardona on Nashville Public Radio.

Virginia:  “Va. Gets F in Corruption-Risk Assessment” by The Associated Press on

Washington:  “Washington Scores Well On Transparency, But Up To Citizens To Verify” by Amy Radil on

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