Global Politics

Comprehensive government accountability investigation finds pervasive corruption risk

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Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich shakes hands with supporters after making a statement to reporters outside his Chicago home on March 14, 2012, one day before reporting to federal prison in Colorado to serve a 14-year sentence for corruption. Illi

A year-long investigation into the risk of corruption across all 50 U.S. states culminated Monday morning with the release of corruption risk report cards by the State Integrity Invesgtigation.

In it, not a single state was determined to merit an A in terms of minimizing the risk of corruption. And 25 of 50 states got either a D or an F for their laws and practices. The State Integrity Investigation is a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, the operator of this website.

The individual grades, though, can mask the individual areas of success and failure in each state. Take Georgia for example. While the state got a 49, an F, the lowest score given, it had areas where its performance wasn't so bad. Like internal auditing. In that area, it scored an 86, good enough for a B and a tie for 37th place. Auditing, though, is an area where most states did well, with just five Cs and one F being handed out.

So, without delay, a top five and bottom five list of selected scores from the State Integrity Investigation. In the case of ties, we included all states with the necessary score to make the cut.

Overall (Top 5)

State, Score

New Jersey, 87

Nebraska, 80

Overall (Bottom 5)

State, Score

Georgia, 49

South Dakota, 50

Wyoming, 52

Virginia, 55

Maine, 56

Redistricting (Top 5):

State, Score

California, 100

Connecticut, 100

Florida, 100

Idaho, 100

Iowa, 100

Mississippi, 100

Vermont, 100

Washington, 100

Wyoming, 100

Redistricting (Bottom 5)

State, Score

Kentucky, 5

New Hampshire, 10

Wisconsin, 15

North Dakota, 25

Ohio, 30

Lobbying (Top 5)

State, Score,

North Carolina, 96

California, 92

Washington, 91

New Jersey, 90

Nebraska, 88

Lobbying (Bottom 5)

State, Score,

North Dakota, 35

Wyoming, 36

Virginia, 41

Delaware, 42

South Dakota, 49

Procurement (Top 5)

State, Score

Iowa, 93

Nebraska, 93

West Virginia, 93

New Jersey, 92

North Dakota, 92

Procurement (Bottom 5)

State, Score

Maryland, 60

Georgia, 65

South Dakota, 66

New York, 66

New Mexico, 70

Arizona, 70

Executive accountability (Top 5)

State, Score

New Jersey, 88

Tennessee, 85

California, 83

New Hampshire, 82

Washington, 82

West Virginia, 82

Executive accountability (Bottom 5)

State, Score

South Carolina, 47

Maine, 50

Idaho, 52

South Dakota, 54

Wyoming, 56