State integrity news for Alabama, from the Montgomery Advertiser:
A Montgomery County grand jury urged the Legislature to revisit ethics reform in a report issued last Friday, saying the state’s financial disclosure requirements and ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers were not clear enough to allow prosecution of offenses. The grand jury, empaneled by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Johnny Hardwick, examined 12 complaints of PAC-to-PAC transfers or failure to file reports in a timely manner filed over the last year.
The complaints entangled a number of state leaders, including former Gov. Bob Riley, who headed a PAC that received a $50,000 contribution from an out-of-state PAC just a few months after Riley signed a law banning the practice.
Read the rest of the story at the Montgomer Advertiser.
State integrity news for Florida, from the Tampa Bay Times:
Harry Sargeant III, former finance chair for the Florida Republican of Party says he and other party officials knew all about it when former GOP chairman Jim Greer and the party's executive director took over fundraising operations. The accusations aim at the heart of a statewide grand jury indictment accusing Greer of grand theft of more than $100,000 from the party by diverting money to Victory Strategies, a company created to handle fundraising duties for the party.
The criminal charges allege that Greer diverted the money without the knowledge or consent of party officials.
Read the rest of the story at the Tampa Bay Times.
State integrity news for Iowa, from the Sioux City Journal:
The Iowa House plans to again stream floor debate over the Internet next session, and the Senate is looking into providing similar coverage. Officials in the House said the effort to improve government transparency has been a success, with up to 100 people at a time logged on to monitor debate.
"I think that's one reason you see fewer people in the gallery, because they can watch it live from their office," said Chief Clerk of the House Charlie Smithson. "It's had a lot of positive effects in terms of openness and transparency."
Read the rest of the story at the Sioux City Journal.
State integrity news for New Jersey, from the Newark Star-Ledger:
A State Police trooper pulls over a South Jersey assemblyman one day in February. The lawmaker tries to get out of the ticket, and later complains the trooper targeted him as payback because the Legislature voted to make public employees pay more for health and pension benefits.
The trooper says that after he refused to throw out the lawmaker’s ticket, his own union leaders pressured him to make it disappear as a favor to a "personal friend."
Read the rest of the story at the Newark Star-Ledger.
State integrity news for North Carolina from SII partner WFAE:
Judicial elections are non-partisan, which means voters can't pick the easy way out and vote straight Democrat or Republican. But judicial candidates are also limited in what they can say about how they would rule in cases - so that makes it hard for voters to choose.
Read and hear more at WFAE - Charlotte.
State integrity news for Washington, from SII partner KUOW:
A recent public radio investigation ranked Washington state second in the nation for government transparency. According to the State Integrity Investigation, only Connecticut did a better job of providing public access to public information.
As one quadriplegic man from Seattle learned, that doesn't mean it's easy to pry information out of Washington state agencies. But Thursday, it got a little easier. KUOW's John Ryan reports.
Read and hear more at KUOW - Seattle.
State integrity news for Arizona, from the Arizona Capitol Times:
The Arizona Senate is rejecting a series of ethics measures proposed in the wake of the 2011 Fiesta Bowl scandal.
One of the proposals voted down Thursday would have banned lobbyists from giving free meals to legislators. Others would have prohibited campaign contributions by lobbyists to legislators or candidates for the Legislature and barred legislators from accepting free trips or tickets to sports or entertainment events.
Read the rest of the story at the Arizona Capitol Times.
State integrity news for West Virginia, from the Charleston Gazette:
The state Ethics Commission refused Thursday to sign off on West Virginia House Speaker Rick Thompson's plan to take a job as chief lawyer for the West Virginia Education Association, a group that routinely lobbies the Legislature.Thompson wanted to work for the WVEA, while continuing to serve as House speaker.
Commission members concluded that Thompson would have an "inescapable conflict of interest."
Read the rest of the story at the Charleston Gazzette.
State integrity news for Missouri, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Missouri has no campaign finance limits; the only check is that the source of the money must be disclosed. The committee laundromat enables some donors to evade disclosure. Missouri lawmakers could and should do something about this.
What are they waiting for? More indictments?
Read the rest of the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
State integrity news for New York, from the New York Times:
An unusual and well-heeled coalition, trying to tap public anger over the flood of money into politics, is pushing to enact a public financing system for elections in New York State.
They say New York, which they call a symbol of institutionalized corruption, could become a national model for the effort to free elections from the grip of big money. The campaign will start next week with mailings to the constituents of four state senators.
Read the rest of the story at the New York Times.