Corruption Risk Report Card
Rank among 50 states:
Click a category to see detailed scores and notes.
The “Show-Me” state is reluctant to show its public records, and the state’s ethics agency is undermanned. Read more from SII State Reporter Mike Sherry.
On October 26, 2011, the Illinois legislature passed a bill that authorized construction of a multi-billion-dollar smart grid and reshaped how utility companies seek approval for raising electricity rates. Consumer groups opposed the measure, saying it was a handout to utilities.
But the final blow for opponents came three months later when former state Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who had pushed the bill through the legislature only to resign after winning its passage, registered his own lobbying firm and signed his first clients. Prominent among them: Commonwealth Edison, one of the state’s largest utilities.
State Integrity news for Missouri and Kansas from SII partner KCUR:
In Missouri -- one of only four states without campaign contribution limits -- single donors have made contributions this year as large as $750,000.
Meanwhile, across the border in Kansas, the state does have contribution limits, but national groups like Americans for Prosperity are for the first time getting involved in primary races for Kansas Legislature seats.
Read and hear more from KCUR - Kansas City.
State integrity news for Missouri, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The Missouri Legislature's failure to replace an ethics reform law tossed out by the state Supreme Court earlier this year has left some wondering whether there will be a spike in questionable gifts and donations to elected officials as the campaign season heats up.
A month after the court threw out Missouri's ethics law, the state received a C rating on a project dubbed the "State Integrity Investigation."
Read the rest of the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
By Mike Mullen
Gov. Scott Walker survived his recall election. The same cannot be said for the integrity of campaign finance laws in Wisconsin.
Incumbents targeted for recall are freed from Wisconsin's normal fundraising limits, and can collect unlimited contributions from individual donors. With the election between Walker and his Democratic opponent, former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, seen as a battleground for national partisan politics, money poured in on both sides. But Walker exploited the seemingly infinite loophole to tremendous advantage: By election day, Walker's campaign had received more than $30 million in donations, a total that approached the $37.5 million spent by both sides during the 2010 election, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
Wisconsin received a grade of 'C-' from the State Integrity Investigation for its political financing laws and practices, with reporter Kate Golden finding proper measures on limits, enforcement, and transparency, while also documenting numerous exemptions and back-channels, including the recall election loophole. But in other states, the potentially polluting influence of unlimited, and sometimes unsupervised campaign financing is constant and permanent, borne out of state laws and practices -- or their absence.
State integrity news for Kansas and Missouri, from KCUR:
Open records are not fully “open” anywhere in Missouri, but ironically the National Freedom of Information Coalition is headquartered in the state. Ken Bunting, executive director for that organization cites a recent nationwide study by the Center for Public Integrity that gives Missouri a C- for overall opennes and accountability and an F for access to public information.
Doug Anstaett of the Kansas Press Association says records in that state are also far from open.
Read and hear more at KCUR - Kansas City.