Corruption Risk Report Card
Rank among 50 states: 34th

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The story behind the score

Ohio has no shortage of ethics laws, but it has a history of state officials violating them.  Read more from SII State Reporter Jon Craig.

Latest state news for Ohio

The offices of the Arizona Commerce Authority are housed in downtown Phoenix at the Freeport-McMoRan Center, the gleaming glass headquarters of an international mining firm of the same name. The authority, which oversees state corporate tax incentives and grants worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is not quite a public agency, as its location two miles east of the state government complex suggests. It’s led by a board of directors run by the governor and Jerry Colangelo, who, after four decades as an Arizona sports and real estate mogul, is a local icon.  Sixteen other corporate executives also sit on the board, including Richard Adkerson, President and CEO of Freeport, to which the authority paid about $411,000 in state funds last fiscal year for renting the space.

There’s a name for this arrangement. The Commerce Authority is a “quasi-public” entity, or a public-private partnership. About 10 other states have also given control over lucrative corporate tax incentives to similar organizations, which are often run by the states’ most influential businessmen, generally at the pleasure of the governor. Supporters say these partnerships are more nimble than government bureaucracies and are insulated from the vagaries of electoral politics. But both liberal and conservative watchdog groups say the practice takes a government function already prone to mismanagement and obfuscation and makes the situation worse by giving oversight of business incentives to businesses themselves.

State Integrity news for Ohio from SII partner WVXU:

In existence for only a year and a half, JobsOhio is a public-private partnership that claims to have helped create more than 31,000 new jobs in the Buckeye State.

But critics characterize the agency as an unaccountable group with access to taxpayer dollars. An unlikely alliance of liberals and conservatives is involved in a lawsuit that questions whether state officials violated the constitution when they created JobsOhio.

Read and hear more from WVXU - Cincinnati.




State Integrity news for Ohio from SII partner WVXU:

Ohio earned a “D” in the recent State Integrity Investigation looking at transparency, accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in place in all 50 states. The state fared poorly in the area of effective access to information.

Public officials must conduct the public’s business in public. That’s the gist of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, part of the state’s Sunshine Law. But do they? And how is technology changing the game?

Read and hear more from WVXU - Cincinnati. 

State Integrity news for Ohio from WVXU:

What happens only once every ten years, involves drawing lines on a map of the state, but causes more consternation and political teeth grinding than a hanging chad? If you said redistricting, you're right.

It's a process that leads to legislative standoffs and lawsuits. That's been the case in Ohio recently. In fact, the State Integrity Investigation gives Ohio a failing grade in this area, meaning it's a process that's susceptible to corruption.

Read and hear more from WVXU - Cincinnati. 

State integrity news for Missouri, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

If a tree is felled in the forest to create the paper upon which a politician's ethics proposal is printed, does it make a noise? The question arises because last week, Republican Dave Spence, a candidate for Missouri governor, unveiled a comprehensive proposal to change ethics laws to protect citizens from official corruption.

Now, as we head to the governor's race in November, both presumed candidates, Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, and Mr. Spence, a Republican, are saying the same thing: The state's anti-corruption laws are too weak.

Read the rest of the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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