Midwest states challenged to lower corruption risk

In new study, Network state grades range from “C” to “F”
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State Integrity Index
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Chicago - Illinois - US


March 19, 2012 - PRLog -- CHICAGO — No Midwest Democracy Network states rank higher than 10th in a 50-state ranking of state transparency laws and corruption risk standards, and none received a higher grade than C.

Michigan’s F grade ranks amongst the lowest in the country, while the C grade given to Illinois was the highest mark of Midwest Democracy Network states. These grades illustrate the need for tougher ethics laws and enforcement throughout the region.

Other Network states received passing grades, though none had stellar marks – Indiana and Wisconsin each received a C-, Minnesota a D+, and Ohio a D-. Only four states in the nation received a B grade, and none received an A.

“Residents of Midwest states deserve the peace of mind that comes with their governments acting in an open and transparent manner,” said Leah Rush, executive director of the Midwest Democracy Network. “Many Midwesterners have been burned by corrupt elected officials, and they, along with people across the country, have the right to an accountable, ethical government that acts with integrity. I hope lawmakers and members of the public take on this challenge to lower our states’ risk of corruption via strengthened laws and better enforcement.”

Some states scored well in individual sections of the report card. Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota all received A’s for their internal auditing practices, while Indiana’s state pension fund management received an A. Neither Ohio nor Wisconsin received an A in any of the 14 categories used in the report. All Midwest states received F grades for their redistricting processes.

The State Integrity Investigation, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International, ranked and graded each state based on a set of 330 “corruption risk indicators” and a state-by-state peer review. Per their website, the investigation seeks to closely examine commitment to government integrity, convince states to improve their practices, and inspire the public to become interested in ensuring honest and effective state government.

The rankings are illustrated by a nationwide map and individual report cards for each state. Each state’s report card examines the existence of laws and institutions which promote public accountability and limit corruption, along with their effectiveness and citizen access to those mechanisms.

See the nationwide rankings here: http://www.stateintegrity.org/your_state or jump to Midwest state rankings:

Illinois - http://www.stateintegrity.org/illinois
Indiana - http://www.stateintegrity.org/indiana
Michigan - http://www.stateintegrity.org/michigan
Minnesota - http://www.stateintegrity.org/minnesota
Ohio - http://www.stateintegrity.org/ohio
Wisconsin - http://www.stateintegrity.org/wisconsin

About the Midwest Democracy Network
The Midwest Democracy Network (http://www.midwestdemocracynetwork.org) is a diverse alliance of more than 25 nonprofit, nonpartisan civic engagement and community organizations dedicated to improving the condition of democracy in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. We work to create a stronger infrastructure for democratic institutions throughout the Midwest by reducing the influence of money in politics, keeping our courts fair and impartial, promoting open and transparent government, creating fair processes for drawing electoral districts, guaranteeing the integrity of our election systems, and promoting ethical government and lobbying practices.

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The Midwest Democracy Network is an alliance of more than 20 nonprofit, nonpartisan civic engagement organizations dedicated to improving the condition of democracy in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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Tags:State Integrity Index, Accountability, Political Reform, Transparency, Corruption, State Politics
Industry:Political Reform
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
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