So How Corrupt Is Texas?
We could do worse.
According to a new study, Texas is among the second-least corrupt states in the country. Of course, that might be hard to believe, given recent news about Rep. Steve Stockman.
The study, published by the Public Administration Review, is based on work by the City University of Hong Kong and Indiana University. Researchers created a corruption index based on the number of public officials convicted for violation of federal corruption laws. They logged more than 25,000 convictions.
So where does Texas stand? Top 20.
For the most corrupt states, according to the study -- that would be you, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Illinois -- there's more "bribe-generating" spending on things like construction and highways, among other things. And their police and other public servants tend to be paid a bit better.
Of course, education spending doesn't demand big bribes, so the kids always lose out. Neither does spending on health or hospitals.
The study looked at corruption from 1976 and 2008.
While Texas seems to come out looking as if we have more good guys out here running things (we know we don't), different studies tend to show different sides of the corruption coin.
A 2012 University of Illinois at Chicago study the Washington Post reported on earlier this year showed Texas as having 43 convictions for federal public corruption between 1976 and 2010. That's more than 1,500 convictions in 34 years.
Still, most studies put us far from the top when it comes to corruption compared with other states. And we think that's a good thing.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.