Texas Gets a D-Plus In Fighting Corruption

Texas got a dismal D-plus for its efforts in fighting corruption in a broad nationwide study.

At least they did better than New Jersey, you're saying? Gedda loada dis: New Jersey won the freakin' t'ing, with a B-plus.

The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International conducted the State Integrity Investigation, and came away unimpressed.

"What's behind the dismal grades?," CPI asked. "Across the board, state ethics, open records and disclosure laws lack one key feature: teeth."

No state got an A. Only five got a B, 19 got C's and 18 got D's.

The criteria:

Using a combination of on-the-ground investigative reporting and original data collection and analysis, the State Integrity Index researched 330 "Integrity Indicators" across 14 categories of state government: public access to information, political financing, executive accountability, legislative accountability, judicial accountability, state budget processes, civil service management, procurement, internal auditing, lobbying disclosure, pension fund management, ethics enforcement, insurance commissions, and redistricting.

What do they say about Texas?

So, the Lone Star State -- which now boasts 25.7 million residents --gets generally high marks for making information available to the public. But it has a long way to go when it comes to holding state officials fully accountable, government watchdogs say. In keeping political agendas separate from official state business at the highest levels of government, they say, Texas also falls short.

Sugar Land's Tom DeLay gets a mention.

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