Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Oregon is ranked among the 14 worst states in the US with corruption problems

Actually, most of the 50 states didn't do very well in a recent investigation:

Oregon gets an F on holding officials accountable
SALEM — Oregon continues to take heat from government accountability groups for the influence-peddling scandal involving former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.

A report released Monday by the Center for Public Integrity ranks Oregon 44 out of 50 states in terms of ethics and public records laws. It says state officials and lawmakers have failed to address profound weaknesses revealed by the allegations that forced Kitzhaber from office in February.

"For many, Kitzhaber's resignation is a thing of the past," the report says. "But the scandal that ensnared the former governor highlights a wobbly legal framework in Oregon's government, where good behavior is taken for granted rather than enforced."

The report, written by Lee van der Voo, a freelancer for The New York Times who covered Kitzhaber's resignation, blasts the Oregon Government Ethics Commission for being slow to respond to media reports that Kitzhaber and Hayes might have used their public roles to profit Hayes' private environmental consulting business. The couple remain under federal investigation. No criminal charges have been filed.

Oregon is among 14 states that received an "F" overall. The three highest-ranked states — California, Alaska and Connecticut — scored in the C-range. Thirty-three states got Ds. [...]
Read the whole thing, for embedded links and more. Reasons sited were budget cuts, which meant there were no funds for auditing or monitoring actions of politicians. How convenient.

The last integrity investigation was in 2012, when Oregon received a C- rating. So things have been getting worse. The following link gives a list of categories, and the individual grade to each, which leads up to the composite grade of "F", detailing Oregon's corruption problems:

Oregon gets F grade in 2015 State Integrity Investigation

I'm not surprised by any of it. But what is to be done about it? Nothing, I suspect.

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