The Center for Public Integrity updates its decade long series on US statehouse legislative disclosures. The data is published in a new report States of Disclosure. Twenty of fifty states get failing grades for their financial disclosures, and three US states — Idaho, Michigan, Vermont — require no financial disclosures whatsoever.
They’ve got a nice map of the results.
This data is particularly striking when you contrast to our national level data on the subject in the Global Integrity Report. For instance, among the 50 diverse countries we studied last year, the only countries with similarly lax no-disclosure-required rules are Angola, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia and Somalia. Seeing a pattern here?
There’s lots more data in the Center’s report that will be game-changing useful for local advocates fighting for more detailed, accurate disclosure forms. But it’s also great for snarking at the states that aren’t even trying, like Idaho: Angola of the West.
Snark: it’s so much easier than constructive solutions! If you’d like to play along, you can download our raw data here. No spreadsheet from CPI, but their results are here. Do let us know if you find anything interesting.
The Center for Public Integrity’s current statehouse report was an early inspiration for the Global Integrity Report scorecards, back in 2001.
I’m pretty sure no one working on the current update was there for that, but the granular, line-by-line analysis in their scorecard was a model for the early Global Integrity pilot work, which was started as a project of the Center for Public Integrity. We’ve since gone independent, and developed beyond those early pilots, but the family resemblance between the Center’s methods and our own are still there. And because the data are unpacked and transparent, quick comparisons across datasets like the ones above are easy and valid (whether it’s useful or fair to compare Vermont to Somalia at all is another issue).
I’d also like to point out that the Center website has never looked better. Nice work, folks.
— Jonathan Eyler-Werve