No Surprise Here

Marginal Revolution links to a list of the most corrupt states, measured by the number of government corruption convictions per capita.  I bet you can come pretty close to the top three without even looking.  Here they are:

  1. Alaska.  For all those who want to believe that pork is unrelated to corruption, look no further than the king of pork itself, Alaska, which also turns out to be the king of government corruption.  Kudos to Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake, who is about the only one brave enough in that lost and floundering body to connect the dots between Abramoff, cash-filled tuperware, corruption and pork.
  2. Mississippi.  Who would have ever thought the state best known for being the #1 home of jackpot torts and the home state of the Senator who claims to be above the law would be a hotbed of corruption? 
  3. Louisiana.  Probably the only surprise on the list, since one would expect the home state of Huey Long to be in first rather than third.  Heck, in 1991 the state got to choose between a wanna-be Nazi Klansman and a serially corrupt felon for Governor.  And God only knows where the money that should have been spent on building levees actually went.


  1. Justin Smith:

    This may also have something to do with the efficacy of the legal system. Having lived in South Dakota (#4), it seems much less corrupt than my current residence of New Mexico, where getting convictions is the problem.

  2. dearieme:

    I asked a cousin in the construction trade why the flood defences were so badly built. "Corruption".

  3. Chris:

    Actually, I was suprised that the home of Daly and Ryan didn't crack the Top 5. I had always thought that Illinois had invented patronage and corruption.

  4. Matt:

    The Daley and Ryan probes are in their early stages still. No convictions yet.

  5. Pereldan:

    What's sad is that Edwards, despite lining his own pockets, was one of the best governors Louisana has had in recent history, at least so far as the average citizen was concerned...and I think if he could run from jail, he'd still win an election...

  6. John:

    Are convictions the best way to measure political corruption? Wouldn't a truly corrupt state be better at shielding its politicians from conviction?

    Any list that excludes Massachusetts - a state that coddles mobsters, spends billions on failing public works and re-elects Kennedys - is flawed on face.

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