The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 January 2004

The Axis of Sleazy

About a month ago, I described Hartford, Connecticut, where Governor John G. Rowland is somewhere between this close and this close to impeachment, as the Little Easy, quoting political rival Bill Curry's remark that Rowland had turned Connecticut into "Louisiana with foliage."

Well, Louisiana may be considered the Big Time in political corruption, but according to this report by Corporate Crime Reporter, America's Sweatbox is only the third most corrupt of the fifty states, trailing Mississippi and North Dakota. (North Dakota?)

Criterion for ranking: number of public corruption convictions in the state over a ten-year period (1993-2002) per 100,000 population. Connecticut, on this scale, comes in at a relatively-virtuous thirty-first; Oklahoma ranks twenty-second, and the sanitary state of Nebraska is the cleanest of them all. (The District of Columbia is not rated because, well, it would go clear off the scale.)

(Muchas gracias: Brock Sides, Signifying Nothing. Of the two authors of this blog, Mr Sides is the one who doesn't live in Mississippi — though Memphis is awfully close.)

Posted at 1:51 PM to Political Science Fiction


"....number of public corruption convictions in the state over a ten-year period (1993-2002) per 100,000 population..."

Fascinating....however, just a thought....states that are REALLY corrupt may be so in the clutches of a "cabal" that investigation of the powers-that-be are few and far between. With that in mind, is North Dakota really that corrupt? Or, are they intolerant of corruption and, therefore, prosecute it at every opportunity? Hummmm.

Posted by: Mike Donovan at 4:54 PM on 20 January 2004

Seconds to Mike Donovan.

Re Louisiana - surely it's not a coincidence that it's the most French of all our states?

Posted by: J Bowen at 8:14 PM on 20 January 2004

Well, inasmuch as the population of North Dakota is not a whole lot more than the population of Oklahoma City, it wouldn't take a whole lot of busts in Bismarck to make the per capita figures look really ghastly.

And just to insult my home state, the 1993 cutoff manages to miss the fabled county-commissioner scandal, in which fully two-thirds of the commissioners (there are three per county, 231 in all) got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:17 PM on 20 January 2004

And what is sad about the OK county commissioner scandal is that some were re-elected! They may have got caught in the cookie jar, but some were smart enough to share some cookies.

Posted by: Mike at 10:43 PM on 20 January 2004

Mike, don't corn-fuse us with your fancy subtleties and sleight of hand, ur.. keyboard.

Statistics don't lie.

Posted by: Dan at 4:59 PM on 21 January 2004