- Overall grade: (50)
- Public access to information: D+
- Legislative accountability: F
- Political financing: F
- Ethics enforcement agencies: F
South Dakota, which has the second-highest corruption risk score, has nine failing grades out of 14 categories, and three Ds. The state, which has among the lowest population density in the country, does not have “comprehensive state ethics laws,” an ethics commission or satisfactory transparency laws, as Denise Ross writes for the State Integrity Investigation. The state does little to require public officials, other than judges, to disclose their income and assets. State law features a loophole that makes it possible for individuals to make unlimited political donations. The state has made major improvements in its integrity by making many state records available online in recent years.
Of course, the the above quoted article is rating the laws that are in place, but the link to the article was entitled "the most corrupt states". I would submit that we don't have those laws in place because we are in fact one of the least corrupt states, and therefore have not needed ethics coded into law.
Does anybody really believe that New Jersey is the least corrupt State?