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New – Coalition for Integrity Podcast on VA Ethics

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Virginia has done nothing to address the lack of enforcement power of its ethics agencies despite scoring in the bottom 10% of all states in the S.W.A.M.P Index. It is important that state ethics agencies have the power to independently investigate, hold public hearings, and issue subpoenas, reprimands, and fines. A toothless ethics agency cannot serve the public well. Michael Deal’s podcast interviewing Ms. Shah, President and CEO of the Coalition for Integrity and discussing the Coalition’s work to change dismal state of VA ethics is now live: http://democracy4change.org/virginia-among-the-worst-states-in-the-union-in-terms-of-ethics-and-transparency/

Update on Virginia Integrity Challenge

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Over the course of this year’s Virginia election, C4I launched the Virginia Integrity Challenge. The Challenge urged candidates for the General Assembly to support legislation strengthening Virginia’s ethics agencies, as well as to exercise personal transparency in their campaigns. Ultimately, twenty-five candidates,  signed onto and complied with the Challenge, and eleven of those candidates won their races. Several other candidates have indicated their support for improved ethics enforcement.  Eleven candidates who took the challenge won their elections. The Coalition will work with the members of the General Assembly on improved ethics oversight in Virginia in the next legislative session. Read our memo here

Enforcement of Ethics Rules by State Ethics Agencies: Unpacking the S.W.A.M.P. Index

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Now Live. Read more here and watch our video about the project here.

Virginia Integrity Challenge

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The Coalition for Integrity is challenging all candidates running for Virginia’s House of Delegates and the State Senate in the election on November 5 to stand for integrity and transparency in public service.  So far this year, twenty-five candidates of all partisan stripes have accepted the Challenge.  Ask the candidates running in your district to accept the challenge.  Read more here and watch our video about the Challenge here.

2019 Integrity Awards Dinner

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Thank you to all our awardees, sponsors, and everyone who joined us for our 2019 Integrity Awards Dinner. Read more about the event here.

Promoting and Protecting Whistleblowers:

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The Coalition for Integrity condemns demonization of any person who in good faith has reported fraud, waste, abuse of office or ethics violations in the manner proscribed by the relevant law.  Read our statement here.

Virginia Does Not Fare Well in SWAMP Index (WVTF)

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It all started with corruption trial of former governor Bob McDonnell. Shruti Shah at the Coalition for Integrity was blogging about the trial, and she realized that state laws governing what kinds of gifts elected officials can receive were pretty thin. That gave her an idea. “I should come up with a comparative scorecard on certain ethics and transparency related legislation in the 50 states and DC,” Shah remembered. “So that really was the inspiration for what is now the SWAMP Index.” The SWAMP index gives Virginia a score of 35, which Shah points out is a failing grade.   SWAMP is an acronym for States With Anti-corruption Measures for Public officials. Read More

 

Does Idaho need to drain the swamp? State lags in national anti-corruption ranking (McClatchy News)

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Far from the reaches of Washington, D.C., there may be another swamp in need of draining: Boise. Idaho’s anti-corruption rules are the third-worst in the country, according to a new national ranking called the S.W.A.M.P. Index, giving elected officials less incentive to avoid ethical violations.

The Index is a project produced by the Coalition for Integrity, a nonpartisan advocacy group that analyzes state laws governing ethics agencies, gift giving and campaign contribution reporting. Idaho scored 16 points out of 100 in the ranking of various anti-corruption laws, placing it ahead of only Wyoming (12 points) and North Dakota (0 points). Read More

Which US state is most corruption-prone? Look away, North Dakota (Quartz)

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The US public has spent the past two years riveted by high-level corruption scandals and allegations in Washington, DC. They should also be looking closer to home, according to a new report by anti-corruption NGO Coalition for Integrity. The NGO graded all 50 states plus Washington, DC, on the strength of their anti-corruption laws and regulations, and found that only sixteen got a passing grade of 60% or more. North Dakota came in last with 0% and Wyoming behind it at 12%. Read More

 

Washington state tops list of states with tough corruption laws (Washington Post)

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Washington state may share a name with the nation’s capital, but there’s no big swamp that needs to be drained in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new independent ranking of anti-corruption laws. The state topped the inaugural S.W.A.M.P. Index’s list of states with tough corruption laws, impressing the Coalition for Integrity with the strength of its ethics agency and measures to prevent lobbyists from plying elected officials with gifts. Read More