December 12, 2018
Charges announced last week against four people with ties to defunct Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. demonstrate how professional service providers potentially can enable abuse of the financial system, observers say. Read more, here.
December 4, 2018
Nearly three years after the publication of a massive leak of secret offshore shell-company documents known as the Panama Papers, U.S. prosecutors announced criminal charges Tuesday against four people, including a former top lawyer for Mossack Fonseca & Co., the Panamanian firm that helped dictators, drug lords and the ultra-wealthy hide their cash. Read more, here.
November 8, 2018
While much of the focus on the mid-term elections was on who got elected, there were significant results regarding how candidates get elected and the ethics rules to which they are subject once in office. Read more
October 23, 2018
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
October 18, 2018
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
October 16, 2018
Two weeks ago the Coalition for Integrity released the S.W.A.M.P. Index, which ranks and scores all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia based on the laws governing ethics and transparency in the executive and legislative branches. I am very encouraged by the response to the index and the questions we have already received. Our hope is that voters demand commitments to address the shortcomings in their state’s legal framework as identified in our report. The results are not only essential to a voter’s understanding of their state’s ethics agencies, but also to current and future elected-officials so they understand how their state’s legal framework compares to those in other states and can work towards plugging loopholes. Read More
October 11, 2018
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
October 10, 2018
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
October 9, 2018
California ranks second in the nation for anti-corruption laws, according to a new report from nonpartisan corruption watchdog Coalition for Integrity. California shares that second-place designation with Rhode Island; both states fell behind Washington state, which claimed the best score in the 2018 States With Anti-Corruption Measures for Public Officials (S.W.A.M.P.) Index. Read More
October 5, 2018
A watchdog group on ethics in government is giving the state of New Mexico low marks for safeguards designed to discourage corruption. The Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Integrity on Thursday ranked New Mexico among the 10 worst states when it comes to ethics oversight, restrictions on gifts to public officials and disclosure of political spending by independent groups. Read More