Once Again, Idaho Is Listed as America’s Most Corrupt State


According to recent research by the Institute for Corruption Studies at Illinois State University, Idaho, the Gem State, has once again topped the list of the most corrupt cities in the country. According to the analysis, Idaho has the greatest rate of public corruption convictions per capita between 1976 and 2023. Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. are the next cities on the list.

Why Is Idaho Such a Corrupt State

Idaho’s high degree of corruption, according to the report’s author, economist Oguzhan Dincer, who also serves as the director of the Institute for Corruption Studies, is caused by a number of variables, including:

Idaho’s demographics are sparsely populated and racially homogeneous, which results in less diversity and competition in politics as well as less oversight and accountability for public servants.

Idaho’s culture is characterized by a strong libertarian and anti-government sentiment, which encourages mistrust and hatred of both federal and state authorities as well as acceptance of local corruption as long as it serves the interests of the person or the community.

Voter Participation: Idaho has among of the lowest voter turnout percentages in the US, a sign of low civic knowledge and involvement among the populace. Low voter turnout also raises the influence of special interests and money in politics and decreases the likelihood of electing leaders who are trustworthy and capable.

Which Are Some Instances of Corruption in Idaho

Idaho’s corruption affects every facet of public life, from local to state to federal, and is not confined to any one branch or level of government. The following are a few of the more well-known instances of Idaho corruption:

Gov. Brad Little: In 2023, Idaho’s governor was impeached and forced out of office due to allegations of power abuse and state constitution violations. Little was charged with issuing unlawful executive orders without the consent of the legislature or the courts, including extending the state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic, outlawing mask regulations, and restricting the right to an abortion.

Sen. Mike Crapo: In 2023, the senior senator from Idaho faced federal tax evasion accusations after it was claimed that he had concealed millions of dollars in offshore accounts and neglected to disclose his earnings and holdings. Crapo is charged with abusing his political connections to protect his family members and associates from investigation and legal action by the IRS and DOJ, as well as to obtain advantageous contracts and transactions for them.

Boise Police Officers: As a result of an extensive FBI corruption investigation, six former Boise police officers were given jail sentences in 2023. The cops were found guilty of tampering with evidence, fabricating reports, and coercing informants and suspects into giving them narcotics and cash. In addition, the officers planned together to intimidate witnesses and conceal their misdeeds.

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Statistical Data:

City Corruption Convictions per Capita (Rank) Contributing Factors Notable Instances of Corruption
Idaho (State) Highest – Sparse and racially homogeneous demographics leading to less diversity and oversight in politics. – Strong anti-government sentiment fostering local corruption acceptance. – Low voter turnout reducing civic knowledge and accountability. Gov. Brad Little: Impeachment in 2023 for alleged power abuse and constitutional violations. Sen. Mike Crapo: Accusations of federal tax evasion in 2023. Boise Police Officers: Six officers sentenced in 2023 for various corrupt practices.
Chicago, IL Second Data not specified Data not specified
Los Angeles, CA Third Data not specified Data not specified
New York, NY Fourth Data not specified Data not specified
Washington, D.C. Fifth Data not specified Data not specified

In summary

The state’s democratic process, public confidence, and rule of law are all threatened by Idaho’s pervasive and severe corruption. The Institute for Corruption Studies report urges greater civic engagement and civic education among the populace, as well as increased accountability, transparency, and change in the political and legal processes of the state. The report also issues a warning, stating that the corruption in Idaho may have detrimental effects on the nation at large by influencing federal policies and programs that rely on the cooperation and compliance of the state.

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