Washington Has Been Named America’s Most Corrupt City


According to a new report by Best Life, Washington state has once again topped the list of the most corrupt states in the United States. The report, which was released on November 18, 2023, assessed corruption using four metrics: the number of convictions for public corruption per 10,000 residents, the number of reported violations by medical providers, the state integrity score, and the number of states with anti-corruption measures for public officials (S.W.A.M.P. Index).

A corruption index score was computed using a weighted value assigned to each metric, with zero representing the least corrupt entity and one representing the most.

Washington: The Most Corrupt State in the Us

The corruption index gave Washington a score of 99.98, which made it the most crooked state in the country. This is how Washington did on each measure:

1.) Number of cases per person: From 1976 to 2010, 2,522 public officials in Washington were found guilty of theft in federal court, making the state the one with the most convictions overall. Washington had 37.6 convictions for every 10,000 people, which was the 29th most of any state.

2.) Medical violations: Between 1990 and 2020, Washington had 3,724 reports of violations by medical workers. These reports included reports of unfavorable actions and reports of payments for medical malpractice. In terms of medical complaints per person, this put Washington at number 28 on the list of states.

3.) S.W.A.M.P. Index: Washington did badly on the S.W.A.M.P. Index, which checks to see if and how well each state’s anti-corruption laws work for public leaders. It is based on 12 factors, including ethics enforcement, lobbyist disclosure, campaign finance, and protecting people who blow the whistle on wrongdoing. Washington got 33 out of 100 on the S.W.A.M.P. Index, which put it 46th out of all 50 states.

4. State integrity score: Washington also got a low score on the state integrity score, which looks at how open, honest, and moral the state government is.

The score is based on 13 areas, such as how easy it is for the public to get information, how elections are supervised, how much money is spent on campaigns, and how accountable judges are. The state character score for Washington was 59 out of 100, which put it 42nd among all the states.

Why is Washington So Corrupt?

The study didn’t say for sure why Washington is so crooked, but it did list some things that might be to blame. One reason is that the state’s ethics laws and rules are not properly monitored and enforced. The study says that Washington has weak ethics agencies, weak laws about lobbying disclosure, and weak laws about campaign funding.

Money and special interests play a big role in state politics, which is another factor. The study says that companies, unions, and other groups give a lot of money to politics in Washington, and lobbyists spend a lot of money there too. A third reason is that the state has a mindset of greed and lawlessness.

The study says that Washington has a past of scandals and issues involving public officials, such as fraud, bribery, theft, and power abuse. A poll of political reporters was also used in the study. They said that Washington was the ninth most corrupt state in terms of both criminal and legal corruption.

How Can Washington Be More Effective?

The report provided several suggestions for enhancing governance and reducing corruption in Washington. The following are a few recommendations:

1.) Enhancing the capacity and resources of ethics commissions to conduct investigations and impose sanctions for violations.

2.) Strengthening the regulations governing campaign finance and lobbying disclosure, while also addressing the vulnerabilities that enable anonymous and limitless contributions and expenditures.

3.) Enhancing the accountability and transparency of state governance while expanding public and media access to information and data.

4.) Fostering an environment that upholds principles of integrity and ethics among public servants, while also motivating watchdogs and whistleblowers to disclose and report instances of corruption.

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