Which State Is the Most Corrupt?

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In the wake of the Blagojevich scandal, we’ve heard a lot about how corrupt “Chicago politics” are. But what’s the real story? A pretty graph tells the tale:

corruption.png

Turns out that while Illinois is more corrupt than most states, it’s not Blagojevich but another allegedly-criminal Democrat, now-former Rep. William Jefferson, who comes from the most corrupt state in the union. That’s Louisiana, home to sometime GOP presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal. All four of the most corrupt states in the union are red states, and three are in the deep south. And the third-most corrupt state just reelected the Republicans’ leader in the senate, Mitch McConnell. Can we stop the ridiculous guilt-by-association game now? Just because a politician’s home state has a reputation (deserved or undeserved) for corruption doesn’t mean he or she is therefore also corrupt. Even if a sitting governor from the politician’s own party has just been arrested.

(Via Matt Yglesias)

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