Virginia Gets an 'F' in Integrity

That's better than only Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia.

Virginia has been ranked the fourth worst state regarding open government and anti-corruption laws and practices, according to a report by the State Integrity Investigation project.

Earning a failing score of 55, Virginia performed better than only Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia. The report was released by a group that includes The Center for Public IntegrityGlobal Integrity and Public Radio International.

Of the 14 categories graded, Virginia received an 'A' in two: internal auditing and procurement. They received an 'F' in nine: public access to information, executive accountability, judicial accountability, state pension fund management, political financing, legislative accountability, state budget processes, lobbying disclosure and ethics enforcement agencies.

Tucker Martin, a spokesperson for Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), told the Richmond Times-Dispatch the governor has assigned his secretaries of the commonwealth and administration to review the study.

"In some areas it may be that the Center (for Public Integrity) simply believes certain policies are more conducive to ethical government," Tucker said to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "However, that is a policy discussion; not a finding of how a state is actually performing under the current policies it has in place."

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th District) questioned the depth of the analysis on his blog, OxRoadSouth.

The study "is an example of the lamest, most superficial analysis. Part of their criteria is the length of our legislative session? Are you serious? Note to CPI:  part-time legislators who have other gainful employment are far less likely to be looking for bribes," Petersen wrote.


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