Idaho Gets D- for Accountability

It’s tough to think of any context where the D- “for openness” that Idaho’s government earned from the Center for Public Integrity is okay. But, it’s actually enough to win Idaho a 26th place rank among all states. … so that’s something.

The Spokesman Review reported the new study and one of the reasons for the low scores (lax ethics) won’t shock Idahoans who have watched 20 years of GOP dominance:

 The survey used 250 different tests for government integrity, and when the overall scores were tallied, all states but one scored below a C and 11 received Fs. Nicholas Kusnetz, the project manager, defended a system that resulted in poor overall grades for the vast majority of states.

Most were graded down for public access to information and ethics enforcement, he said in an emailed response to a question about the fairness of a system that has such low overall grades.

“The majority of states have serious deficiencies in those areas, such as open records laws riddled with exemptions and no entities tasked to oversee compliance with those open records laws,” he said.

GOP leaders in the Capitol have consistently rebuffed Idaho Democratic attempts to increase accountability and strengthen ethics laws. Despite high profile failures, such as a $61 million school internet system that was ruled illegal, GOP leaders refuse to act.

The Legislature will get another chance to strengthen accountability and transparency in 2016 when Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, introduces a bill to create an Inspector General who can investigate whistle-blower complaints and contract irregularities.

CLICK HERE for a look at the Idaho report.

idaho grades 2015-11-09 at 4.57.57 PM


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