Our lawmakers have made some recent strides in opening up government and tackling a historical lack of political ethics. And we still have a long, long way to go. The State Integrity Investigation published last month made that painfully clear.
The report sponsors assembled journalists nationwide to gather information on "laws and practices that deter corruption and promote accountability and openness." New Mexico scored a D- (Hanna Skandera, state secretary of public education, must be appalled) and an overall ranking of 39.
Not a single state in the country scored an A. And even the states ranking highest have seen their share of malfeasance. The investigation website reports that New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Lorretta Weinberg laughed when asked about her state's top ranking, saying, "If we're number one, I feel bad for the rest of the states."
Big kudos to Gwyneth Doland, newly-minted executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, who assembled all the information for our state report. Her "story behind the score" is well worth checking out.