The coverage of the Gov. Rod Blagojevich scandal has led to talk of the storied history of corruption in Illinois, which in turn has fostered a discussion on crooked state-level politics generally.
The New York Times sought to rank the states for corruption, and sliced the numbers several different ways:
- West Virginia ranked 32nd for the sheer number of federal public corruption convictions in the last decade, according to Justice Department figures. The state has had 74;
- It ranked 21st for annual convictions per-capita (at 4.1 per million residents per year);
- But it climbed all the way to 8th in a 2003 study that "asked state house reporters to assess their subjects and ranked responses on a scale of 1 (clean) to 7 (crooked)." West Virginia scored a 4.7, with Rhode Island topping the chart at 5.5.