Florida Gets Graded on State Integrity Scorecard, Barely Passes

Categories: Politics
The Center for Public Integrity released its annual state corruption rankings last week -- and Florida passed! Technically. The state was one of 11 to get a C-, and its 71 percent score puts it in a tie for 18th in overall integrity. No state got an overall A grade.

Florida got top marks for its internal auditing and an "open and transparent" redistricting process but scored relatively low in every other category, getting D grades in six of the 14 categories and, unsurprisingly, an F in the ethics enforcement agencies section. (Florida scorecard here.)
One of those D's was in "political financing," and in light of findings by the Miami Herald about just how easy it is to pay off a pol, it's amazing Florida scored that high: The story focused on committees of continuous existence, or CCEs, which are associated with specific politicians but aren't governed by campaign finance laws. Lobbyists, it seems, are quite fond of them:

"I can't buy a senator a cup of coffee," Tallahassee lobbyist David Ramba told the Herald, "but I can sit across the table from him and slide across a $20,000 check and he'll pick up the tab for breakfast with his CCE that I just gave him the $20,000 check for."

Clicking on the separate grading sections will show you the research points that went into each letter grade:

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First the corruption report last month that showed Blagojevich’s own Illinois (and Chicago) leading the pack, and Florida trailing not far behind…now this State Integrity report.  I’m sure Florida and the previous month’s other “winners” are glad to have not taken the crown this time around.  But seriously, I truly hope these reports lead to much needed change.  If the public takes these findings seriously and subsequently starts demanding that our leaders be held accountable then I’m sure some long-lasting improvements may result from the harsh truths revealed by the data presented in these reports.  The corruption, lack of integrity, and lack of accountability is both sad and endemic.  On a related note, a jurisdiction in Florida is now inadvertently setting itself up for an election fiasco that involves a corrupt judge who has several co-conspirators.  You can’t make this stuff up...unfortunately it's 100% true and corroborated by two reports and extensive irrefutable evidence that is in the possession of agencies, including those within Florida's 8th Judicial Circuit (and Chief Judge Martha Lott and Chief Investigator Spencer Mann).  The judge, and former prosecutor, at the heart of the issue is David P. Kreider.  Take a look at


for more information.  I say prison sentences for all those who think they are above the law, especially public servants whom we should be able to trust.  Then and only then will the governmental paradigm undergo the shift that is so dearly needed.  Unfortunately the lack of ethics, lack of honor, and lack of concern for one’s fellow man has infected governments worldwide on both an institutional and cultural level.

*Be sure to replace "-dot-" with "." in order to make the above url work.

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