Iowa’s practices to ensure transparency in lobbying earned an F in a recently released State Integrity Investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization.
The fact that state authorities sought to obstruct disclosure of a police shooting in Burlington explains, in part, why Iowa received an overall grade of D+ in a 2015 State Integrity Investigation conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity.
The 2015 State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of state government, found that in state after state, open records laws are laced with exemptions and part-time legislators and agency officials engage in glaring conflicts of interests and cozy relationships with lobbyists. Meanwhile, feckless, understaffed watchdogs struggle to enforce laws as porous as honeycombs.
The State Integrity Investigation is an in-depth collaboration designed to assess transparency, accountability, ethics and oversight in state government, spotlight the states that are doing things right and expose practices that undermine trust in state capitals.
The State Integrity Investigation assesses the existence, effectiveness, and accessibility (i.e. citizen access) of key governance and anti-corruption mechanisms through a qualitative and indicator-based research process.
In an IowaWatch interview, Des Moines Register reporter Jason Clayworth discusses the premise behind the newspaper’s investigation into abuses of property forfeitures in Iowa. Part of a series of IowaWatch examinations of investigative reporting in Iowa.
ByStephen Gruber-Miller/IowaWatch and West Liberty Index, Jermaine Pigee/The Hawk Eye (Burlington), Gregg Hennigan/The Gazette (Cedar Rapids), Joe Sutter/Fort Dodge Messenger |
This IowaWatch collaboration with four Iowa newspapers, published in fall 2013, is particularly pertinent during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday period. It tells you how and why gaps exist in home ownership, jobs and pay, education and crime exist among white, black and Latino Iowans.