Integrity group rates Indiana a deserved C-

Brian Kelly and Steve Greenberg

We’ve taken shots at the inadequacies of the federal government. We’ve pointed out where fiscal insanity seems to rule over all else. A colleague, though, pointed us to an organization whose sole function is to track the states’ effectiveness in integrity, and what we learned about Indiana made us shudder. Hoosier Nation ranks 22nd nationally, and what’s frightening is that Illinois, the Land of Lincoln (and imprisoned governors), ranks 10th. State Integrity Investigation scored our state C-. Our government was given a grade of F on public access to information, political financing, ethics enforcement agencies and redistricting. Legislative accountability – here’s a shocker – was scored a D-, although we’re surprised it, too, wasn’t given an F. If you point your browser to www.stateintegrity.org/Indiana, you might be as surprised as we were. It’s a brilliant watchdog tool, with the ability to expand for detail each area given a grade. This should make all of us probe more thoughtfully those we consider hiring to run our state. This also should make all of us think more carefully the next time we go to the polls. It points out the need for transparency and accountability. Do your part by keeping the pressure on. Oh, by the way, New Jersey, for years viewed as one of the most ethically challenged states, leads the parade with a B+. Georgia, with an F, brings up the rear. Only Connecticut, Washington, California (California! Seriously!) and Nebraska were in New Jersey’s class.

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If this isn’t on your calendar already, get your pen out! The 21st annual EGGnormous Egg Hunt in Lions Park Saturday starts at 9 a.m. Prizes include candy and contributions from local merchants. The hunts will be conducted by age group, and the Easter Bunny is scheduled to arrive at 9:30 a.m. Let the weather be good and the good times roll!