The Center for Public Integrity has a really cool interactive map that I've reproduced below as a less-cool non-interactive map. Check out and play with the original by following the link. It gives each state in the U.S. a grade for the financial disclosure requirements its state legislators face. They also calculated rankings and wrote an article to explain their conclusions. Consider Louisiana and Vermont: one of these states has the best and one the worst financial disclosure requirements -- can you guess which is which? Find out after the jump.


I would have guessed incorrectly. As the map indicates, Louisiana has great financial reporting requirements, while Vermont's are terrible. The rankings break this down. They show Vermont is actually tied with Michigan and Idaho for the worst. I guess the maple syrup, auto union and potato lobbies are alive and well.

The map also indicates that, broadly, the Midwest has pretty lax financial disclosure requirements, as does much of the Northeast. The South and West, on the other hand, have relatively stronger requirements. Overall, however, the Center for Public Integrity's research, based on a 43-question survey, paints a pretty grim picture: only seven states earned an "A" or "B."

(Hat Tip: Mark Tapscott)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to