NewsCovering Kentucky


Survey From Illinois State University Shows Corruption High In Kentucky

Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 18:37:37-04

(LEX 18)– A new survey shows that Kentucky ranks at the top in both legal and illegal corruption when it comes to state government.

LEX 18’s Karolina Buczek spoke with the director behind the survey to ask how this is happening and if it is true.

“Corruption is sticky. Once you become corrupt, you stay corrupt for a while,” said Oguzhan Dincer, Institute For Corruption Studies Director.

Dincer tracks corruption at Illinois State University’s Institute for Corruption Studies. In the last five years, his research has not looked good for Kentucky.

“Everybody knows Louisiana is corrupt. Everybody knows Illinois is corrupt. But nobody is looking at states like Kentucky,” he said. “There are a lot of bad things happening here.”

In 2018, the survey showed Kentucky at the top of the list for illegal corruption when it comes to lawmakers and the Governor’s office.

The same goes for corruption that is technically legal.

“If you want to be re-elected, you need to get support from special interest groups so sometimes you require that support and when you get that support, you forget about acting for the greater good,” said Dincer.

The survey goes out to reporters who extensively cover state politics. Dincer said that reporters were chosen for a specific reason.

“The bias will be minimal in terms of perception bias,” he said.

The survey relies on the perceptions reporters have. It’s not a perfect way to measure corruption, but Dincer told LEX 18’s Karolina Buczek that it does a good and accurate job.

You can read Dincer’s, “Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States:
Some Results from 2018 Corruption in America Survey” here.