Here’s something you probably don’t want to hear: Hawaii is the only state in which both legislative and executive branches are perceived to be very corrupt.

That line comes directly from newly released results from a “Corruption in America Survey” of more than 250 reporters from across the country, many of whom cover state government and politics.

(Full disclosure: I was one of the reporters who participated in the survey.)

Hawaii is perceived as one of the more corrupt states in the union, according to new survey results.

Hawaii is perceived as one of the more corrupt states in the union, according to new survey results.

Corruption in America Survey

The ongoing study, which was conducted through the Harvard Law School’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, measures two types of corruption — legal and illegal.

These are the definitions:

Illegal corruption: The private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups.

Legal corruption: The political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, be it by explicit or implicit understanding.

Hawaii did not rank well, according to the latest findings, which measured reporters’ perceptions of corruption in 2013.

The survey found that reporters believed that both types of corruption — legal and illegal — were “very common” in the executive and legislative branches.

The judicial branch, on the other hand, fared well with the perceived level of corruption as being “slightly common.”

A previous survey of reporters wasn’t as dire, as both the perception of legal and illegal corruption ranged from “not common at all” to “moderately common.” 

You can see those results here.

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