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  • New Jersey’s Once-Best State Integrity Grade Plunges Under Christie

    New Jersey’s once-best state government integrity grade has tanked under Gov. Chris Christie, according to a new Center for Public Integrity analysis in which all but three states received dismal ‘D’ or ‘F’ scores.

    New Jersey tumbled more than any other state since the last time CPI graded the states in 2012 — from a first-in-the-nation ‘B+’ grade, to a 19th place ‘D+’ grade this year. Three federal indictments and multiple attempts by officials under Christie to block open records account for the plunge. Christie’s administration, as of February, was battling 23 court cases to keep state records secret, Mother Jones reported.

    But New Jersey isn’t the worst of the worst. Michigan came in last with the lowest-scoring ‘F,’ while Alaska topped the rankings with the only ‘A’ grade, CPI found. Weak conflict-of-interest laws, poor open- records laws and loopholes in lobbying rules contributed to 36 states getting ‘D’ grades and 11 states’ ‘F’ grades. Only three states — Alaska, Connecticut and California — received higher than a ‘D+’ grade.

    CPI graded the states based on responses to 245 questions related to transparency and accountability, “looking not only at what the laws say, but also how well they’re enforced or implemented,” CPI said.

    A Christie spokesman rejected the report.

    “We objected to the strong bias demonstrated by the individual assigned to make the evaluation, and the result simply validates those expressed concerns,” Christie spokesman Brian Murray told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

    “No factual basis was provided for the drop in rank or the findings offered, except for a vague reference to ‘different’ criteria which we believe renders the comparison invalid. They declined to include our perspective and merely sought out well-known critics of the administration to form their conclusions, rather than any objective observers,”  Murray said.

    The full report is available here.

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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