The arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in an alleged “corruption crime spree” raises the issue of why Illinois has such a history of political corruption. Blagojevich's predecessor, George Ryan, went to prison in 2007 in a 6-1/2 year sentence for corruption of his own, says Politico.com. Two other Illinois governors have faced legal trouble in modern times: Otto Kerner, Jr. and Daniel Walker. Some analaysts say taht states with “individualistic cultures,” which value private efforts over collective ones, have more corruption–states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois.
The Corporate Crime Reporter crunched Department of Justice statistics in 2007 to rank the 35 most populous states of the nation by corruption. It calculated a corruption rate, defined as the total number of public corruption convictions from 1997 to 2006 per 100,000 residents. The results: Louisiana (7.67),
Mississippi (6.66), Kentucky (5.18), Alabama (4.76), Ohio (4.69), Illinois (4.68), Pennsylvania (4.55), Florida (4.47), New Jersey (4.32), New York (3.95), Tennessee (3.68), Virginia (3.64), Oklahoma (2.96), Connecticut (2.80).