Texas Named America’s Most Corrupt City, Again

Texas, known as the Lone Star State, has once again claimed the top spot on the list of the most corrupt cities in America, according to a recent report from the Institute for Corruption Studies at Illinois State University.

The report, which ranks cities based on the number of public corruption convictions per capita from 1976 to 2023, revealed that Texas had the highest corruption rate, followed by New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, and Alabama.

Reasons Behind Texas’s High Corruption Level

Oguzhan Dincer, the report’s author and an economist who serves as the director of the Institute for Corruption Studies, pointed out several contributing factors to Texas’s elevated corruption levels:

Demographics: With a population exceeding 29 million and a GDP surpassing $1.9 trillion, Texas’s size and diversity create numerous opportunities for corruption as different groups vie for limited resources and political influence.

Culture: Rooted in a history of corruption dating back to the Republic of Texas, Texas has a tradition perpetuated by media portrayals, such as movies like “No Country for Old Men” and TV shows like “Dallas,” depicting the state as a hub of political violence and intrigue.

Voter Participation: Texas records one of the lowest voter turnout rates nationwide, indicating a lack of civic engagement and accountability. This low participation diminishes the likelihood of electing honest leaders, paving the way for increased influence from special interests and money in politics.

Instances of Corruption in Texas

Corruption in Texas extends across all levels and branches of government. Notable examples include:

Gov. Rick Perry: The former governor faced two felony charges in 2014, accused of abusing his power by coercing a public official. Perry allegedly threatened to veto funding for a unit investigating corruption unless its head resigned. The charges were dismissed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2016, with Perry asserting he acted within his constitutional authority.

Sen. Ted Cruz: In 2023, the junior senator faced scandal after it was revealed he received millions in campaign contributions from a wealthy oil tycoon, allegedly in exchange for political influence. Cruz was accused of intervening on the tycoon’s behalf in matters such as drilling permits, environmental policies, and business interests in the Middle East.

Houston Police Officers: Six former officers were sentenced to prison in 2023 as part of a long-running FBI corruption investigation. Their convictions included charges of excessive force, evidence planting, and theft of money and drugs from suspects. The officers conspired to cover up their crimes and intimidate witnesses.


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