A team of political scientists at the University of Illinois in Chicago, headed by Professor Dick Simpson, has studied crime statistics and has determined that in the period starting in 1976, Louisiana has had the most political corruption of any state, on a per capita basis. The study also finds that Chicago has the most corruption of any large city. Here is the 15-page report.
Most of the news about this study focuses on Chicago, but the reference to Louisiana is on the fourth page.
Louisiana has used the top-two system for state and local office starting in 1975, and has used it for Congress 1978-2006 and also again starting in 2012. Chicago has used non-partisan elections for Alderman starting in 1920, and has used non-partisan elections for the three citywide elected executive posts starting in 1999. “Top-two system” is defined as a system in which party labels appear on the ballot, but parties do not actually nominate candidates. There are different kinds of top-two systems. Fans of top-two systems sometimes argue that the Nebraska legislature is elected in a top-two system, but Nebraska legislative races do not have party labels on the ballot and most neutral commenters never list Nebraska in connection with top-two systems.
IndependentVoting, a nationwide organization headquartered in New York city, has been advocating for top-two systems for almost a decade. IndependentVoting also advocates for non-partisan elections. One wishes that IndependentVoting (whose leaders are quite influential in New York city mayoral politics, due to their control over the Independence Party’s nominations process) would acknowledge this study, and would explain why they seem to feel that Chicago is better governed than New York city. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.