Sure, Colorado has a clean reputation — but there’s still lots we don’t know

From The Colorado Independent: Colorado is not a state with a tradition of scandal-scarred government. Its governors don’t tumble from power in disgrace, and indictments of lawmakers and lobbyists aren’t the norm.

Periodic instances of impropriety do occur, largely at the local level. And just last year, Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission fined a sitting statewide public official for the first time ever after finding then-Secretary of State Scott Gessler had used public money for personal and political gain. Only one state lawmaker has pleaded guilty to public corruption in the past two years.

By-and-large, government under the gold dome of the capitol in Denver is seen as largely sleaze-free.

“Corruption is just not part of governmental life in Colorado,” said Robert Loevy, a professor emeritus of political science at Colorado College and co-author of the 2012 book Colorado Politics and Policy: Governing a Purple State.

There is, however, a stark difference between not having a reputation for public corruption and not being at risk for it.

Yes, there is good news on the accountability front: Colorado has a transparent state budget process, generally accountable executive and legislative branches, and a robust, well-staffed office of the State Auditor.

Visit The Colorado Independent for more.

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