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A New Worst of List for New Mexico Counties

Transparency was one topic that dominated debate during this recent legislative session. It took many forms. There was the question of whether or not to webcast. The was the question of whether or not to audiocast. There was the defeat of a bill that would have provided a searchable budget online for anyone to search. Now, there is the question of whether or not Governor Richardson will back away from his promise to sign into law a bill that opens conference committees.

Let’s face it, the majority of New Mexico’s elected officials prefer that we don’t see them “making the sausage.” Apparently, this desire to operate under a veil of secrecy is not limited to state government. The Sunshine Review just completed a review of every county website in the country, and guess what they found:

This table shows both the percentage of counties in each state with websites, and the average transparency rating each state received. Averages are calculated by adding up the total number of “yeses” received, divided by the number of counties with websites.

So far, Arizona‘s county websites have received the highest average rating of 6.533. Not only that, but 100% of it’s counties actually have websites. New Mexico fared the worst with an average rating of only 1.222.

Another worst of of list ranking for the Land of Enchantment. Is there really any excuse for this? How many corruption cases do we need before we say enough is enough?