"Our main purpose is to construct perception-based indices measuring two specific forms of corruption across American states: illegal and legal. We define illegal corruption as the private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups. It is the form of corruption that attracts a great deal of public attention. A second form of corruption, however, is becoming more and more common in the U.S.: legal corruption. We define legal corruption as the political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, be it by explicit or implicit understanding."
"We asked reporters how common were these two forms of corruption in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government in 2013 in the state they cover in their reporting in 2013. The response scale ranged from 'not at all common' to 'extremely common.'"
Go to the article and see several graphs like the following:
"In none of the states is illegal corruption in government perceived to be “extremely common.” It is nevertheless “moderately common” and/or “very common” in both the executive and legislative branches in a significant number of states, including the usual suspects such as California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas. Arizona is perceived to be the most corrupt state with legislative and executive branches both scoring 4. Among the states in which the legislative and executive branches are perceived to be corrupt, only in Florida and Indiana is illegal corruption in the judicial branch perceived to be “not at all common.” Idaho, North and South Dakota and the majority of the New England states—Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont—are perceived to be the least corrupt states with all three government branches scoring 1."
"Legal corruption is more common than illegal corruption in all branches of government. Executive and legislative branches score 3 or higher in legal corruption in a large majority of states. In seven states, legal corruption in the judicial branch is perceived to be “moderately common” and in Nevada it is perceived to be “very common.” In ten states, both legislative and executive branches score 4 or higher and in Kentucky and New Jersey they score 5. In Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Mexico legal corruption is perceived to be common not only in the executive and legislative branches but also in the judicial branch."