If one looks hard enough, one can find something downright awful, or at least perniciously absurd, across this great land of ours, from sea to shining sea. To tell you the truth, the cynic in me is a bit disappointed to discover how difficult it can be to find a rotten apple in every barrel. The good news is that there are some states where it is a real stretch to come up with something suitable for this list of light reads. It seems some states, at least for the week of news I scanned, just suck less when it comes to pervasive wrongdoing, or even just high mischief. For some states, it was a choice of which horrible headline to pick. For Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming it was a challenge to find even one. One week of news makes for poor sampling, but I think it’s an interesting snapshot nonetheless.
Alabama: Alabama Republicans say voter fraud found after offering reward
Alaska: New study ranks Alaska among 10 most corrupt U.S. states
Arizona: Arizona governor exploits border crisis to solicit donations
Arkansas: Hundreds disenfranchised by America’s worst voter ID law
California: Whooping cough epidemic declared in California
Colorado: Hundreds of Colorado oil, gas wells go uninspected
Connecticut: Despite death penalty repeal, Conn. hands down a death sentence
Delaware: Is Delaware law a favor to plaintiff lawyers, or shareholder protection?
Florida: Florida enacts abortion law requiring doctors to evaluate foetus survival
Georgia: 500 Georgia police officers may have lied about completing required training last year, survey suggests
Hawaii: Hero Hawaii legislator will save middle schoolers from terror of hearing the word ‘anus’
Idaho: Idaho Republican, appealing to right, enters race to replace Cantor
Illinois: ACLU sues after Illinois mayor has cops raid guy parodying him on Twitter
Indiana: Indiana punished inmate with more time behind bars for doing what the prison staff told him to do
Iowa: Iowa senate candidate Joni Ernst will castrate UN’s evil ‘Agenda 21’ plot to make you ride a bicycle
Kansas: Kansas’ tax cut disaster
Kentucky: Kentucky Retirement Systems pays millions in fees to money managers but keeps the details a secret
Louisiana: Gov. Jindal signs abortion restriction legislation
Maine: Paul LePage comes out as pro-homelessness for children
Maryland: Md. veterans have long wait for first VA appointment
Massachusetts: Massachusetts gives green light to MGM’s casino plan
Michigan: If Michigan lawmaker has his way, burning petcoke and plastic will count as renewable energy sources
Minnesota: Measles journey highlights risk to unvaccinated kids
Mississippi: Most hilariously tone-deaf political ad of the year: Thad Cochran’s appeal to lobbying and pork
Missouri: Nice Missouri state senator writes nice letter telling constituents to GTFO
Montana: Texting while driving still legal in Montana
Nebraska: Nebraska won’t disclose oil train details
Nevada: Cop killers had earlier talks with Vegas police, Ind. BMV
New Hampshire: Scott Brown’s campaign seems confused about what state he’s running in this time
New Jersey: NJ residents: fuck animals now while you have the chance
New Mexico: New Mexico Iraqi woman hurt in possible hate crime
New York: The NYPD’s racially skewed pot busts continue apace under De Blasio
North Carolina: North Carolina is still suing Facebook, wants to pass law banning public from knowing what else it’s doing
North Dakota: ND ethics law potentially broken on Petraeus fracking trip
Ohio: Ohio just signed its terrible anti-renewable energy bill into law
Oklahoma: Defense reports puncture lead to botched execution
Oregon: Railroads disclose Oregon oil train routes but state undecided whether to share publicly
Pennsylvania: The new debtors prisons: Pennsylvania mother dies while jailed for truancy fines
Rhode Island: Why are Rhode Island Democrats blocking minimum-wage increases?
South Carolina: South Carolina OKs Confederate flag at Citadel military college
South Dakota: Some question terrorism funding going to South Dakota
Tennessee: How to take out a Supreme Court justice
Texas: Rick Perry’s homophobia is a choice
Utah: Push to impose extra fees on customers
Vermont: Vermont, food industry begin court fight over GMO label law
Virginia: Virginia lawmakers pass budget, kill Medicaid expansion
Washington: Crowpocalypse 2014: map shows more than 50 crow danger zones
West Virginia: Company that caused historic chemical spill leaks more waste into West Virginia waters
Wisconsin: Married gay couples in Wisconsin in legal limbo
Wyoming: Arizona man joins Wyoming congressional race to protest no-show by Democrats
District of Columbia: Wash. Post’s George Will: sexual assault victim is now a “coveted status”
Image credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory. Licensed under Creative Commons.
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