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In its nine-month investigation, "Justice Obscured," the Center for Public Integrity evaluated the disclosure rules for judges in the highest state courts nationwide. The level of disclosure in the 50 states and the District of Columbia was poor, with 43 receiving failing grades, making it difficult for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest on the bench.
Part of a broader investigative series highlighting statewide campaign finance abuses. These pieces broke news about a number of violations of campaign finance law by Gov. Gary Locke's 1996 gubernatorial campaign. The first piece shows that the Locke campaign accepted more the $4,000 in cash contributions, which exceeds the state's legal limit, and failed to report and deposit those contributions as required by law. The second column shows evidence that a Buddhist temple violated federal tax rules by hosting a campaign event for Locke, that temple-affiliated donors did not comply with public disclosure rules, and that temple monks, priests and administrators may not have used their own money to make their contributions. The third was the Gov. Locke personally received $5,000 in cash inside a red envelope from the master of the Buddhist temple. Inconsistencies in accounts of how money was handled by the campaign are also revealed.