Contrast that, say, with the tiny Baltic republic of Latvia, which, as Heller notes, requires any campaign donation to be documented online within 15 days. Good luck finding a U.S. state legislature that mandates anything as strict as that.
All this should serve as a salutary reminder that the popular wisdom on corruption is false. The propensity for graft cannot be reduced to a particular culture or national mindset. According to global watchdog Transparency International, Botswana is far less corrupt than its next-door neighbor Zimbabwe, while Hong Kong is much cleaner than mainland China. What makes the difference here is institutions: a country that has an established rule of law and high standards of public accountability will be less vulnerable to sleaze than one that doesn't.
For up-and-coming countries this offers a source of hope: Those who summon up the political will can beat the disease. For countries like America, that conclusion should serve as a salutary warning: No one is inherently immune. If you don't get your act together, you'll get sick, too.