In case you were wondering what your own local leadership wants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AKA “The Porkulus”), be sure to check out StimulusWatch.org.  You can take a look at every request that mayors have put in, vote on whether each project is critical or not, and discuss the pros and cons.  It’s all set up in a wiki, so you can add as much information about the project as you’d like, like Wikipedia.

My favorite so far: Doorbells for a housing project in Laurel, MS.  Cost: $99,600, or $155 per doorbell.

So what’s the difference between this website and the official government website, Recovery.gov?  StimulusWatch answers:

The Obama White House has begun taking the first steps to keep its promise to be the most transparent and accountable administration in history. However, it has yet to provide the type of interactive accountability tool you see here. Because legislative and executive activity on stimulus spending is moving so quickly, we feel its important to help jump-start citizen participation as soon as possible.

Additionally, this site is interactive in a way we don’t expect to see in federal government sites. First, we are trying to gather knowledge from you about the worthiness of local projects before they are funded. Second, after a project has been funded we would like to continue to harness local knowledge about how the funds were spent and the project managed in order to keep local officials accountable. To date, no federal site does this.

And so it would appear that bloggers working for free can provide us with more information on The Porkulus than full-time federal bureaucrats and congressional staff.  

“So, what would you say ya do here?”

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