Give Now

We must close the loophole that allows law enforcement to buy our personal data without a warrant.

Press Release

New National Poll finds Strong, Bipartisan Demand for Transparency in Economic Recovery Package

Wide support for public websites to track federal and state use of recovery funds

WASHINGTON, February 4, 2008 – An overwhelming majority of voters want full and open reporting on how Recovery Act funds are spent at federal and state levels, according to a nationwide survey conducted last week on behalf of the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery. Further, roughly eight in ten voters say that making the U.S government more accountable and more open to average citizens should be a high priority for the new administration, four out of ten said it is “one of the most important priorities.”

The demand for greater transparency in the recovery package reaches across partisan, geographic and demographic divides. Republicans, independents, and Democrats alike strongly support the inclusion of tracking and reporting requirements to ensure federal money is effectively spent and has a positive impact on the economy:

  • Three-quarters of voters (76%) believe that “creating a national website where citizens can see what companies and government agencies are getting the funds, for what purposes, and the number and quality of jobs being created or saved” would have an important impact on the package, including 39% who believe its impact would be extremely important.

Support for state transparency websites to monitor recovery funds received almost equally high marks, again from Republicans, independents and Democrats:

  • Fully 76% of American voters said creating state level websites to track funds was “important,” and 34% said it was “very important.”

“Whether or not we agree with the stimulus bill’s priorities, officials at the federal and state levels must assure taxpayers that their hard-earned money will be used in a responsible manner,” said National Taxpayers Union Government Affairs Manager Andrew Moylan. “The best way to do this is to make information on stimulus spending transparent and easily available to the public in a searchable online format.”

However, although state governments will have to report to the federal government, the current bill does not demand that states create public websites to show their own citizens how they are spending the money, despite the fact that state governments will be responsible for dispensing over half the funds. Underscoring the breadth of support for this reform, 70% of Republicans, 74% of independents, and 80% of Democrats believe it would have an important impact on the recovery package.

Greg LeRoy, Executive Director of Good Jobs First, remarked, “Transparency is not just necessary policy; it’s good politics. No one wants well-intended stimulus funding to become tainted by corruption and waste at the state and local levels. Getting lots of taxpayer eyeballs on the money is President Obama’s best bet for keeping governors and mayors from frittering away his Recovery Plan.”

The survey was conducted between January 13th and January 20th, 2008 by Lake Research Partners, in collaboration with Topos Partnership. It reached 900 adults, 18 years of age or older, in the United States who are registered and voted in the 2008 General Election.

The Coalition for an Accountable Recovery, an unprecedented partnership of over 30 organizations from across the political spectrum with hundreds of affiliates across the country, is working to ensure that economic recovery spending is transparent, accountable and effective. The coalition believes that full and open reporting on the use of these funds is critical to ensuring accountability in public decision-making and restoring citizen trust in government.

(alphabetically)

21st Century School Fund

Building Educational Success together (BEST)

Center for Cities and Schools

Center for Community Change

Center for Economic and Policy Research

Center for Fiscal Accountability

Center for Responsive Politics

Center on Policy Initiatives

Common Cause

Consumer Federation ofAmerica

ConsumersUnion

Economic Policy Institute

Gamaliel/Transportation Equity Network

Good Jobs First

Moms Rising

National Institute for Money in State Politics

National Taxpayers Union

National Training andInformation Center

OMB Watch

Open Technology Initiative/New America Foundation

OpenTheGovernment.org

Partnership for Working Families

PICO National Network

Progressive States Network

Project On Government Oversight

Public Citizen

Public Knowledge

Smart Growth America

Sunlight Foundation

Taxpayers for Common Sense

United States Public Interest Research Groups

WashingtonWatch.com