Thursday, March 05, 2009

State Recoverydotcom Sites: How Blue They Are.

Researching yesterday's post about state recoverydotgov sites, I was curious about whether there is any pattern to party affiliation and putting up such a site. Since SocialGovernment proprietor Alexander Muir has already done a bunch of the legwork on the state sites, I asked him about it in his comments section. His project isn't about party quibbles so he politely declined to name the trend but did offer some useful resources.

Namely two maps. One from Recoverydotgov's national office showing which states have their own websites:

And one showing party affiliations of governors:

And he invited me to reach my own conclusions. Which would be that of the 16 states that have put up websites, only one - Missouri - none has a Republican governor.*

Republicans opposing the stimulus package was a principled stand. With all the cleavages on social issues and foreign policy, the one constant in Republican thought are the convictions that government spending is bad and tax cuts are the only effective economic strategy. I didn't say it was a sensible stand, but it is a principled one.

But while voting against stimulus may have been principled, petty acts of defiance to undermine it are not. The Obama administration has included transparency provisions in the stimulus legislation and is encouraging states to use tools on the internet to effectuate that transparency. Republican governors may think spending-based stimulus is a bad idea, but unless they are Limbaugh pods, they should want the money to be spent on actual things, rather than wasted. Democratic governors are trying to use the internet to that end; Republicans by and large are not.

And it's not just the admittedly chimeric goals of transparency and public participation they may be thwarting. There's also work to be done to protect their citizens. For example, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has launched a public information campaign warning homeowners to beware of scam artists pretending to be part of another (Republican hated) Obama initiative, the housing market stabilization plan. It will be interesting to see how many Republican states fail to take that common-sense step.

Republican state officials who pretend the Obama initiatives have nothing to do with them don't simply serve the Limbaugh "hope he fails" agenda, they also misserve their constituents.

*Edited thanks to Anthony in comments.


Anonymous said...

Governor Jay Nixon of missouri is a democrat