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Commentary: Voters keeping eye on stimulus money

  • Story Highlights
  • Mayors want new street signs, golf clubhouse, dog parks
  • Stimulus money better spent on infrastructure, emergency services
  • Unlike CEOs, mayors are accountable to voters
  • Next Article in Politics »

Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Friday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown says the nation's mayors will be held accountable on stimulus spending.

CNN's Campbell Brown says the nation's mayors will be held accountable on stimulus spending.

(CNN) -- And as we see just what cities and states hope to get from the stimulus, we will be keeping a close eye on what those on the front lines of turning our economy around are up to.

To America's mayors:

Already, your list of "shovel-ready" projects, while full of worthy and vital needs, also contains plenty of items that make one think you're shoveling something else.

Las Vegas, we love you, but do you really need $2 million for neon signs along Las Vegas Boulevard?

As if anyone had trouble finding your fabled city in the dark.

Lincoln, Nebraska, put in for $3 million for an environmentally friendly clubhouse at a municipal golf course.

In Lewiston, Maine, they want to use the funds to build not one but two dog parks for $50,000.

Does Fido really need a stimulus?

And St. Cloud, Minnesota, is asking for $150,000 to make the lettering on its street signs larger.

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Now, these cities and others defend such creative use of the money, often saying it means jobs or revitalizing rundown neighborhoods. But it seems to me that if these mayors have any plans to seek higher office, or keep the one they have now, they're going to need to give a tad more scrutiny to where the money flows.

We've already seen some on Wall Street blow any goodwill by living high on the hog while taking bailout money.

Unlike the CEOs, mayors are accountable to the voters. They, and we, will be watching.

We hope you are smart enough to know the real priorities in this country.

Use those jobs and revitalization efforts to fix our bridges, rebuild our roads, make our storm drains and levees strong, and keep our police and fire departments ready to respond to any call.

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Because, now, you've got money.

What you don't have are excuses.

All About Eric HolderU.S. Office of the Attorney General

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