Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have created an online map that displays user-submitted photos of Recovery Act signs seen across the country.
The lawmakers, lead by ranking member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), attacked the Obama administration for spending as much as $20 million to promote the Recovery Act through highway signs and other materials. Both Issa and Schock have accused the administration of using taxpayer dollars to for political ends.
A committee spokesman said the lawmakers view any signage or materials with the Recovery Act logo as pro-stimulus propaganda. They have asked Recovery Board Chairman Earl Devaney to provide detailed information on the number of signs purchased and their cost.
"The government can't tell how many signs there are, where they are, how much they cost, so we're asking the American people to assist us," the spokesman said. "We're not saying that this map is going to lead us to finding out how much all the signs cost, but we're asking the American people to help us do part of that oversight work."
After asking users to take pictures of Recovery Act signs seen in their neighborhoods on Twitter, the committee launched a website with an interactive map that allows users to see the various signs according to their geographic locations. Users can embed the map on their website or share it with friends. The committee is waiting to gauge the success of this effort before determining how else it can involve the public in oversight of stimulus projects.