“Stimulus Watch” drills down to “shovel-ready” projects

Via David Bernstein and Talking Politics: The website Stimulus Watch lists thousands of "shovel-ready" projects vying for federal stimulus funds all over the US, including 266 in Massachusetts. Website visitors can comment on the projects and vote on whether their funding is "critical" or not. 

So far, the least popular project in Massachusetts is "East Boston Stadium Improvements," with 30 "no" votes and not a single vote in favor. The most popular is "Fire Stations Restoration" in Brockton, with a 9-0 vote in favor. 

Nationally, the least popular is "Doorbells," in Laurel, Mississippi. The doorbells are for public housing units, explains the Laurel Leader Call. I think they mean "elderly" to refer to the age of residents, but apparently the apartments themselves are also getting on in years:

[Housing Authority director Kay] Guy said, if approved, each of the elderly units at the Housing Authority would receive two door bells.

“The doorbells could be placed on the inside of the elderly units for emergency needs,” she said. “The elderly units would be enhanced with an exterior and interior doorbell. The interior doorbell would be used in case of emergencies.”

I blame the simple language for all the negative comments this project is getting (and a negative balance of 3,769 votes as of this writing) If the Housing Authority had asked for "melody-based security and communication devices," it might have slipped under the radar. In that case, the least popular project would have been an "African American/Ethnic Heritage Trail," in Natchez, Mississippi.

The most popular project so far? A veterans' nursing home in Cleveland, Tennessee.