While there’s no guarantee that any of the mayors’ projects will end up funded by the stimulus, the Web site shows one way how stimulus projects might be tracked and judged by the public.

“Transparency is a means to an end, and that end is accountability,” says Brito.

DISCLOSURE: The Sunlight Foundation provides financial support to the Columbia Journalism Review’s transparency coverage.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.