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A pointed message for Gov. Perry at the stimulus “town hall” in Arlington. Associated Press UNDERSTIMULATED While other states use stimulus funds to think ahead, it’s more of the same in Texas. by Reeve Hamilton ometimes you can tell a lot from a Web site. After the Feb. 17 passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, many states set up interactive, informative sites to open dialogue about creative ways to use their stimulus money. Just the address of Missouri’s, , packs a punch. Visitors to are greeted by a video of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, “We are looking forward to this money.” Ohio invites proposals for using the money, prom ising that those meeting eligibility requirements will receive 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 1, 2009 information on when, where, and how to apply. By mid-April, more than 24,000 ideas had flooded in. The Buckeye site is decorated with idyllic images of treelined, small-town streets. “That is not what Ohio actually looks like says Bee Moorhead, the Ohio-born executive director of the faith-based progressive lobbying group Texas Impact. “That’s what it wants to be. People don’t really think about the kind of state Texas could be anymore.” From the outset, Texas’ stimulus siteand the state’s process for figuring out how to spend its $16 billionconfirmed that. The message: Don’t pester us with newfangled ideas. Until being retouched in mid-April, the Texas Comptrollers’ site offered little more than a link to a spreadsheet breaking down the funds, with a headline declaring a commitment to “Tracking the Texas Stimulus” as though it were a hurricane or a criminal on the loose. The site now has a flashy portal displaying essentially the same message, “A Texas Eye on the Dollars,” along with a video starring Comptroller Susan Combs. Far from conveying Schwarzenegger-like eagerness, Combs says, “In the age of the Internet, there is seldom a good reason why government can’t keep citizens informed about how tax dollars are spent:’ With the comptroller eyeing the stimulus suspiciously, and Gov. Rick Perry using it to bolster his small-government