New data from a poll conducted by The Dallas Express show that political moderates desire greater levels of transparency from Dallas’ local governmental institutions.

When asked by a pollster if they “support more transparency for the City of Dallas,” nearly 56% of respondents who described themselves as centrists said they wanted more transparency. On the other hand, just under 30% suggested they did not see the need for more transparency, while 15% said they were unsure.

In total, 40% of respondents across the board indicated support for a more transparent local government, with over 22% stating that they did not know. Only 35% of people polled said they did not want more transparency.

A majority of respondents in two political demographics did not support higher levels of transparency.

Of those who self-identified as center-left, only 31% thought the City needed less obscure operations, with almost 44% agreeing that the municipality was candid enough. A quarter of center-left respondents answered that they were unsure.

An even lower percentage of respondents self-identifying as far right expressed support for greater transparency at just under 18%. Those who were unsure and those who did not find a more open local government structure necessary logged equal levels in this demographic, each at 41%.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, 50% of people who claimed to be far left want a more transparent government. Only 31% disagreed, while 19% did not know.

In the final category — center-right — 36% indicated a desire for more transparency; however, the same percentage disagreed. An almost equal amount, 28%, said they were unsure.

In Dallas, the issue of transparency is a hot-button topic for some because of the long history of notable cases of fraud, corruption, and bribery within City Hall, as reported by The Dallas Express. Two council members pleaded guilty to taking bribes in the last few years, leading Mayor Eric Johnson to create the Office of Inspector General.

This division of the Dallas City Attorney’s Office is an “independent investigative authority” tasked with “identifying, investigating, and resolving ethical issues within the city,” according to the City’s website.

Scott Greytak, the director of advocacy for Transparency International, explained to The Dallas Express, “When government isn’t open and transparent, the legitimacy and credibility of its decisions naturally come into question.”

He added, “Transparency and accountability ensures that the public can trust that government is making decisions with their best interests at heart.”

In the Texas Legislature, bills have been filed that would potentially increase transparency and accountability at a local level. Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) recently submitted a proposal that would require municipalities to release a yearly financial audit, as reported by The Dallas Express.

The president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Tim Hardin, argued to The Dallas Express that the measure “provides further transparency to city budgets and should be regarded as non-controversial.”