Poll | Dallas Republicans Support Greater City Transparency


Dallas City Hall | Image by f11photo/Shutterstock

A majority of Dallas residents long for greater transparency from their city government, according to a poll conducted by The Dallas Express.

When asked, “Do you support more transparency for the City of Dallas?” just over 53% of respondents said that they did while only 24% suggested that they did not desire more transparency and 22% said they were unsure.

Broken down by political demographics, every group except for those who identified themselves as “far left” desired greater transparency by a wide margin.

Among those who self-identify as far left, only 39% said they desired greater local government transparency, while 35% replied they did not desire a more transparent City Hall.

All other groups desired a more accessible and accountable city government by at least a two-to-one margin.

Of the respondents who self-identified as “center-left,” 57% wished that local institutions would be more straightforward — the highest of any group. This was opposed to only 19% who did not and 24% who were uncertain.

Those who identified as “centrists” desired clearer insight into city affairs 48% of the time, with 24% disagreeing and 27% being unsure. The numbers among those identifying as “center-right” were similar, as 46% sought more transparency while only 19% rejected the notion.

The self-identified “far right” had the fewest people claim that they did not want more transparency in City Hall, with only 7% giving that response. Roughly 53% said they supported greater insight into city government operations, while 40% replied that they did not know.

The poll reflects a deep mistrust of local government institutions, as emphasized by the non-governmental organization Transparency International in a statement provided to The Dallas Express.

“When government isn’t open and transparent, the legitimacy and credibility of its decisions naturally come into question,” said Scott Greytak, director of advocacy for Transparency International U.S.

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

This mistrust has not been helped by the scandals that have rocked Dallas’ local government for decades.

In 1997, for instance, Councilman Paul Fielding was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy after using his position to coerce contracts for his preferred vendors in exchange for his votes. Only a few years later, Councilman Al Lipscomb was convicted in 2000 of taking $95,000 in bribes, though this was overturned later on procedural grounds.

In 2008, Councilman James Fantroy Sr. was caught embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from federal taxpayer grants intended for local Paul Quinn College. The following year, Councilman Don Hill was convicted on several charges, including bribery and money laundering.

More recently, councilmembers Dwaine Caraway and Carolyn Davis pleaded guilty and were sentenced in 2019 for taking bribes.

These last revelations led Mayor Eric Johnson to spearhead the creation of the Office of Inspector General in order to root out corruption — but several council members have already sought to defund the program, as reported by The Dallas Express.

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Big Al
Big Al
4 days ago

unbelievable how the city wastes money, should be audited as should be the isd

Reply to  Big Al
4 days ago

The problem is, you probably can’t trust the auditors either. either

If you want to see a flagrant waste of taxpayer money, take a look at Mesquite’s City Hall/police station. Looks like a New York City mall. Government buildings do not need to be artistic or awe-inspiring. They merely need to be functional. Ridiculous the waste of taxpayer money for that behemoth.

4 days ago

Seems pretty idiotic that anyone would choose not to have transparency in our government. And I hardly think those crooks you mentioned would be transparent about their taking bribes, etc. They just have to be caught. So now they want to create yet another government position to oversee the crooks. And can we trust that person to be above reproach themselves?

3 days ago

How was this poll conducted? How were the questions framed? Where was this poll conducted? By phone? In person? By mail? How many people were polled, and what is the numerical breakdown of each political demographic?