The State Auditor is supposed to be “The Taxpayers’ Watchdog.” There is one issue in the State Auditor’s race: whether you want to help wake up the watchdog by voting for Rob Sand.
The State Auditor is responsible for special investigations into suspected misuse of taxpayer money. After each investigation, the Auditor’s report is sent to the appropriate county attorney and to the Attorney General’s Office.
There, it almost always landed on Rob Sand’s desk. No one in Iowa has prosecuted more public corruption in the last decade than Rob.
He is running for State Auditor in part because he has worked closely with the office for years on public corruption issues and knows that the current Auditor refuses to build the right team for public corruption investigations. Because the current State Auditor refuses to hire anyone with financial prosecution experience or law enforcement experience, basic mistakes are made that affect the ability to hold public officials accountable later. Iowa needs a State Auditor that respects the perspective of law enforcement officials in investigations. That is Rob Sand.
Iowa Code Chapter 11.4 requires that the Auditor, in every audit, say whether the body audited “is efficiently conducted, and if the maximum results for the money expended are obtained,” or “needlessly conflicts with or duplicates the work done by any other department.” The Auditor is also required by law to “include “any recommendations for greater simplicity, accuracy, efficiency, or economy in the operation of the business of the several departments and institutions.”
Unfortunately, this Auditor does not do this important work to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted.
Rob Sand will. He’s made a career of holding individuals accountable when they fail to follow the law. This campaign is about doing the same for the State Auditor.
In 2017, Iowa borrowed $160 for each Iowa voter just to pay its regular annual expenses. How can the current State Auditor, who shares the same party affiliation as the legislature and the Governor, justify calling this budget “balanced” and “responsible?” It is neither. It appears that the State Auditor put her partisan affiliation ahead of the public interest.
Rob Sand has a record of making serious legal determinations without regard to politics. He has prosecuted both Democrats and Republicans. As State Auditor, he will continue to put the public interest before ones political party, no matter which party is leading the state.
THE OFFICE NEEDS BALANCE
The current State Auditor will hire only accountants and CPAs, even for the Investigative Division of the State Auditor’s office that performs public corruption investigations for law enforcement. That is like a football team with 11 quarterbacks playing on offense at the same time. If you want better outcomes, you need to have people with different backgrounds and gifts working together as a team.
It is especially surprising that the current State Auditor has this mindset given that people from all walks of life have successfully served as State Auditor. Past State Auditors have been teachers, lawyers, businessmen, real estate, and farmers. The vast majority of Iowa’s State Auditors have not been CPAs, and have served Iowa well. This- along with a simple reading of the law- is how we know that the current State Auditor’s claim that the office needs to be a registered “CPA firm” is wrong. The “CPA only” idea is an elitist mindset that ignores history and common sense. It is time to restore balance to the office.