If the state auditor’s race boils down to one issue, it is this: I’m the only candidate in the race that consistently puts the public ahead of politics.
As an assistant attorney general, I prosecuted the Iowa Film Office tax credit scandal. Although it happened under a Democratic administration and I am a Democrat, I didn’t sweep it under the rug. Similarly, when a Webster County Democratic official embezzled money, I treated her the same way I would have anyone else — she ended up with a felony conviction that means she can no longer vote. I didn’t go easy on her to make sure Democrats had another vote each election.
As Iowa’s lead major financial crimes and public corruption prosecutor, I’ve proven myself willing to investigate anyone, including powerful insiders and both parties.
My opponent, however, puts her party ahead of the public. When FY2017 closed, state government had to borrow over $100 million from emergency funds. And that was after quarterly cuts through the year. But because the state auditor’s party leaders made that budget, she called that “responsible.” And, despite quarterly cuts, she called it “stable.” She has also slow-walked an audit of the privatization of Medicaid, an obvious albatross for her party, rather than digging in and reporting back with the truth to Iowans.
More recently, my opponent is misleading the public for her own political gain in this campaign. She’s repeatedly claimed if the state auditor is not a CPA, the office cannot perform its regular functions and will have to outsource them. This ignores that of all of Iowa’s dozens of state auditors in history, only three have ever been CPAs. It ignores the chair of the accounting department at Iowa State University. Even elected officials in her own party, including three current county attorneys and a former Republican Party chair, have said her claim is wrong. But she continues to say it anyway, perhaps to distract from her own record. This is someone misleading the public for political benefit. And that is not someone who should be trusted with the office most responsible for truth, integrity and accountability.
If we want our politics to work better, we must elect candidates who try to do the right thing for the public, not their party. Here’s one race that offers a clear contrast on that issue. I hope you will trust me with your vote.
• Rob Sand is the Democratic candidate for Iowa Auditor of State.
All candidate guest columns in the Iowa Auditor of State race:
• Rob Sand
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• Fred Perryman (no column submitted)