Jaimes: State auditor candidate sells campaign by highlighting political views and inexperience

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The Democratic candidate for state auditor fails to represent his candidacy in a positive light, misunderstanding the purpose of the position.

Marina Jaimes

marina-jaimes@uiowa.edu

As election season approaches, many eyes will be set on gubernatorial and congressional races, but not many will focus on the state auditor’s race. The Iowa Auditor’s Office has one main goal, and that is to be the a watchdog for all taxpayers in Iowa. The office serves to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are used to benefit all, and it does that by auditing governmental agencies and subdivisions and providing guidelines for performing audits to CPA firms.

That being said, one candidate in the running to become the next state auditor would not be able to serve the basic functions of the office. Rob Sand, assistant attorney general, recently told the DI in an interview, “We are seeing the Iowa Legislature and Republicans in charge make a series of incredible investment cuts where they’re really damaging Iowa’s future because they’re not willing to invest in education, they’re not willing to invest in health care, they’re not even willing to invest in law enforcement.”

RELATED: Sand eyes changes in state auditors office

Sand seems to misunderstand that the state auditor is not to be elected to serve as a legislator. The entirety of the responsibilities of the office include “providing audit, review, and other technical services to state and local governments to ensure the effective, economical businesslike conduct of public activities in a prudent, accountable manner to achieve the intended purposes.” Investing in education, health care, and law enforcement do not fall under the scope of the position of auditor. While those ideas may sound great to Sand, his advocacy for them should not come before his job — which is auditing.

According to the auditor’s website, “The Auditor of State is a constitutional official, elected every four years. The auditor is required to annually make a complete audit of the books, records, and accounts of every department of state government.”

Unfortunately, Sand’s experience as assistant attorney general does not certify him as a public accountant. He would thus be unable to perform an important function of the job.

Although Sand’s interview with the DI says that there is incredible divisiveness in this generation, he mentions the Democratic Party a number of times, a bold move for an office that does not aim to be political. His view of fiscal policy in Iowa, along with his incessant need to support the Democratic Party, would serve the state better as a congressman, not an auditor. Running a campaign on further politicizing governmental offices should not be a goal, especially in the age of Trump. Along with politicizing the office, Sand sees himself as a qualified candidate because of his age or lack thereof.

Electing people based on their want to think with their heart instead of their head, youth and inexperience, and political affiliation would not only be detrimental to the governmental organization, it would also mean that the office would lose its status as the leading CPA firm in the state of Iowa. Iowans deserve an office that is not politicized, especially when it is entrusted with investigating fraud in governmental entities.

[Note from the editor: The columnist is employed by Turning Point USA, a national, non-profit political group that has come under fire for funding student government campaigns. As always, opinions, commentaries, columns, and editorial cartoons reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.]

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