The office of State Auditor is changing. The Republican legislature has stripped the office of its traditional role auditing the books of counties and municipalities in favor of outsourcing to private firms. Some have said this will limit the responsibility of the office—but what I see here is an opportunity to work directly for the people. The State Auditor can now use the existing budget and staff to examine a wider set of institutions, and ask if our tax dollars are working for the people of this state. I’m a Democrat because I believe government has the responsibility of making sure every citizen can prosper, no matter their race, creed, sexual orientation, or gender.
We need to apply this understanding to everything our government does. We need to eliminate structural and inherent inequalities in programs supported by taxpayer dollars. We need to understand that supporting small businesses creates more jobs than corporate giveaways, and more opportunities for every Minnesotan. Is our investment in education matching job openings with job skills, and if not, why? Who is being left out? We need to examine how our judicial system is spending our money. Why are we using an unfair bail bond system that keeps the working poor in jail for minor offenses while costing the taxpayers millions, and why are we seizing the personal property of people who haven’t been convicted of a crime?
We need to take a hard look at our investments to create jobs, educate our people for our changing economy, and root out structural inequalities in our system. As State Auditor, I will ensure that our tax dollars are spent in accordance with Minnesota values. That is my promise.