State auditor talks politics to Marshalltown voters | Information, sports activities, jobs
Iowa State Chartered Accountant Rob Sand stopped in Marshalltown to discuss his office’s activities and answer questions from local residents.
About 15 people came to Elk’s Park on Tuesday afternoon to hear about Sand. Several participants thanked Sand for being the state auditor. While detailing some of the recent investigations the office was involved in, Sand answered questions about local government scrutiny, public requests for information, and electoral laws.
He also explained the role of the State Audit Office, which he said acts as a watchdog for taxpayers and ensures that taxpayers’ money is spent legally at all levels of government. He said he has received criticism from both Republicans and Democrats regarding his investigations, such as the investigation into Governor Kim Reynolds who spent federal funds on advertising, as well as an open investigation into a former Scott County Democrat, according to public reports wrongly paid election workers more than 24 hours a day.
“This office should be aggressive on behalf of everyone, it should not be partisan” Sand said. “It’s really supposed to shout balls and punches and chase people when they deserve it, and that’s what we did.”
Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer attended the event along with MP Sue Cahill (D-Marshalltown). Cahill asked Sand what the state audit is doing to make sure the elections are honest and fair.
“Ultimately, when it comes to election issues, we can really only see whether someone is complying with the law or not, whether money is being spent legally and whether it is being used optimally.” Sand said.
He went on to state that there was no worrying election fraud in Iowa and said recent changes to Iowa electoral law, which cut early voting deadlines and tightened postal voting restrictions, were unnecessary.
“Although we don’t have much oversight, I can certainly talk about the use of taxpayers’ resources and I can tell you that what they are doing is not for the public.” Sand said.
He also spoke about the Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) program, which helps local governments cut operating costs and save money. Marshall County is a participant in the program.
“The opportunity to run for office and then win, to set up a new system that didn’t exist to save money across the state was super exciting, and here I am.” Sand said.
At the heart of the program is a five-page checklist of basic money-saving practices, ranging from tips like removing couches from air ducts to save energy bills, to bigger suggestions like public solar panels.
Sands stop in Marshalltown is part of a larger 99 county tour. One participant asked Sand what the purpose of his visit was and whether he intended to run for higher office. He responded by saying the purpose of the tour was to have conversations with voters.
“I think it’s a good thing to do” Sand said. “I actually think it’s more important for the state auditor to do this than it is for any other nationally elected official.”
Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or
TR PHOTOS BY TREVOR BABCOCK – Iowa’s State Auditor Rob Sand speaks to voters in Marshalltown about his office’s recent investigation, including answering questions about state policy. Mayor Joel Greer (left) and Rep. Sue Cahill (right) listen to State Auditor Rob Sand at his event in Marshalltown on Tuesday.
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