Candidate for state auditor stops in WC

Sand tells supporters the auditor’s office needs to have a law enforcement professional on staff

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Rob Sand, the Democratic candidate for Iowa state auditor, visited with supporters Wednesday morning at Mornin’ Glory Coffee Shop. Sand, who has worked as an assistant attorney general, will face the incumbent state auditor, Republican Mary Mosiman, in the November general election.

Rob Sand, a Democrat from Des Moines, said he’s running for state auditor in Iowa because he feels the office needs to have a watchdog, preferably one with law enforcement experience to investigate taxpayer-funded corruption.

Sand made a stop in Webster City Wednesday morning to visit with supporters who gathered at Mornin’ Glory Coffee Shop.

Sand, a Decorah native, earned a law degree from the University of Iowa. He’s spent about a decade working as an assistant attorney general prosecuting white collar criminals including several high-profile cases. He investigated and prosecuted fraud related to Iowa’s film tax credit program. He said he also uncovered and led the prosecution of the lottery-rigging case.

“A big piece of what I was doing was working with the state auditor’s office,” he said. “A lot of people think of audits, but they actually have the legal responsibility to conduct all of Iowa’s public corruption investigations.”

He said when those investigations are finished, they are sent to county attorneys and to the attorney general.

“For nearly a decade, I’ve been looking at those investigations thinking I would have done them differently,” he said.

Sand said the state auditor’s office has no one with law enforcement experience.

“They have only CPAs and accountants,” he said. “I’m not saying lawyers are better than CPAs, I’m telling you that lawyers and CPAs together are better than either on their own.”

He said he thinks Iowans deserve a state auditor who will recommend ways to save taxpayer dollars. Sand also said he would work to get a better handle on the state’s finances.

“If you hadn’t noticed, they’re not too good right now,” he said. “Last fiscal year, we went through quarterly cuts so every three months, the budget for state agencies and regents institutions got lower and lower.”

The result, he said, was the state had to borrow $100 million from state mandated set-aside funds.

“The current state auditor looked back at that fiscal year and said that budget was stable despite cuts every quarter,” he said. “She said it was balanced and responsible even though they had to borrow all that money at the end of the year to get through.”

“We need to tell each other the truth,” he said. “We deserve to have a state auditor that tells us what it really looks like.”

Sand said State Auditor Mary Mosiman has been in office five years and has never raised an alarm about the state finances.

“Five years ago we had a $1 billion surplus and now we’re borrowing money,” he said. “I think that’s unacceptable.”

Sand will face Republican Mosiman in the Nov. 6 general election.