The down-ballot race for state auditor is often lost in the noise about campaigns for governor or attorney general. That shouldn’t happen next Tuesday. The auditor’s office is responsible for ensuring that our tax dollars are spent in the public interest, wisely and efficiently. This year’s race for auditor is especially important because one candidate, Chris Dempsey, is the perfect fit for the job, as I wrote about him last November.
Chris has the intellect, skills and experience to be an effective watchdog over taxpayer interests. He has worked inside and outside government, perhaps best known for successfully building a grassroots (and heavily outspent) movement to stop the proposed 2024 hosting of the Olympics sought by powerful corporate players eager for a piece of the action. On the inside of government, he developed a tracking system for riders to know when their bus or trolley would be arriving, the first state on the east coast to do so, the third in the country. On the outside, he has worked as a consultant to Bain and also headed a public transportation advocacy group.
He wants to use state auditing powers to go beyond traditional claims of welfare fraud to track corruption in state police overtime practices and to include carbon accounting in business reporting requirements. He would also improve scrutiny over how Massachusetts is handling the plentiful federal funds coming into the Commonwealth and would also keep an eye on public/private contracts.
Dempsey’s opponent, state Senator Diana Dizoglio has campaigned largely on the way the legislature has handled complaints of sexual harassment, especially the use of non-disclosure agreements. That’s an important issue, but it’s not central to the role of auditor. Her range of qualifying skills for this post is lacking. Chris has widespread support, but some polls show the race disturbingly close, with too many voters still undecided.
Tell your friends not to ignore this race. If you need more information, click on the above link to my earlier blog, and please consider this a full- throated endorsement of Chris Dempsey for state auditor.
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