Bachelor’s from Ohio University
What are the most important functions of the state auditor?
The State Auditor is the best defense for Ohioans and their dollars. As City Auditor for my Appalachian town of Nelsonville, I stood tall against corruption, busting up a large theft scheme just two months on the job. After the IRS and State levied over $420,000 in penalties and fines against the City due to this scheme, I took these large agencies on and earned a near 100% forgiveness of the debts.Next up, the census, which was riddled with flawed leadership and confusing guidelines from the top, attempted to downgrade Nelsonville from a city to a village. This change would have cost us funding sources and our union collective bargaining agreements. I led a community-wide effort that brought all walks of life together to recount the city door-to-door and successfully stave off village status. We saved the city.We deserve new, dedicated, young leadership in Ohio that is unafraid to take on the crooks and safeguard our money. That’s exactly what I’ve done and exactly what I’ll do.
What are your goals for improving the function of the auditor’s office?
We must do anything and everything that makes the Auditor’s office more effective and more efficient. In an era of unprecedented corruption in Ohio, our first priority must be to beef up the investigative wings of the department. We also sorely need to begin new examinations and task forces into the shocking amount of foul play, bribery, and unethical practices from the leadership in Ohio.As a locality who has paid significant funds for our routine audits, I also will fight to lift the burden from our stretched thin localities. Our local governments are required by the Auditor’s Office to pay a large hourly rate for the required audits. I can’t think of anything that makes less sense than taking from this year’s pothole repair funds to check last year’s pothole repair expenses. The State must fully fund the Auditor’s and lift this burden of costs from our localities who already face a mountain of other unfunded mandates.
What will you do to ensure that public funds are not misused?
Far too often, candidates for higher office talk about what they will do with no intention of following through. In many ways, we have seen this play out with our current leadership. Corruption scandal after scandal has come down the pipeline, exposing a deep swamp in Columbus and State Government leadership. But who has been caught and sent to jail? What has been done at all to examine our utility rates, the bribery scandals, or state contracting process? The answer is nothing.While nothing was being done on these issues, I worked hard at the local level to expose a deep culture of corruption and theft at City Hall. Next, we took on some of the strongest agencies in the world and won. I was unafraid then and now.Our Auditor must be active, aggressive, and know the difference between right and wrong. On day one, I’ll begin reorganizations and examinations to ensure that Ohio is no longer a safe haven for crooked leadership.
What is the auditor’s role in investigating online and brick-and-mortar charter schools?
The Auditor has a real and credible role in investigating anything and everything relating to our tax dollars. There should be nowhere our watchdog is afraid to look and that is the attitude I have in my approach.Education is the single most important bedrock of our society and country. Therefore I would have a dual role of both supporting education’s advances, while going after bad actors who are trying to take advantage.As Auditor, I will work relentlessly to ensure that our money is being spent wisely and effectively in all educational settings. This includes performance and financial audits of charters to ensure that online settings are working for students as strongly as brick and mortar settings. It also involves finding out where our tax money went in the state’s emergency takeovers in East Cleveland, Youngstown, and elsewhere. I will find out why these are taking so long, where our money is going, and how they are performing. We deserve at least this.
What are the essential criteria to consider when drawing legislative district lines?
Voters should choose their politicians and not the other way around.Current Auditor Keith Faber and the GOP on the Redistricting Commission have time again passed anti-voter maps that only serve to benefit their own special interests and buddies.Ohio voted for fair, honest maps that do not slice and dice our power and neighborhoods. The amendment to our constitution was not confusing or complicated. These folks instead passed autocratic maps that only served to entrench their power for another generation, will of the voters be damned. After being struck down multiple times by the High Court, Mr. Faber went so far as to vote against “slightly” fairer maps because he didn’t believe it helped Republicans maintain power enough.As a redistricting commission member, I will only support maps that maintain county and neighborhood integrity. I will only vote for fair and honest maps that allow the voters a say in their elections and futures.