Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Political Desk: State Auditor

So you remember I mentioned all the headaches for the executive branch under the Governor write-up? Yeah, this was one of them. Troy Kelley was elected for the position back in 2012, then got himself quickly mired in a mess of his activities before he was elected, resulting in the Feds putting him on trial for money-laundering, among other crimes, which resulted in a mistrial on 14 of 15 counts. The messy pre-trail details are here, for those interested.  Despite this, he refused to step down from his position, but is not running for re-election, which is a pretty good idea.

And this blog did endorse Mr. Kelley despite the fact that he presented himself as a pro-business candidate. I really should learn that this is one of the great warning signs in any campaign - that they will run government like a business.'

So who are the candidates for The New Price Is Right?

Pat (Patrice) McCarthy (Democrat) is an auditor from PiercerCounty. It's always good to have a candidate who already knows the job description. She's worked her way up through the auditor ranks, which is impressive since I didn't know auditors even had ranks. Will restore public confidence in the office of State Auditor, which I would say is both a given for any candidate this year and a pretty low bar. Endorsements by Chris Gregoire, Norm Dicks, and Dow Constantine.

David Golden (no party preference) is a civil engineer. He is not a politician but he believes that he has skills that are easily transferable. I'm a former civil engineer. No, they don't. Not many beams that need to have their forces balanced in auditor's office.

Mark Wilson (Independent) is not a politician. But IS a professional auditor, forensic accountant, and fraud examiner. That's pretty darn impressive. He, too wants to restore public confidence. I don't know if he's a good choice for state office, but after reading his resume I want the Feds to hire him to check into Troy Kelley's activities.

Mark Miloscia (Republican) sounds like he is running against Governor Jay Inslee, and doing a much better job at it than Bill Bryant. Though the auditor's office could not correct all the laundry list of faults that are laid at the governor's doorstep, he does stake out a claim, and I would be happy if he just restored public confidence in his office. He claims to be the only candidate who has audited a variety of institutions, so he might want to compare notes with Mr. Wilson and Ms. McCarthy.

Jeff Sprung (Democrat) is liked. The Times likes him. Current AG Bob Ferguson likes him. The Stranger likes him (without delivering a death-hug). Also is not a career politician. Also claims to be the only candidate is hands-in financial audit and investigations experience (which may very well be true -there are so many factoids in each of these statements that when we get down into the weeds of who has audited what is a bit muddled). Previous Assistant US Attorney.

But you know what? I'm going with someone who has been working in the process for a while, and recommends Pat (Patrice) McCarthy.