Sand says the auditor’s office belongs to all Iowans

Rob Sand says he registered as an independent when he first registered to vote and doesn’t believe any party has a monopoly on good ideas. In his first term as auditor, Sand says his leadership team has included a Republican, a Democrat and an independent.

“I don’t want a conversation where everyone is looking at something from the same angle, trying to decide what it is,” Sand said Tuesday at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair. “I want a conversation where people have different perspectives that they share with me so that we make sure that we’re looking at something from all angles.”

Sand was at the fair making his case for a second term in office, touting efforts like his PIE (Public Innovations and Efficiencies) program for state and local governments. He says Mississippi officials reached out to him about adopting the program in their state. Sand also touted the hiring of four employees with law enforcement backgrounds who could help his team’s investigations hold up in court.

He told the small gathering at the fairgrounds that he wants an office that can help the state run more efficiently and hold people accountable when they try to steal taxpayer dollars. And, Sand says, he wants all Iowans to feel like his office is watching over them.

“I want you to come to our office, and I want you to tell me things that people in positions of trust and power have done wrong. And it doesn’t matter who they are, how they’re registered, or who they vote for. . We take those complaints seriously,” he said. to say.

In May, Gov. Kim Reynolds told supporters at a campaign event that she wanted an auditor who wouldn’t try to sue her every time they turned around. Sand has led several investigations into Reynolds’ office, including his use of COVID-19 relief funds to pay staff salaries and buy a software system. Reynolds’ office returned that money in late 2020 after the U.S. Treasury Office of the Inspector General said it was not a permissible use of CARES Act money. But Sand says his office has also led investigations that cast the Reynolds administration in a favorable light, such as one earlier this year showing Iowa health officials had accurately reported COVID-19 data the first year of the pandemic.

Sand faces a challenge from Republican Todd Halbur, who plans to speak on the soapbox Saturday.

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