Letter to the Editor: In defense of state auditor candidate Rob Sand


State-auditor candidate Rob Sand ‘prioritizes public interest over his personal politics.’

I write to respond to “State auditor candidate sells campaign by highlighting political views and inexperience” by Marina Jaimes.

I have known Rob Sand since before I decided to attend the University of Iowa. He helped me through parts of my college application and selection process, and we have kept in touch over the years. He has also visited the University of Iowa Phi Alpha Delta pre-law chapter to talk about his work in Iowa’s courtrooms.

I know from our relationship, and also from his work as a financial-crimes prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Office, that there is no better nor more qualified candidate to serve as state auditor.

RELATED: Sand eyes changes in state Auditor’s Office

Iowans from all walks of life have served as state auditor. We have had teachers, farmers, Realtors, businessmen, and accountants. Rob’s background is particularly well-suited to the job, however, because as Iowa’s top public-corruption prosecutor he has worked closely with the public-corruption investigations from the State Auditor’s Office. He knows how the office needs a prosecutor involved every step of the way to make sure those investigations can hold up in court. His background will provide Iowans with much more value than just adding another accountant to an office that already has dozens of them.

In addition, I can tell you that he is honest and leads with integrity. These are significant qualifiers for the state auditor. He regularly praises former Republican State Auditor Richard Johnson’s stump speech for Johnson’s independence. Rob has prosecuted both Democrats and Republicans. Although he is a Democrat and doesn’t shy away from that, he absolutely prioritizes public interest over his personal politics.

RELATED: Jaimes: State auditor candidate sells campaign by highlighting political views and inexperience

That is more than what the current state auditor can say, who called last year’s budget “stable, balanced, and responsible” even though every three months the budget was cut and the state had to borrow more than $100 million to get through the end of the fiscal year. If those adjectives do not make sense to describe that budget, it makes more sense when you realize that the state auditor belongs to the same political party as the governor and the legislative majority that made the budget.

Rob also understands the State Auditor’s Office has a bully pulpit on the state’s financial issues. He knows that standing up for important investments such as higher education is a priority in any responsible budget. When he names the budget’s failure to take care of those priorities, and names the political party responsible for them, that is not partisanship. It is the truth. And it is time that we have more political candidates who stand up for it.

— Lilián Sánchez

[Note from the editor: The author of this piece is listed on the candidate’s website as a member of the campaign committee. “Lilian Sanchez, Iowa City, University of Iowa elected student leader.”]

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