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Campaign 2010

A watchdog for the state

October 25, 2010

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What the auditor does: The office of the state auditor conducts audits of state agencies to determine if money is being spent appropriately. The auditor also gives recommendations for making programs more efficient and can audit local governments on request.

Suzanne M. Bump
Democrat
Age: 54
Great Barrington
Served as Governor Deval Patrick’s secretary of labor and workforce development from 2007 to late 2009.
Served as a state representative representing Braintree for four terms from 1985 to 1993.
Lawyer and lobbyist

Her plans for the office:
Simplify the state’s health care program and recommend ways to consolidate administration to make it easier for consumers to navigate.

Review corporate tax credits and exemptions to determine whether the state is getting jobs and economic lift out of the tax cuts. Require companies to pay back state aid if they don’t meet their job-creation targets.

Make sure no taxpayers wonder whether anyone in government is watching out for them; whether a dollar they give to government is a dollar well spent; or whether their services could be compromised by failing bureaucracies or dishonest vendors.

Mary Z. Connaughton
Republican
Age: 50
Framingham
Former outspoken member of the board of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority
Partner in the business development firm Ascentage Group.
Former chief financial officer of the Massachusetts State Lottery and an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2004.

Her plans for the office:
Conduct an overall risk assessment of all state agencies and authorities and target those at the highest risk for performance and program audits.

Perform financial assessments of major bills to determine the true costs of legislation, similar to the Congressional Budget Office.

Ensure no one is exempt from independent audits — including the Legislature and the office of the state auditor itself.