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LWV League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund
State of Ohio November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

L. Michael Howard
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Auditor of State; State of Ohio


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Ohio and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. What would you do to enforce Ohio's sunshine laws and open-records policy, given increased difficulty in accessing public records?

The Auditor of State used to have a unit devoted solely to educating officials about open records requirements, and that function will be continued. Officials should error on the side of transparency and full disclosure with the public`s records. The Auditor also can and should monitor and comment on proposed laws and regulations pertaining to open records. The only ―enforcement‖ the Auditor is reporting upon instances of violations of open records laws noted in audits.

2. What are your priorities for the auditor's office?

The highest priority is maintaining and expanding professionalism. The Auditor of State is one of the largest professional auditing groups in the State of Ohio; the taxpayers deserve to have a professional auditor. I would strengthen and expand to the extent possible the fraud audit function, and the advisory groups that actually help local and state governmental agencies, the Local Government Services group and the Performance Audit group. I would attempt to legally change the priority of the Auditor`s office from routine financial and compliance audits, which would be more privatized, to performance audits emphasizing investigating governmental efficiency and results, including using comparative date from the private sector. I will be a full-time Auditor for the entire team, not running for some other office or putting political advisors on the State`s payroll.

3. How would you help local and state government agencies deal with the fiscal challenges they are facing today?

The Auditor of State is in the unique position of observing thousands of units of government, some operating efficiently and effectively, and some not. From that, ―best practices‖ can be gleaned and disseminated widely to program and other managers. The Auditor also has a performance audit function that can be used to help specific entities develop more efficient ways of delivering services. However, it needs to expand its ―peer‖ group comparisons to include private sector entities. The Auditor`s Local Government Services group also should be expanded to render more effective and targeted management advice. Of course, routine audit results also may be used to show governments how they are using their resources currently and how they might be able to use them more efficiently.

4. As a member of the Apportionment Board, what approaches would you support to ensure an open, fair and transparent process for redistricting?

After every decennial federal census, the Ohio Apportionment Board meets to realign Ohio General Assembly Districts. Whichever political party of the state`s duopoly parties controls this board always gerrymanders these districts to arrogate to itself as much political power as possible, regardless of whether that benefits Ohio`s citizens or not. That`s why the districts are so misshapen and fail to meet the criteria I feel are necessary in creating such districts. I will vote for no apportionment plan that fails to meet the ―3COM‖ criteria:  COMpact  COMpetitive  COMmonality of interests Compact means no more skinny little misshapen districts drawn to favor one duopoly party or the other. Competitive means that any candidate from any party, including Libertarians and other independents, have a roughly equal chance of representing citizens. Commonality of interest means that persons who share common values and interests are in the same district.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. Word limits apply for each question. Direct references to opponents are not permitted.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 24, 2010 18:09
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