Comments about ‘Election results: Utah auditor, Auston Johnson vs. John Dougall’

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Published: Wednesday, June 27 2012 12:09 a.m. MDT

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JWB
Kaysville, UT

It will be a shame to have a person that tried to take GRAMA away to have hidden government and non-open and is not bound by ethical standards as a CPA is.

I guess people in Utah wanted that.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

It is interesting that the elected State Auditor has a responsibility to the public to be an open forum for ensuring an ethical audit is done. John Dougall has an interesting past with HB477 as the sponsor of a bill that would have made it better for legislators and potentially governmental employees to be protected by GRAMA. He wanted a person seeking disclosure of the record to establish with a “preponderance of evidence” that public interest outweighs the interest favoring restriction of access. Some of the language was considered so disconcerting that language was removed in HB 477 that would have shut off access to whole classes of government communications. In an earlier 2009 case the Utah Supreme Court held to the intent language of the 1991 GRAMA. Dougall stated that is not what the legislature intended, even though he was not a member of the legislature in 1991. He stated, “The intent language is supposed to set up statutory stuff, not trump it.”

JWB
Kaysville, UT

It will be interesting how he will mix politics with his job as State Auditor as he will force government agencies to open their books to get good CPA type audits from a non-CPA. How many people would get on an airliner with a pilot that was qualified to fly a Cessna but not a Boeing 767? This person isn’t even the Cessna pilot type of CPA. At least a Cessna pilot would know some of the language the air traffic controller was saying, even though he might not know the 767 operations. He knows you add power to takeoff and pullback power to land but not too much in between. He would know how to set in frequencies on the radios, maybe.

I guess the President of the United States chose a person as Secretary of the Treasury who didn't pay income taxes and worked around that. He has shown us he can't come up with a working or legislative budget to run our country. Maybe the voters in Utah have chosen the same type of individual for State Auditor, the author of HB477. Open and fair auditing with someone who hides in GRAMA?

dalefarr
South Jordan, Utah

another extreme politician put in what should be a professional office. Maybe its time to make the offices of attorney general, auditor and treasurer non partisan.

y19guy
salt lake city, UT

If its an elected office its political. There is no requirement that a CPA head the office of auditor. This GRANMA thing is ancient history to your average voter. What voters remember is that Dougall tried to change/end the very unpopular vehicle safety inspection program, and was able to reduce inspections from every two years to every four. This has a real financial impact on your average motorist. A lot of votes came from this, mine did, in fact I changed parties to vote for Dougall. The average voter also distrusts people that have been in office too long as becoming entrenched bureaucrats. Dougall promised he'd step down after 10 years, and he kept that promise. He also demonstrated that he is frugal, he paid for his own computer and cell phone while in office. Your average hard pressed voter appreciates that their tax money didn't go to pay for these perks. Austin Johnson may be a very nice person, I'm sure he is, but Dougall visibly earned the respect of the public, and so he won.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

GRAMA isn't ancient history. It is what government in Utah goes by. Dougall is very political and State Auditor, even though elected through the party system, is and should be a professional. He used his own computer and cell phone was to not have to any government computer with his communication. He knows GRAMA and his government computer would not have anything one it, not that he was FRUGAL. I am sure the government still paid for a computer and cell phone for him, as he would produce those for a GRAMA request and they would be empty. We need an Auditor that is elected politically but not of that mindset. We will most likely have real politician and one that is not a CPA or an accountant doing that type of oversight.

The Democrats have Mark Sage an internationally certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and has over 33 years federal service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Navy (enlisted), and United States Air Force (civilian). He was responsible for planning, budgeting, managing, executing and accounting for multiple government contracts worth millions of taxpayers’ dollars.

He sounds as if he has qualifications and experience to trump.

y19guy
salt lake city, UT

Sounds like Mark Sage doesn't have a CPA either, but suddenly he has more qualifications and experience? I think the white elephant standing in the room is really the safety inspection program. Those pesky voters just don't want to vote how they "should", they vote how they want to, just like they don't want some nanny-state bureaucrats telling them how they should take care of their vehicles.

Practical007
SYRACUSE, UT

Although his relationship with GRAMA is troubling, it is not the biggest problem with John Dougall becoming State Auditor. The foundation of his attack on Auston Johnson is that he doesn't foucus on auditing the controls of Medicaid and allowed split-biased transactions to occur at DABC. The constitutional role of the State Aditor, however, is not to address these issues. Althought he Legislative Auditor General's DABC report states that the Office of the State Auditor had concerning findings with DABC, contrary to Dougall's claim. Ultimately, though, the State Auditor is to attest to the material accuracy of the state's CAFR. It is not his constituional role to audit the controls, or lack thereof, found in Medicaid. For someone like Dougall who believes so vehemently in constitutional limits on government, I am suprised that he has criticized Johnson for not stepping out of his constituionally defined role and that he has stated that he himself intends to do so.

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