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TAG | integrity
by Ken Martin, Chairman, Minnesota DFL
Rebecca Otto, the DFL-endorsed two-term incumbent, is perhaps the most nationally recognized State Auditor in Minnesota history. She is the only Minnesota State Auditor to win the National Excellence in Accountability Award, and the only one ever to serve as President of the National State Auditors Association.
Otto’s peers – people who do the work of auditing, which is essentially verifying the truth of something – named her one of the 15 most influential government auditors in America by their worldwide, private-sector association, which cited her “courage, integrity and leadership.”
This is why Matt Entenza, her challenger in the Aug. 12 primary, is talking about things that have nothing to do with the State Auditor’s Office.
Entenza’s latest tactic is to carpet bomb the state with negative literature claiming Rebecca Otto voted for Voter ID. Just one problem. Rebecca Otto has never voted for Voter ID; she campaigned against it. I know. I was with her when she worked against the Voter ID amendment.
On July 24, a three-judge panel unanimously rejected Entenza’s claims about Rebecca Otto and Voter ID, as reported by the Star Tribune.
Despite the ruling, an Entenza mailer began arriving in homes the very next day repeating the claims. Minnesotans like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and to some, this could be dismissed as a simple case of bad taste and worse timing.
However, even after the three-judge panel ruled against Entenza he sent a second mailer also claiming that Rebecca Otto had voted for Voter ID and “denied access” to voters. This is simply not true.
Entenza should know better, he is running for the top elected financial office in Minnesota. If he is willing to mislead voters even after a three-judge panel ruled against him, how can he be trusted to provide those same voters with honest transparency and accountability over government finances?
Integrity and honesty matter in government. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Readers may remember how Entenza was forced to drop out of the Minnesota Attorney General’s race after it was revealed he had hired an investigator to dig up dirt on incumbent Attorney General Mike Hatch, who was by then the DFL-endorsed candidate for Governor. Then there is the pattern of Entenza campaign finance violations, going back more than a decade.
These things should give voters pause when considering Entenza as a possible State Auditor – the person charged with overseeing more than $20 billion of their hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
The State Auditor needs to be someone that the citizens of Minnesota can trust will be honest, fair and filled with integrity. Those of us who have followed Entenza’s career have deep reservations about his ability to bring those things to this important office.