Primary guide: Auditor
Here’s a look at the candidates on the Sept. 4 primary ballot, with biographies reported and compiled by Globe staff and correspondents. Candidates have also filled out a brief survey at our request.
Responsible for auditing the accounts, programs, activities, and functions of the state’s departments, offices, commissions, and institutions.
Suzanne M. Bump
Before becoming state auditor in 2011, Bump, 62, served as secretary of labor and workforce development under then-Governor Deval Patrick. She also represented Braintree in the State House from 1985 to 1993. She has served as legal counsel for and member on several nonprofit boards, according to her website. She lives in Easton.
Why are you uniquely suited for this office, and what can you deliver in it that your opponent cannot? My leadership has moved us into the top ranks of government accountability offices. Our data analytics have identified more than $1.3 billion in waste, misspending, and fraud, have improved agency operations and public service, and have won national accolades.
It’s January 2019. If re-elected, what’s the first priority on your to-do list? Using our new risk detection capabilities, I will focus on agencies whose operations are wasting public resources and/or failing to deliver promised services. I will also continue to find savings in the Masshealth program through both better fraud detection and improved administration.
Which one of your audits has had the most substantive change for the people of the Commonwealth during your tenure? Our MassHealth audits have identified hundreds of millions of dollars in improper spending and fraud, but the audits of the Department of Children and Families have given social workers more tools to keep children in state custody safe and healthy. The value of that impact is incalculable.
What areas of state government should receive closer scrutiny? My largest area of concern lies in the contracting out of basic government services, since state agencies might not be able to manage such contracts effectively to ensure proper spending and good service outcomes. The MBTA is not the only agency with a poor record.
What’s the best beach in Massachusetts? Time will never erase and experience will never replicate the many thrills of childhood days at Nantasket Beach in Hull.
Raised in South Weymouth, Brady, 55, has spent the past 30 years working at the Boston Symphony Orchestra as director of group sales, according to her website. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is now a member of the Steering Committee for Women For UMass. She lives in Concord.
Why are you uniquely suited for this office, and what can you deliver to it that the incumbent cannot? Simply, I’m a hardworking, law-abiding taxpayer who’s tired of seeing our tax dollars wasted. This is the essence of my campaign. I’ll offer solutions that squeeze the most out of every taxpayer funded agency because I’m beholden to no one. That’s something our incumbent is unable to deliver
It’s January 2019. If elected, what’s the first priority on your to-do list? It’s clear that DCF is overwhelmed by an increasing caseload exacerbated by the opioid crisis. An audit of DCF that isn’t politically motivated, should empower our most vulnerable. I’ll support Baker-Polito Administration efforts and will ensure DCF meets the needs of families and children.
What audit could the incumbent have done, but didn’t, that could have had the most positive effect on the people of Massachusetts? As a UMass alum, I understand the value of public education. Unfortunately, tuition rose by 30 percent over the last 8 years. Yet our Auditor never examined the finances of the entire UMass system. Our students deserve an ally who will fight for them to have a high-quality, affordable education.
What areas of state government should receive closer scrutiny than they do currently? Although a formal audit of the state legislature is not constitutionally permissible, I will keep watch over the ways the House and Senate spends our hard earned tax dollars and will raise red flags when I deem their actions to be suspicious such as the emergency legislation to raise their pay.
What’s the best beach in Massachusetts? I’d rather keep that a secret!
California native and software architect Daniel Fishman, 50, moved to Massachusetts in 1994, according to his website, and lives in Beverly. In 2012, Fishman lost a run as a libertarian candidate for the Sixth District in Congress. In 2013, he started campaigning for a seat in the US Senate, but he eventually withdrew his candidacy.
Why are you uniquely suited for this office, and what can you deliver to it that the incumbent cannot? As a computer scientist I understand the added value that we can get by automating much of the work the auditor is neglecting to do. And as a Libertarian, I owe no favors to state employees hired for political patronage. The referee shouldn’t be wearing the jersey of one of the teams.
It’s January 2019. If elected, what’s the first priority on your to-do list? Publishing a daily report of how much money each agency took in and how much they spent yesterday. I would use [the Office of Campaign and Political Finance as a model in the way they currently track candidate receipts and expenditures via bank activity. Publishing and charting this data allow the people and media greater insight.
What audit could the incumbent have done, but didn’t, that could have had the most positive effect on the people of Massachusetts? The State Police. The people were defrauded and the good troopers on the State Police have had their reputation tarnished by a very few bad eggs. The current auditor is guilty of at best willful ignorance and at worst the tragic political favoritism that nauseates us all and costs us money.
What areas of state government should receive closer scrutiny? The executives. The auditor cost tax payers $115,000 in a suit she had to settle for campaigning out of her office. Now she is busted AGAIN in 2018 for having staff campaign for her while getting paid by you and me! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Massachusetts government per usual.
What’s the best beach in Massachusetts? Crane Beach in Ipswich is the best, but I have to give a shout out to the beach where I learned to swim -- Stoney Beach in Woods Hole!
An asterisk (*) notes campaign representatives said they filled out the survey questions on behalf of the candidates.
The Globe’s primary guide was written by Globe correspondents Matt Stout, Marek Mazurek, Sophia Eppolito, and Jamie Halper, as well as Joshua Miller, Maria Cramer, Michael Levenson, Milton J. Valencia and Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe staff.
It was compiled and edited by Shira Center, and produced by Christina Prignano.