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(96,736 posts)
Fri May 19, 2023, 11:06 PM May 2023

The Most Dangerous Democrat in Iowa

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Lasher (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: The Atlantic

he third graders were not interested in meeting the state auditor.

It was career day at Samuelson Elementary School in Des Moines, and Rob Sand had assembled a table in the gymnasium alongside a dozen other grown-ups with jobs. All the other adults had brought props: the man from the bathroom-remodeling company handed out yellow rubber ducks, a local doctor let the kids poke and prod a model heart, and an engineer showed off a long, silly-looking tube that had something to do with the mass production of hot dogs.

Sand had packed only a stack of fliers, and for an hour, the rail-thin auditor stood alone while most of the children gave him a wide berth. At one point, a little girl with braids approached him cautiously: “What’s auditing?” she asked. Sand was excited. “Auditing, well, it’s about finding the truth,” he told her, crouching down. “And it usually has to do with where money’s going or whether people are following the rules.” But the little girl wasn’t listening anymore. She was staring at the hot-dog tube.

Sand has spent the past two months practically begging people to care about his job. Iowa Republicans passed a bill in March limiting the auditor’s access to information, against the Democrat’s loud objections, and the governor is expected to sign it soon. People on both sides of the political aisle told me that the bill is a blatantly partisan move meant to defang the last remaining Democrat in a statewide elected position. Republicans in Iowa are so determined to crush their opponents, in other words, that they’re going after a man whose office most of their constituents don’t even know exists.

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2023/05/democrat-rob-sand-iowa-statewide-office/674109/
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(37,196 posts)
1. The freedoms red states want removed are freedoms that help children and citizens obtain informa
Fri May 19, 2023, 11:14 PM
May 2023

tion. From Gym Jordan's info censoring star chamber to county libraries...
They are so afraid of people knowing how things work, because when people do, right wing fascist rethugs get kicked out.

Red states are not family-friendly states now. Because once they've already come for the non-male, non-white, non-christian people, they come for every damn body else. Children are right to be suspicious of them.


(96,736 posts)
2. Per a conversation I've been having with him...
Sat May 20, 2023, 12:13 AM
May 2023

(he's a personal friend), I think he's planning to run for Governor in 26.


(150,730 posts)
3. Rob Sand is a personal friend of a current DU'er.
Sat May 20, 2023, 01:13 AM
May 2023

I've taken an interest in him and his ideas. He's smart, focused and knows his job inside and out.

If he runs for Governor, I will be there to support him.


(22,778 posts)
4. My career choice while in college, auditing. However, I touched upon IT years before graduating
Sat May 20, 2023, 01:39 AM
May 2023

and thus, went into IT instead, thank god. But, someone got to do it. Auditing ensures that the money goes to where it should be going (as well as all of the inputs and outputs of incoming funds/outgoing funds). I suspect that this attitude on the behalf of the republicans in the state (shut the auditor down, etc.) won't play a very favorable tune to bankers and those who issue bonds and such based upon the state's credit behavior, books, etc. Thus, I expect that the credit worthiness of the state will eventually suffer.

This poor guy (Mr. Sand) has been struggling to gain an audience, I can somewhat empathize, after all, auditing and talking about it are rather dry topics.

But the fraud and stealing that may occur (and found because of auditing) isn't so easy to really hide in the books, when you have an aggressive auditor go out and actually count the number of gadgets that should be on hand according to the books, how much cash should be on hand in safe number 1, etc. (auditing is basically confirming what the books say should be there, as well as what the law says should be there, some states have laws that certain amounts of money should be there, etc.). Perhaps this is why these republicans (and not just in Iowa) but other states I've noticed where they've shut out the auditor), there is some dirty shenanigans going on. If I were a bondholder or looking to buy bonds, I would not touch any of Iowa's bonds anymore. Same goes for other states that I know that republicans have done a run-about around their auditors.

So be aware and alert w/ your investment dollars.


(36,581 posts)
8. Never paid much attention to auditing
Sat May 20, 2023, 05:01 AM
May 2023

But it is required of our union locals. It’s a good thing. Just the notice that there will be accountability at some point keeps money where it should be.


(17,760 posts)
5. Kick!
Sat May 20, 2023, 02:03 AM
May 2023


(55,354 posts)
6. Rob scares the living crap out of Iowa Republicans
Sat May 20, 2023, 02:14 AM
May 2023

He is smart, dedicated and honest. He is also as home-grown as they get, coming from a tiny farm town in rural Iowa of about 8000 people. That terrifies Iowa Republicans, none of which possess all of those attributes. He gets a lot of local—i.e. Iowa—interview time, because he IS such an accessible figure. He can smell corruption from far away like a shark can smell two drops of blood in the water. Republicans don‘t like state auditors who can do that. It endangers too many of them.

Quite a few years ago, when Rob, a longtime friend, as Peggy pointed out, was in his first campaign to challenge the sitting Republican State Auditor (notice Republicans felt no need to limit the office‘s power then), I told him he should talk to a seasoned pro, such as Howard Dean. He said he would love a chance to talk to Howard Dean, but had no idea how he could manage it. I said, oh, that‘s the easy part. I called Howard on my cell phone, told him about Rob, and asked if he could talk to him for a few minutes. Howard said sure, put him on, and I handed the phone to Rob. I thought they would talk for five minutes. Instead, they talked for half an hour. I didn‘t listen in, but Rob DID win the election, unseating the Republican tool previously holding the office. As Brooklynite noted, he was the only Democrat to win a statewide election that year—or in subsequent years! No wonder the Iowa Republicans are scared of him. He embodies all that is good about Iowa—their polar opposite.


(5,483 posts)
9. Heh... 'tiny'...
Sat May 20, 2023, 07:50 AM
May 2023

Being from a town of 493, and the next town (where my mother is from) of 156, I love it when people call a place with 8000 people 'tiny'.


(11,883 posts)
7. rather surprised that the article
Sat May 20, 2023, 02:27 AM
May 2023

didn't hit harder on the glaring hypocrisy - of the party that hawks fiscal conservatism and responsible tax dollar spending - hand-cuffing and hamstringing the watchdog of public funds and government programs. What cold be more central to this story - and what is really transpiring with this legislation? (and better illustrate the radical, and radically new, Republican agenda?)

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(27,882 posts)
10. Locking, we see this as feature/analysis
Sat May 20, 2023, 11:10 AM
May 2023

And as such, is more appropriate in the GD Forum. Good story, though.

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