( – promoted by Mike “DD4RP” Rossettie)
Do you wonder why Patrick appointee Suzanne Bump is so desperate to smear Mary Z. Connaughton’s record at the State Lottery? It’s because the tax-dodging Bump is so outmatched in the race that the only card she’s got left to play is alleging that Mary Z. would almost be as bad an auditor as she’d be.
The problem for Bump is that no one is buying it — even those who should have long been in her corner. Every single newspaper in the Commonwealth has endorsed taxpayer and toll-payer advocate Mary Z. Connaughton in her bid for state auditor. Given her strengths (and the fact that she’s the only auditor running for state auditor), it’s almost no surprise that she won the crucial endorsement of the monolithically Democratic Boston Globe:
(Connaughton) has the skills to boost the professional standards of the auditor’s staff and the strong will necessary to intensify the scrutiny of state programs. Her experience at multiple levels of government – from Framingham’s town finance committee to the state lottery, where she served as chief financial officer – gives her an understanding of how public agencies operate.
(Bump) tarnished her reform credentials by accepting the endorsement of DeNucci, and then failing to criticize him for giving across-the-board raises to his staff.
More disappointing were revelations that she had claimed two residential tax breaks, each of which was intended only for primary homes. This may have been an oversight, but Bump’s initial response – to insist that she was due both breaks – hurt her credibility. Also damaging is the revelation that Bump has lagged behind not just Connaughton but candidates for other statewide offices in collecting certain identifying information from campaign donors. A candidate for auditor in particular should abide by the letter and the spirit of the law, and should try to get small details right.
In any case, Connaughton’s résumé makes her a better fit for this post, and an independent check on crucial fiscal matters.
And the Globe certainly isn’t alone.
The Globe is only the latest in a harmonic chorus of endorsements for Mary Z. Connaughton. Here’s a brief look at what newspapers across the state, from the Berkshires to the Atlantic Coast, are saying about our Mary Z:
Mary Connaughton isn’t just qualified for the auditor’s job, she’s perfect for it. A CPA certification, she says, is “a license to count.” On Nov. 2, voters should give her the chance to put that license to work.
Almost every candidate for political office promises to be a “fiscal watchdog,” but when Mary Z. Connaughton says she will fulfill that role it rings true. The Republican candidate for state auditor filled that role as a member of the Turnpike Authority, and her aggressive pursuit of transparency combined with her skills as a Certified Public Accountant will make her the kind of auditor who will shake up Beacon Hill to the benefit of voters.
Ms. Bump benefited from a loophole in the tax laws, and one of the responsibilities of an auditor is to find and close loopholes.
Our support for Mary Z. Connaughton for state auditor is simple: She is the only certified public accountant and experienced auditor in the race and, as a Republican, she will help ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent more wisely in the Democrat-laden state government. She has already gotten results as a member of the Massachusetts Turnpike board, where her investigation of faulty toll-booth sensors resulted in $196,000 being returned to motorists.
Ms. Connaughton, a Republican, has already served the state well during a stint as chief financial officer at the state lottery, and was an effective watchdog while a member of the Massachusetts Turnpike Board. The fact that she is herself a certified public accountant is not sufficient in itself, but it certainly enhances an impressive résumé.
Her Democratic opponent, former state labor secretary Suzanne M. Bump, talks a good game on improving the efficiency of government, including the performance of 16 regional work force training boards, reexamining all tax credits, and auditing the Legislature, but her record, both as a member of that Legislature, and as labor secretary, undercuts that rhetoric. Vowing to fix systems that one has had a hand in creating and maintaining, in a variety of roles, is a difficult argument to carry. And Ms. Bump’s clumsy claim to personal tax exemptions for two primary residences should raise serious questions for voters about her suitability for the position of auditor.
It’s not often voters have a chance to hire as qualified a candidate for the job as Connaughton is for state auditor. It’s too good a chance to pass up.
That’s an awful lot of support for Mary Z., and it will go an awful long way to getting her elected a week from now. Sorry, Suzanne — you may make a fine bureaucrat and Patrick loyalist, but when it comes to auditing, every newspaper in the state agrees: You’re better off leaving that job to a professional like Mary Z. Connaughton.