Democrat Jon Neiderbach running for State Auditor

Jon Neiderbach announced this morning that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Iowa state auditor in 2014. An attorney, Neiderbach served a term on the Des Moines School Board and worked in state government for many years, first at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and later at the Iowa Department of Human Services. I’ve posted more background on Neiderbach after the jump, along with the introductory post from his campaign website, Realtaxpayerswatchdog.com. In that post, he praised the work of longtime Republican State Auditor Richard Johnson but argued that "recent State Auditors have violated our trust."

They have myopia, looking only at what is close to them: how money is handled. Of course money handling is very important, but they ignore the larger and even more critical issues the State Auditor is required by law to address.

Our recent State Auditors have not examined the quality of management, the efficiency of operations, or the effectiveness of programs. They have allowed theft and fraud to go undiscovered for years, using clearly inadequate auditing procedures. And to make matters worse, recent State Auditors have gotten involved in politics: they have become spokespersons for Governor Branstad’s policies and rubber stamps for the political cronies he has appointed.

Neiderbach is referring to Johnson’s successor David Vaudt, who served as state auditor from 2003 through April of this year, and to Mary Mosiman, whom Governor Terry Branstad appointed after Vaudt resigned.

Neiderbach will discuss his campaign to become “Iowa’s Chief Accountability Officer” with people at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines on November 2. He is encouraging voters to call him at (515) 984-0021 or contact him via e-mail: realtaxpayerswatchdog AT gmail.com.

I am not aware of other candidates planning to challenge Mosiman next year. In 2010, Jon Murphy did not enter the race against Vaudt until after the Democratic primary.  

Excerpt from introductory post at Jon Neiderbach’s website:

As State Auditor I will ferret out bad management and inefficiency and carefully measure program effectiveness. I’ll look at the value taxpayers get for government spending. When there is a problem I’ll keep taxpayers informed. In short, I will be Iowa’s Chief Accountability Officer.

The State Auditor is the “taxpayers’ watchdog”, responsible for finding situations where government is wasteful or inefficient, and sounding the alarm when programs aren’t delivering. The State Auditor’s job is to make government accountable.

Years ago, Richard Johnson was elected State Auditor six times because we knew we could trust him to hold politicians accountable. He frequently feuded with Governor Branstad, despite belonging to the same party, because he put the need for good government ahead of any concern for good politics. Johnson called it like he saw it. That’s what we need a State Auditor to do.

Unfortunately recent State Auditors have violated our trust by not doing their job. They have myopia, looking only at what is close to them: how money is handled. Of course money handling is very important, but they ignore the larger and even more critical issues the State Auditor is required by law to address.

Our recent State Auditors have not examined the quality of management, the efficiency of operations, or the effectiveness of programs. They have allowed theft and fraud to go undiscovered for years, using clearly inadequate auditing procedures. And to make matters worse, recent State Auditors have gotten involved in politics: they have become spokespersons for Governor Branstad’s policies and rubber stamps for the political cronies he has appointed.

Please join me in bringing accountability back to Iowa government. I ask for your donation (either with a check made out to “Neiderbach for Iowa” and sent to 642 Polk Blvd, Des Moines, IA 50312 or online using the button on the right. I also ask you to sign up below to help collect nominating petition signatures and for campaign updates.

Short bio provided by the candidate:

Jon Neiderbach graduated from Grinnell College in 1978 and from law school at the University of Oregon in 1981. Jon worked for the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (now known as the Legislative Services Agency) from 1981 to 1996, and for the Iowa Department of Human Services from 1997 to  2012.  In 2000 Jon was elected to the Des Moines School Board, and he was Board President during 2003-2004. He has been active in PTA and neighborhood associations, and he has served on the boards of several non-profits. Jon’s wife Mary is a planner with the City of Des Moines.

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