There are 5 candidates running for Massachusetts State Auditor:
|» Suzanne Bump (D)|
|» Guy Glodis (D)|
|» Mike Lake (D)|
|» Mary Connaughton (R)|
|» Kamal Jain (R)|
|» Nat Fortune (G)|
What does the State Auditor do?
The office of the state auditor (OSA) provides oversight into state agencies to make sure that funds are being spent legally, wisely and for the purposes intended by the legislature. The OSA is a watchdog agency that looks out for such things as:
- lax financial controls which could result in state money being embezzled
- conflicts of interest in awarding state contract
- fraud, waste etc.
State Auditor is a position where political party or ideology matters less Â than the auditor being someone with experience understanding how large organizations are funded, what are good accounting practices and most importantly someone with the highest level of integrity and honesty.
Our current long serving state auditor, Joe DeNucci, has been in office since 1987 and will be retiring this year. As with most elected offices, when a seat opens up, it attracts a large number of candidates. The following biographical information was taken from the candidate’s web sites. I’ve pared the articles down to focus on their specific experience.
Suzanne Bump is a former state secretary of labor and workforce development, and a former 4-term State Representative from Braintree.
As a state representative she was House chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee where she wrote a sweeping Worker’s Compensation Reform Act of 1991, which is widely credited as a successful reform, which both saved businesses money on worker’s compensation insurance, but also created a fairer and more streamlined process for making claims. One of the main benefit of the faster process is that it saved everyone on the then excessive legal fees.
In 2007 she was appointed to run the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOWLD) where she has been successful in greatly improving what had been a moribund state agency. She started by modernizing the agency’s computer and telephone systems. One of the jobs of the EOWLD is helping to resolve disputes between state agencies and employee unions. She has streamlined a process the used to take 2-3 years to one that now takes 2-3 months.
Mike was born and raised in Melrose, Massachusetts by a single mother who had to work full-time to support Mike and his younger sister.
When it came time to choose his final Northeastern University co-op he jumped at the opportunity to serve at the White House. Â During his co-op, Mike showed initiative and brought a unique perspective to his position, particularly in designing a new database to streamline billing processes that earned him an official appointment to President Bill Clinton’s White House staff. Â While serving as Special Assistant for White House Operations, Mike was assigned to manage the day-to-day operations of the White House. Â He met that challenge by streamlining procedures and introducing new and innovative ideas in the $54 million government agency.
Mike Lake is the executive director of the World Class Cities partnership at Northeastern University. He previously served as director of development at the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimac Valley.
Guy Glodis was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1996, and then to the State Senate in 1998. He advocated reforming the bilingual education system into an English immersion format. During his first term, Guy defended Harvard Pilgrim members by advocating for legislation to require state intervention when an HMO approaches bankruptcy.
During his tenure in the State Senate, Guy was appointed Chairman of the Legislatureâ€™s Joint Committee on Public Safety, through which he would be responsible for all police and fire support, as well as anti-terrorism, efforts. For his efforts, Guy was recognized as Legislator of the Year by the State Police Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, and the Massachusetts Corrections Officers Federated Union.
At the conclusion of his service as Public Safety Chairman, Guy was selected to Chair the pivotal Joint Committee on Insurance. Chairman Glodis was the lead sponsor on initiatives to ban the use of credit scoring in setting insurance premiums, expand financial disclosure for insurance companies, lower auto insurance rates, prevent insurance fraud, and expand mandatory benefits for health plan members.
Guy was electedÂ Worcester County Sheriff in 2004 on a platform aimed at professionalizing and modernizing the Sheriff’s Office.Â Â Throughout his 6-year term, he implemented more than 50 new reforms and programs, including: national accreditation by the American Correctional Association, an anti-nepotism hiringÂ policy, mandatory promotional testing, Almost Home halfway house, Reverse 911 countywide alert system, Substance Treatment Opportunity Program (STOP), Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, and many more.Â Â Due to the success of these initiatives, Guy was honored with the New England Council of Crime and Delinquency Manson-Robinson Award for Innovation, a feature in American Jails Magazine, the Patrice O’Malley Hagan Award from Pernet Family Health Services, among others.
Mary Z. Connaughton isÂ theÂ ONLY CPA in theÂ raceÂ and was trained as an auditorÂ at Ernst & Young.Â Mary believes that government should work for the people. As a member of the Turnpike Authority board of directors, where she served from 2005 to 2009, she was an outspoken advocate for greater efficiency, transparency and accountability.Â She also served on the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and recommends disciplinary action if warranted.
Mary is currently a partner in the business development firm of Ascentage Group. Prior to that, among other positions she has held are: Chief Financial Officer of the Massachusetts State Lottery; Vice-Chairman of the Framingham Finance Committee; Accounting Instructor at Framingham State College; and Auditor (Senior Manager) at Ernst & Young in the Entrepreneurial Services division. She has also worked as an accountant both independently and for a local firm.
She earned an M.B.A from Assumption CollegeÂ (class ofÂ 2010)Â and a B.B.A. in Accounting and a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.Â Â She also spent two summers studying English literature at the Trinity College, Oxford University Summer Seminar program. She is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Mary grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Framingham.Â She is married with three children, Phillip, Paul and Ben.Â Mary enjoys running, writing, golf and directing summer family theatre.
KamalÂ Jain is a first generation American, born to Indian immigrants.Â He was born in Camden, New Jersey and has lived in Massachusetts since he was 8 months old.Â He grew up in Framingham and Marlborough.Â Jain lived in Worcester and Littleton prior to moving to Lowell where he currently lives in the Acre neigborhood.
Kamal Jain has performed volunteer disaster relief, community activism, and search and rescue work, worked as an emergency medical technician and security guard. Most of his career, however, has been working in high-tech in a variety of roles, predominantly for start-up companies in technology operations and customer service management roles. As a businessman, he has had to meet payrolls, get the job done under budget and ahead of deadline, prune waste and inefficiency, hire and fire, lay off employees â€“ and even lay himself off.
Jainâ€™s twenty-plus years of business and technology experience in the private sector make him uniquely qualified for the role of State Auditor.Â His ability to understand both complex systems and human interactions have allowed him to improve service while reducing costs and eliminating waste â€” concepts foreign to our state government.
Nat Fortune is associate professor of physics at Smith College in Northampton MA, where he teaches courses in physics and environmental science, with an emphasis on renewable energy. He was first elected to his town of Whatelyâ€™s school committee in 2003, re-elected in 2006 and 2009, and currently serves as its chair. Under Natâ€™s leadership, the school has carried out a series of energy audits and improvements that have reduced its energy usage by more than 30%. In 2006 Nat received the Massachusetts Association of School Committeeâ€™s All-State School Committee Award for his maps and analysis of inequities in state and local contributions to education funding, analysis that directly lead to improvements in state funding. In 2007 the Whately Selectboard dedicated the townâ€™s annual report to Nat and his wife Joyce for their efforts on behalf of the town and schools.