Minnesota Moves to make Municipal Government Finances even less Transparent

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on November 5, 2015. (see original print graphic at end of article) This writer’s entire column on Examiner.com was censored within 24-48 hours of this writer submitting a credible petition on 11/06/2015 to the Minnesota Supreme Court to Remove a Minnesota District Court Judge from the bench for conspiring to perpetrate a fraud upon the Court. This writer leaves it to reader to deduce for themselves who wanted these articles censored, and why the US Government wants this writer silenced.

RebeccaOttoMNStateAuditor2015

Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto

On the last day of the 2015 Minnesota Legislative Sessions, the Minnesota Legislature voted to allow Municipal Governments (Cities, Counties, Schools, the Minnesota Metropolitan Council and similar unconstitutional Municipal Government entities, Port Authorities and Airport Commissions) to use private accounting firms instead of the State Auditors to perform audits. In this writer’s opinion, the current State Auditor, Rebecca Otto correctly takes offense to this privatizing of her office’s functions.

In response to the Minnesota Legislatures moves, State Auditor Rebecca Otto has been exploring challenging the privatizing of her office’s functions in the Courts. State Auditor Rebecca Otto announced on November 3rd, 2015 that she has already spent $100,000 in legal fees in exploring options to prevent privatizing functions of her office. You can read more about that in this article:

• State Auditor, Rebecca Otto, has now spent $100,000 on legal fees as she decides whether to sue Legislature

The effect of having private accounting firms audit Municipal Governments will be to make Municipal government finances even less transparent than they already are. The reason being Municipal governments tend to cease doing business with vendors who are critical of the Municipal Governments they do business with. To keep revenues coming, private accounting firms come to find themselves between a rock and a hard place. If irregularities show up, and the accounting firm reports them, they are likely to have their contract with the municipality terminated.

And the lack of transparency of finances in Minnesota government is already unacceptable. Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto’s efforts to confront and resist this further erosion of government transparency is laudable. Privatizing State Auditor functions does not serve the best interests of WE THE PEOPLE. Private Accounting Firms are not accountable to citizens; they do not stand for election. The Enron disaster should foreshadow all the problems with this arrangement of having private accounting firms audit government entities, in lieu of the State Auditor performing this function.

This writer’s regular readers will recall his series on the lack of transparency in Minnesota Government from a few years ago. Wright County Government greatly increased this writer’s property taxes over a few years. At the time, this writer believed these increases to stem from waste, mismanagement, corruption or fraud.

Every year beginning in 2008, this writer started asking for Wright County Government financial records, which are supposed to be a matter of public record. It is now 2015, and this writer still does not have the greatest share of those requested records. (read the articles provided for later in this article for the evasive machinations the Wright County Government went through in even releasing the paltry records they did provide)

First, Wright County said they needed a $400 (four hundred Dollars) down payment on a bill to compile the information. The final bill was estimated to run more than $1000.00 (one thousand Dollars). When confronted with how ridiculous this was, Wright County quickly ran away from that position. In the mean time I contacted the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and the Minnesota State Auditors office. Both of these organizations agreed that Wright County government should be required to produce the requested financial information, but said they did not have the power or authority to force Wright Country government to comply.

The State Auditors office referred me to a State office called “IPAD”(Information Policy Analysis Division). This government entity appears to have been set up for the specific purpose of acting as the Minnesota Government’s Appointed Federal and State Freedom of Information Act Officers. Again this group agreed that Wright County Government was required to provide the information, but the Legislature had not given them the power or authority to force compliance. IPAD said they would write a legal brief in support of my position that Wright County government must provide the requested financial information. However, IPAD said this writer would have to retain his own lawyer and pay the court fees to litigate the matter in the courts.

You can read about the Fiscal TAR(Transparency, Accountability and Reform) Movement and this writer’s personal experiences in trying to get financial records from Wright County Minnesota Government in these articles:

• Minnesota Republicans and Democrats resist Fiscal TAR (April 20, 2012)
• This Fiscal TAR Resolution passed my Minnesota Caucus in 2010 and 2012 [censored by government]
• Wright County Minnesota Massive Financial Cover Up Continues (Aug. 2, 2009) [censored by government]

Our Founder’s subscribed to a belief that government must be created with the nature of man in mind. One of the “The Cato Letters” perhaps best describes the “nature of man” that the Founder’s subscribed to:

“All men [people] have free will and are not virtuous by nature”

With this perspective of the nature of man, the Founder’s constructed our government with Checks and Balances, Transparency and Accountability.
From the statements of the Minnesota Attorney General, State Auditor and IPAD, it is clear the Minnesota Legislature’s efforts in the past have been to reduce transparency and accountability of Municipal Government.

Current State Auditor Rebecca’s Otto’s efforts to thwart this current attempt at privatization is in the best interests of rank and file Minnesotans. For the reasons previously provided, it seems clear that “privatizing” the State Auditors functions is yet one more Progressive incremental reduction in the transparency and accountability of Minnesota Municipal Governments. Additionally, private accounting firms don’t have to face re-election if the cover up of “financial irregularities” is exposed by Whistle-Blowers, etc.

“Why is it if you refuse to answer a cop’s question, you are presumed guilty but when government refuses to answer a citizen’s question, the government is not presumed guilty?”
~ Anonymous

It seems clear to this writer that the extensive machinations and reprisals of Wright County Government in refusing to provide this financial information (that is supposed to be record) that this writer has request every year since 2008, are indicative that Wright County MN Government has something to hide.

In this writer’s opinion, all Minnesotan’s should support current State Auditor Rebecca Otto’s attempts to prevent the Legislature from privatizing the functions of her office. But, in keeping with the Natural Law, upon which this country is founded, this writing leaves it to the reader to use their own observations and reasoning to establish truth for themselves.

Those were my thoughts.

Thank you for your time.

In Liberty,
Don Mashak
The Cynical Patriot

TempMinnesotaMoves

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