An Interview with State Auditor Candidate Ryan Wilson

Austin Lentz, Editor

Minnesota Republic: What does the State Auditor do?

State Auditor Candidate Ryan Wilson: “State Auditor is important because it is the only statewide elected official that is tasked with overseeing taxpayer dollars and making sure that money is not getting wasted, stolen, or abused. So the state auditor oversees over 4,500 local governments so that’s counties, cities, school districts and it really ensures that those tax dollars are going to those things that they are supposed to go to.” 

MNR: Why are you running for State Auditor?

RW: “The reason I am running for state auditor is because I want to help get Minnesota back on track. We’ve been through a lot these last four years, and Minnesotans want to know that their hard-earned tax dollars are going to where they are supposed to. We’ve seen pretty big scandals and pretty big cost overruns, and governments not being accountable to their budgets and I knew that with my background, I could do something about that. I could help local communities and really protect those tax dollars, while at the same time protecting their ability to craft local solutions whether that’s a school district a city or county, It’s important that they have the data and information that they need to be able to make those policy decisions and my job is to help protect those policy decisions from people who might want to abuse the government or waste money or that steal money.”

The reason I am running for state auditor is because I want to help get Minnesota back on track. We’ve been through a lot these last four years, and Minnesotans want to know that their hard-earned tax dollars are going to where they are supposed to.”

MNR: What is the big value of State Auditor?

RW: “Here’s the big value of the state auditor to all Minnesotans, is that it’s somebody that is going to look out for them and speak up when issues happen and so when the government isn’t working right the state auditor can step up and they can look into why and they can help shine a light on things so that policymakers decision makers can fix those problems. And so all Minnesotans pay taxes, all Minnesotans work hard for their paychecks they work hard for that money that they give over to the government and they want to know that it’s going to things that their elected officials have said that it should go to, so I can protect those solutions and we really have a message that resonates both with people on the left and the right of the political spectrum because they fight hard, the legislature for their particular programs or projects and they want to know that once the law gets enacted that the state auditor is going to make sure that the money gets where it’s supposed to go.”

MNR: Crime in Minneapolis has been a huge issue what can you do about that?

RW: “In Minneapolis which is Minnesota’s biggest police department they have a charter and that charter requires a certain level of police officers, being employed or be provided by the state and they have been in violation of that charter for quite some time and the state auditor oversees what’s called legal compliance and so that is a legal requirement that they employ a certain number of officers, and the state auditor could, if they were motivated to go and ensure that cities are, Minneapolis, in particular, are complying with their charter.

The current state auditor has turned a blind eye to that, and so a big part of what’s happened and why crime has grown in Minneapolis and why it has spread out into other areas is because there aren’t enough police, and had the state auditor stepped in two years ago when this problem first arose, she could have potentially stopped the trajectory that we are on, so I’ll hold Minneapolis accountable to their charter and not just its permission but all characters permissions to ensure that their following the law, hopefully, that starts to turn things back around if they know that they are going to be held accountable, then hopefully they will comply with their charter which will result with more policing and safer streets and less crime.” 

MNR: What is your background and how can that help with State Auditor?

RW: “I ran a medical device auditing company for 10+ years where we helped medical device companies bring their products to market stents pacemakers all sorts of things, we would audit their clinical trial data to make sure that it was correct and then we would turn it over to the FDA we would give our assurances that it was accurate data, the FDA would rely in part on that to decide whether they were going to approve or disapprove of a new product, so I did that for about 10 years and I am also an attorney I focus on what’s called constitutional law and we stand up for when ya know citizens rights are violated by the government we defend them in court.”