LIMA — John Patrick Carney says that first and foremost, his candidacy for Ohio auditor is all about transparency and bipartisanship.
Carney continued to profess that Wednesday as he met with well-wishers for a campaign fundraiser at the Met in downtown Lima.
Carney is the 22nd District state representative, currently serving his third term. The Democrat says he has worked with people from both parties, and says partisanship robs Ohioans of their tax dollars.
“A lot of the taxpayer dollars get spent according to where the campaign donations are coming from,” Carney said. “It is a shell game and a lot of the money goes to Columbus. Votes are traded away for campaign contributions.”
Carney said as auditor, he would insist on more transparency in how Ohio tax dollars were spent.
“The auditor is the chief inspector of how tax dollars are spent,” Carney said. “I believe all information should be available to voters so they can make choices based on that information.
“I think there should be total transparency,” he added. “Citizens should know where campaign contributions are coming from and they should know how their elected officials are voting. I hold myself to that same standard and I feel very comfortable with the way I have voted in the interest of the taxpayers.”
Carney said that $500 million has been funneled into failing charter schools across the state. He said that is money that has been siphoned from other schools who could be using it to educate students. He criticized current Ohio Auditor Dave Yost for not being aggressive in investigating charter schools.
Carney said he was in favor of ideas based on evidence rather that partisan politics. He said districts should all be drawn to be more competitive so better decisions are made. He said he believed in “pulling the curtain back” to show what happens with taxpayer money.
He also said more than 3 million gallons of water a day is withdrawn from Ohio water sources without any permit or without any oversight.
“As auditor, I would make sure our natural resources were protected,” Carney said.
Carney, who is a lawyer in the health care field, said he can understand the challenges faced by Ohio families. As the 11th of 12 children, he said he understood what it was like to work hard. He said that more than 92 percent of the bills he has proposed have been sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats.