Barry Herr, the Republican candidate challenging state Controller Kim Wallin in the November general election, said today he would bring a GOP point of view to the office and use the position to bring conservative influence to the discussion of taxes and other issues.
Wallin, running as a Democrat for a second term in the office, said the position overseeing the state’s checkbook is also about finding waste and inefficiencies, a job she has pursued over the past four years.
The two candidates discussed their positions and issues on Jon Ralston’s Face To Face television program.
While the controller position does not have a say in tax policy, Herr said he would use the position as a “bully pulpit” to influence any such discussions in the Legislature. Herr said he opposes any proposal for a personal or corporate income tax.
“I believe that as the controller I will also be able to perhaps give some influence up there,” he said. “And I do believe that I can give that, again, that fiscal conservative bent.”
Herr said he would also look at ways to save money in the office.
As part of her debt collection efforts, Wallin has posted the names of debtors and the amounts they owe to the state on her newly designed website as a way of recovering outstanding funds.
“And the debts that we have, actually when we told some of the debtors we were going to start publishing it, we did actually get some payments” she said.
Wallin says she has also been nonpartisan in the job, providing information to Republicans and Democrats on an impartial basis.
“If you are doing your job right as controller, it’s not being a liberal or conservative,” she said.
On the issue of transparency, Wallin said she supports the concept but expressed concerns about the potential for identity theft in the disclosure of such information. There are examples of where this information has been used in identity theft crimes in other states to steal millions, she said.
Herr said much of the state’s checkbook is online on the governor’s transparency website, but that the information is incomplete and difficult to find. The information should be on the controller’s website, he said.
Wallin said Gov. Jim Gibbons decided to pursue his own transparency website despite the fact that her office could have done the same for less money.
Early voting begins Saturday.
Controller Kim Wallin says she has worked to collect outstanding debts:
Controller candidate Barry Herr said he would use the job to bring a GOP influence to issues: