State Auditor Julie Blaha, who is seeking reelection, indicated she plans to use the auditor’s office as a platform to advocate for abortion rights, according to statements she made at a reproductive rights rally on July 17 in St. Paul.
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, abortion remains legal in Minnesota, but activists are calling on lawmakers to do more.
“I’m here to demonstrate we all have a role in this (abortion) work,” Blaha said. “I oversee $60 billion in local government spending … In Minnesota, most of our safety net goes through local government, and we know health care is a big part of that safety net.”
“Let’s say it together,” she said to the crowd. “Abortion is health care. All of us have a role. So we need to make sure that our numbers are honest and they’re accurate and they’re complete because we know that when you look at the numbers, abortion access is good for the entire community.”
“So if I can find my role in this work as the auditor, I know you can find yours,” she continued.
The state auditor is not an activist role, according to Ryan Wilson, candidate for state auditor. The auditor’s office is nonpartisan and is not supposed to advance a progressive agenda, he said.
Wilson said the role of auditor is to oversee and audit local and state finances, so people know whether or not the government is doing its job.
“Our job is to make sure money is being spent in the way it should be spent, so people can decide if government is working for or against them,” Wilson said.
Wilson said Blaha has failed to address financial scandals in the state such as child care fraud, light rail mismanagement, and the understaffed Minneapolis Police Department.
The auditor’s office should be neutral, Wilson said.
“Math isn’t partisan,” he added. “When the state auditor fails to do their job, we get into the types of problems we’re seeing now.”