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State Auditor Candidates Debate In Cleveland

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Three candidates for state auditor debated at the City Club of Cleveland yesterday over JobsOhio, charter schools and local government funding. Nick Castele of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

Democratic State Rep. John Patrick Carney was largely on the attack against the incumbent Auditor, Republican Dave Yost.  
 
Carney said Yost should have carried out a deeper audit of nonprofit economic development agency JobsOhio.  
 
CARNEY: “Now this is your money. Every time you purchase liquor in the state of Ohio, it goes and supports the ability of the state to create jobs. The auditor is created under the constitution. It’s the responsibility of the auditor as the chief inspector of Ohio to follow the money.”  
 
Yost was at odds with members of his own party over his efforts to audit the group, before the state legislature shielded it from that kind of scrutiny from the auditor.  
 
Carney said Yost should more aggressively dig into the finances of charter schools, and said the rules governing charters should be overhauled.  
 
Yost said Carney sounded more like he was running for a state lawmaker, where he’d be crafting policy, versus being an auditor, going through state books.  
 
YOST: “It sounds as though my distinguished opponent, who spent 6 years in the legislature, misunderstands the office. You see, we don’t have a vote on the law, and the money and the rules that he’s complaining about are matters for the legislature, not for the auditor.”  
 
Yost did say he though there should be changes to the law, and he pointed to charter investigations he’s completed.  
 
Libertarian Bob Bridges was largely left out of the back and forth. He said he understood the importance of making sure Ohio tax dollars are spent right because he owns a small business.  
 
BRIDGES: “As a matter of fact, I’m a tow truck driver. I understand what it’s like to live a blue collar lifestyle. I understand what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.