State candidate addresses GOP at spring dinner

John Brown, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania’s Auditor General, spoke to a crowd of about 115 at Saturday evening’s 2016 Spring Republican Dinner at Warren’s Holiday Inn.

The fundraiser for the Warren County Republican Committee saw Brown along with State Sen. Scott Hutchinson, State Rep. Kathy Rapp, and State House of Representatives Speaker Mike Turzai in attendance. John Rafferty, running for Pennsylvania Attorney General, was unable to attend.

“This is a taxpayer conversation,” Brown said, “not a Republican one.” Currently the Northampton County Executive, Brown said his focus as auditor general would be on solutions to problems, not throwing more money and manpower into an already flawed system.

“Sustainable solutions,” Brown said, which can be maintained regardless of who takes office at any given time in the future, are what will ultimately drop the bottom line and save money for taxpayers. “It’s been a long ride since 2008,” he said.

Brown said that his background in the private sector flipping businesses that were failing financially is what gives him the edge over Democratic candidate and incumbent Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. Executive experience, he said, is “crucial in a financial oversight role.”

“It’s about efficiency,” said Brown, who said his record as county executive in Northampton County has been to consistently return about five percent of the budget back to the bottom line, compared with the current one percent being seen at the state level.

“The cuts I would save won’t show up on any line item budget,” said Brown, stressing that the biggest problems in government spending are due to lack of understanding of the ultimate flaws in the system rather than mismanagement of that system.