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Republican Anthony Amore launches campaign for Massachusetts state auditor

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Anthony Amore is a Republican running for State Auditor in Massachusetts in the 2022 election.

He was the 2018 Republican nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth

A Republican has launched a campaign for State Auditor in Massachusetts.

Anthony Amore is calling for greater transparency in state government and is stressing pocketbook issues.

There are two other candidates running for auditor, both Democrats – Chris Dempsey and State Senator Diana DiZoglio. Incumbent Suzanne Bump is not seeking another term.

Amore ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state four years ago.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Amore.

Anthony Amore
The reason I'm running for state auditor is that I am really concerned about the way that inflation is impacting the taxpayers of Massachusetts. And my chief priority will be to be an independent auditor for the state, act as a watchdog, and provide checks and balances for the people so that they know that their tax dollars are being well spent.

Paul Tuthill 
What sets you apart from the other two hopefuls in this race -- both Democrats? What other than other than the party affiliation?

Anthony Amore
Well, I think it's pretty clear that my experience sets me apart. I've spent more than 30 years doing investigations and inspections and audits for the government in and outside of the government. I've looked at programs that have been run by government and quasi- government agencies when I worked for the FAA, and for the Department of Homeland Security. And on top of that, I've also have vast experience managing teams, I had 1200 employees working for me, at the TSA, all government employees, I've managed teams of dozens of federal regulators working in compliance and enforcement. This sort of experience is something my opponents do not have.

Paul Tuthill 
You have experience running for statewide office before. Four years ago, you ran for Secretary of the Commonwealth and lost to the to the incumbent, Bill Galvin. What did you learn from that race that may help you here, or, think about doing things different this time around?

Anthony Amore
What I learned was that people are really interested in the idea of transparency. And I really ran on that last time, and I'm running on that again, this time. I think, no matter who you talk to no matter what side of the political fence they're on, or if they're in the middle, when you talk to them about bringing transparency to Beacon Hill, it's it's one of the few things in the world that people are unanimous about. Everyone believes that government should operate in sunlight. And that's really a chief priority of mine.

Paul Tuthill 
Well, it is one of those issues that it seems like everybody talks about it. And everybody's been talking about it for decades, but nobody seems to do anything about it. How do you break through that opaqueness that seems to surround Beacon Hill?

Anthony Amore
Well, I think that my priority would be as State Auditor to make sure that the public is getting the information about the audits that my office completes. I think if you talk to most people, you ask them if they've ever read an audit out of the auditor's office, they would say no, and I think that'd be a vast majority of people. I think it's incumbent upon the state auditor to bring the information to the public,and that's what I'll do. I envision a database that's quick and easy for people to look at an agency they may be dealing with and see what its strengths and weaknesses are, before they just handed a gigantic narrative this is something that they can they can research rather easily. And the more people know, I think the more they'll call for transparency, and they'll be better equipped to talk to their state representatives..

Paul Tuthill 
You said the first thing that you plan to audit is the auditor's office itself. Why?

Anthony Amore
Well, we know that in recent years that the auditor's office has fallen short of the mandated requirement to audit every one of the 210 state agencies once every three years. And the first thing I want to know is why? I want to know if it's a budgetary issue, if it's a problem with personnel, if it's some other problem about the functioning of the office, immediately upon inheriting that bureaucracy. So I think until the auditor's office knows where it's failing, it's hard for it to turn around and point where other agencies may be failing.

Paul Tuthill 
Also, in in your press release announcing your candidacy, you said that you you want to protect the accomplishments of the baker administration. What specifically are you talking about?

Anthony Amore
Well, for instance, when I look at what the Health Connector was like before Governor Baker took office it was a calamity. And he's turned it around. And it's a model for the nation now. Or if you look about the advances and investments he's made with the T ( the MBTA), or how he's ensured that people who need public housing, homeless families, aren't being put in hotels and motels, but that he's invested in public housing for them. These are the sorts of things that I don't want to see disappear when Governor Baker leaves next year.

Paul Tuthill 
Well, how does the auditor help keep those things in place?

Anthony Amore
By by evaluating the effectiveness of the programs while he's in office, and after they're gone. I mean, the auditor is the people's watchdog and has to pay careful attention to what's going on in these agencies and by doing so can tell if great work is being done.

Paul Tuthill 
The current auditor who's not running for re election, Suzanne Bump has has highlighted areas where she believes that Western Massachusetts is being shortchanged. One is payment in lieu of taxes by the state for the land holdings in Western Massachusetts and another is infrastructure funding. Will regional equity be something that you will be concerned with if you are auditor?

Anthony Amore
Oh, absolutely. I believe that the auditor is the auditor for all of the people, not just Greater Boston. I think the way that state wide government operates is essential to all the people in the Commonwealth if I'm asking for their vote, I should be promising in return that they'll get my due diligence.

Paul Tuthill 
What's your relationship with the Republican Party in Massachusetts and its current leadership?

Anthony Amore
Well, I am a registered Republican and I'm focusing on my own race. I know people have brought up some arguments within the party, but my vision is for appealing to the public to reaching out to people from the Mass GOP, the unenrolled, Democrats, all alike and hoping that I can explain to them why I think I'm the best candidate for State Auditor.

Paul Tuthill 
Do you support former President Trump? Did you vote for him?

Anthony Amore
I voted for President Trump in the last election. But to be completely honest, I believe that he should have been impeached after the January 6th incident in Washington. And I regretted my vote.

Paul Tuthill 
You mentioned you're going to need obviously the support of the unenrolled or independents as they're sometimes referred to in Massachusetts. So what's your strategy for reaching out to them?

Anthony Amore
My strategy for reaching out to them in my campaign for auditor is to make it well known to all voters that I plan to be an independent auditor-- that I will conduct audits fairly and without fear. That my only loyalty will be to the taxpayer. Not to go to Beacon Hill and make it anything other than a professional office. A real theme of my campaign is professional, not political. I'm not running for this office to go and represent a certain ideology. I'm running for this office to go to Beacon Hill and be the watchdog for the taxpayer.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.