What exactly does a comptroller do? It’s probably the question I’m asked most often on the campaign trail, but the truth is that the office of State Comptroller has the potential to be one of the most important, influential public offices in state government.

Why? Because the economic crisis that Connecticut faces today has its roots in a political problem, not just an economic one. Career politicians in Hartford have mismanaged the public purse for decades, allowing spending to surge out of control and consistently increasing taxes and debt to pay for it. Politicians have concealed the true extent of our unfunded liabilities from the very people who pay the bills, and as the size of state government has grown, so too has the burden of red tape and bureaucracy put in place to justify it.

There is one position in state government that was designed to stop this from happening:  the State Comptroller was designed to be the chief fiscal guardian for our state. But after eight years of one-party Democrat rule under Gov. Dannel Malloy, the comptroller today serves as little more than a rubber stamp — and just look at where that has gotten us. The chief fiscal guardian has been asleep at the wheel, and our public finances are in crisis.

It’s time for a new kind of comptroller. The truth is that if we keep sending the same people to Hartford, we are going to get the same results from Hartford. I’m running in this race to be a very different kind of comptroller.

With my 40 years of business experience I will transform the office into a powerhouse for fiscal responsibility and business expertise while demonstrating the courage to stand up to the Hartford career politicians. I’ll tell them NO even when it isn’t easy or popular, and I will do that because I’m a political outsider with no favors to repay and no strings attached.

Here is my plan to do it:

First, I’ll conduct a complete top-to-bottom audit of state spending and publish the findings for the public to review. The state deserves a fiscally responsible comptroller performing audits without any ties to the current administration. When budgets come to my desk with any accounting tricks or gimmicks, I’ll refuse to certify them and I’ll make sure the people of Connecticut know why.

I will refuse the state pension the comptroller receives. As a business executive, I always lead by example. I plan to do the same as the state budget executive.

As a member of the state bond commission I’ll vote NO to the excessive borrowing that has bankrupted the state and to prevent such borrowing from being necessary in the first place. I will identify cuts in wasteful spending every year and challenge the politicians to implement them.

Lastly, my 40 years of experience building businesses and balancing budgets has taught me what businesses and job-creators need to succeed. I will add a new role to the office of comptroller—business ambassador.

With GE, Alexion, and numerous other firms leaving the state, the current administration has been a repelling force for industry. But as companies have left I have continued to invest in Connecticut, creating jobs in the process. I’ll work night and day to re-open Connecticut to business by streamlining government processes and making it easier for businesses to succeed. I’ll hold government accountable by grading every government department on their value for money, quality of service to the taxpayers, and business friendly policies.

On Primary Day, August 14, it’s vitally important that Connecticut voters remember that returning the same brand of career politicians to Hartford will not solve our problems. I’m running for State Comptroller to be a very different kind of comptroller.

This election cycle, it’s time for a change—it’s time to send a business sense to Hartford.

Mark Greenberg is a Republican candidate for State Comptroller.

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