Auditor Mary Mosiman Already In Trouble In Her Reelection Effort

Republican State Auditor Mary Mosiman is not off to a great start in her reelection effort in 2018. Campaign finance reports released last week showed the incumbent having only raised $28,392 through all of last year, and she’s currently sitting on $62,458 cash on hand. Her Democratic opponent, Rob Sand, posted a record-breaking $200,854 haul, which he raised in just seven weeks after announcing in November. Sand has $166,148 cash on hand.

Judging from her contribution listings, Mosiman appeared to have one or a few fundraisers right in late August and early September last year which accounted for the bulk of her totals. She raised just $275 after Sand’s announcement, despite the fact that it was obvious at that point that she would face a tough Democratic challenger. Only two large checks came in for Mosiman – $2,500 from Ying Sa, a CPA from Des Moines, and $2,000 from Connie Underwood of Ames.

Also troubling for Mosiman is that several of her large donors from her last run have begun contributing to Sand, both in this report and in the past few weeks after the deadline. Sand has a couple of personal connections in some donor circles that typically give to Republicans like Mosiman.

Sand himself impressed many in Iowa political circles with his $200,000 total raised, and his finance report shows he drew from a couple of key sources for Democrats. The Des Moines donor crowd, including people like Bill Knapp, Rich Eychaner, Michael Gartner and Michael Simonson, pitched in with checks from $2,500 to $19,000. He had dozens of personal friends from around the country in states like California, New York and the D.C. area donate $1,000 or more. Sand donated another $10,000 from himself into his campaign.

Sand also received exactly 100 donations from his hometown of Decorah, totaling $16,401 in all. Not a bad fundraising base from the Northeast Iowa town of about 8,000 people.

Several members of the Mandelbaum family contributed to Sand. Newly-elected Des Moines City Councilman Josh Mandelbaum is a neighbor of Sand, and Mandelbaum’s former campaign manager is now running Sand’s operation. Much of the donor network for the high-spending council race has now migrated over to Sand’s run.

And he also had a strong small donor base, with 609 donations of $100 or less. Over 800 people in all gave to Sand during the seven weeks he was in the race in 2017.

The campaign spent $34,706 in its first report, with a big chunk of that going to a $10,000 digital media investment through GPS Consulting. Plastering Iowa social media and websites with online advertising is the new go-to way to quickly get a new candidate’s name out there.

Also, in case you’re one of those activists who wonders how you keep getting emails from all kinds of new candidates, Sand’s expenditure list explains that a little. His campaign paid $4,000 to acquire a 60,000-person email list from Jim Mowrer’s campaign – that’s at a cost of 6.6 cents per email.

It all looks like a campaign well-positioned to run a strong and competitive effort through November, with enough funds to get on TV in the final month or two. That kind of head start might cause some Republican donors to question how much they should invest in Mosiman given all the other must-win races on the ballot this year.

That’s probably the biggest problem for Mosiman – in her 2014 race, she received $50,000 from the state Republican Party. That was a decent percentage of her $178,166 total raised for that cycle. With the competitiveness of this year’s governor’s race and control of the Iowa Legislature at stake in a potential wave year, Republicans may not have enough extra funds to prop up Mosiman this time.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 1/23/18

3 Comments on "Auditor Mary Mosiman Already In Trouble In Her Reelection Effort"

  • I met Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand over the weekend at a Progressive Minds get-together in Altoona. I was very impressed. He looks like he’s 17, but he’s 35, with a wife and two young children. He prosecuted the $25 million lottery scandal (seven fixed lottos in five states). He also prosecuted the film tax credit scandal during former Gov. Chet Culver’s (D) administration. He prosecuted a con artist in Kossuth County; the con artist is now in prison. He prosecuted a Menlo town clerk. He sought and got information on former ISU president Steven Leath’s plane crash in Illinois and use of planes with taxpayer funds for vacation visits to his home in North Carolina. When the Board of Regents’ attorney heard of it, he called the AG’s office and had the investigation stopped. The current state auditor, Mary Mosiman, seldom came to ICN oversight meetings and missed $380,000 worth of misspending by the former ICN director, Ric Lumbard, whose actions were discovered after he had a heart attack.

    • Mary’s a respected CPA – Rob is not even an every-day accountant. Also Mary has done a near record # of audits of public & private entities, irrespective of party affiliations. She also provided the 1st ever booklet with guidelines to assist small groups/businesses/etc to avoid embezzlements by proper internal auditing. Iowans vote results, not party labels and they see but ONE CPA in the race – a no-brainer., Yes, trial lawyers will net a lot of money but the AG’s office needs a lot more help than the Auditors!

    • He’s NOT a CPA and in order to process investigations in the Auditor’s office, they HAVE to have CPA oversight. Since he’s not one, the office will have to hire one for them, costing us bucko bucks. He may have a good resume’ on paper, but experience in this office, he does not. He’s NOT a CPA and therefore not really qualified to run the Auditor’s office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *