Candidate interview: Eugene DePasquale

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Office sought: Pennsylvania Auditor General

Party: Democrat

Auditor General DePasquale is pursuing a second term as the state’s top fiscal watchdog, a position he has held since 2013. He represented the 95th District in the state House of Representatives from 2007-13. For more information, visit www.eugene4pa.com.

PGN: How have you worked to ensure diversity in the Auditor General’s Office?

ED: We actually changed the policies to make sure we were being more inclusive. On my transition team I had Adrian Shanker, who is very prominent in the Lehigh Valley LGBTQ community, and he basically headed up the labor portion of my transition team to make sure all of the policies and procedures in the department were updated to make sure we had the most open environment for all employees, including those from the LGBTQ community. That was internal, and then as a public official, I was an outspoken supporter in the 2012 campaign of marriage equality and obviously had maintained that as a House member in the legislature for three terms. I supported the anti-workplace-discrimination legislation and continue to speak out on behalf of that legislation. When it comes to our audits, I do make sure taxpayer dollars are not used to work in reverse of [nondiscrimination].

PGN: Although your office is not directly involved in crafting legislation, have there been any opportunities, or would you be open to opportunities in the future, for advancing pro-LGBT measures such as the nondiscrimination or hate-crimes bills?

ED: I like to think that my voice on these matters as a statewide official, as opposed to a House member, adds weight to things, just from getting on the stump, so to speak. I’m the chief fiscal watchdog in the state. I believe many of these [LGBT] issues are not only right ethically and morally certainly, but this is where the future of the state needs to be to make good economic sense.

PGN: How does your office select the agencies and programs on which it conducts audits?

ED: Some are mandated and some are simply my choosing because of issues I think it’s important to tackle.

PGN: What mechanisms have you put in place to ensure transparency in the Auditor General’s Office?

ED: I was the first statewide elected official in Pennsylvania to put my expenses online. I’m always game for new stuff that makes things more transparent. I’ve been an advocate of school districts having to put all of their spending online, certainly the same for charter schools, and I’ll continue to work with my team to be more out there as well. I’m a big believer in transparency.

PGN: Why should LGBT voters support you?

ED: I believe I have earned the community’s support. In my job as Attorney General, I have looked out for taxpayer dollars, finding $300 million in wasteful spending and conducting audits that keep our children safe and our health-care facilities safe and make our school districts run better. I have stood with the LGBTQ community my entire public-service career. It’s not just because of the economics, it’s the right thing to do. The best way for our state to move forward if we want to retain young talent is to let people live their lives. I’m hoping the LGBTQ community recognizes that on Election Day.

The Republican nominee for Auditor General, John Brown, did not respond to a request for an interview.