Author: Michael Gaudini

Auditor’s Paradise: Coolio’s Elements of an Audit Finding

If, to paraphrase Justice Louis Brandeis, a little publicity is “the best of disinfectants,” then consider government auditors the cleaning people. These auditors help focus the public and their leaders’ attention on all aspects of government in order to root out waste, fraud, and abuse. By allowing the public and their elected leaders to scrutinize government’s inner workings, auditors help keep government clean. Given government’s longstanding reputation for complexity, this may seem like an almost impossible task. Indeed, auditing is not an easy job. To help them effectively examine government programs, auditors have developed certain procedures that help them...

Read More

The Incumbency Disadvantage

This Op-Ed is part of a series of Op-Ed dialogues with partnering public policy schools.  The last few years have not been kind to Democrats. They kicked off the decade by losing legislative power to Republicans at both the state and federal level – and followed it up this year by ceding even more ground. The good news is they may have a decent shot at winning the presidency again in 2016. That’s also the bad news. It is still too early to determine how future elections will ultimately play out. However, there are some long-term trends that, if...

Read More

Why Corbett Lost: A Tale of Two Governors

Of all the political epitaphs written today, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s may well be the easiest: Here lies Tom Corbett. He failed to communicate. Certainly, there are numerous factors that have contributed to Corbett’s impending loss to Democratic challenger Tom Wolf – but perhaps none as important as his failure to communicate a clear and coherent message to his constituents. Take Corbett’s handling of education funding, for example. Corbett faced a large budget shortfall when he took office in 2011 and balanced it by, among other things, cutting education funding. But rather than attempt to explain this decision to...

Read More

Dear Scotland, Don’t Go

If, as the adage goes, history rarely repeats itself but often rhymes, then Scottish voters may be dangerously close to the end of a verse. On Thursday, Scottish voters will go to the polls to vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the plan for independence does not include monetary independence. At first glance, this policy may seem somewhat sensible. Breaking up is hard to do. Scotland has a lot of trade with England, and introducing a separate Scottish currency would complicate that relationship as the exchange rate between the Scottish currency and the British...

Read More

A Day in August: Texas Author Illustrates Aftermath of UT Shootings

At more than 300 feet tall, the University of Texas Tower looms over UT’s entire campus — and, according to author Elizabeth Crook, over the lives of those caught in its shadow on August 1, 1966. That was the day a madman ascended to the tower’s 28th floor and shot 45 people, killing 11. This year, Crook released her newest novel, “Monday, Monday,” which opens with a ground-level account of the UT Tower shootings. The narrative itself is fictional, yet it is nevertheless rooted in a tragedy that many Americans still remember today. “I had to speak with a...

Read More

Quick Jump