Bryan shares ‘historic platform’ with PCRW

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ray Bryan, a Republican candidate for State Auditor, spoke to the Pike County Republican Women at the organization’s monthly meeting.

Bryan opened his speech by praising the organization’s members for all the good they do in the community. “There’s something about how women take a stand on issues that is different than men,” Bryan said. “There’s a difference in how women go about issues. With men, there’s always a sense of competition. Women have more of a trust factor between then, and I think that’s because of your hearts. I want to thank you for what you’re doing here.”

Bryan, 57, works as an attorney in Anniston where he lives with his wife of 35 years, Robin. Bryan described his campaign platform as “historic.” “I’m asking for your vote, your support in the election for State Auditor,” Bryan said. “This is a historic platform. It’s not often that someone campaigns for a position that he thinks should be abolished.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Bryan said the position of State Auditor no longer serves a useful function for the state government. “The main responsibility of the State Auditor is to count the inventory of the state’s property that exceeds $500,” Bryan said. “The office has no power of subpoena and cannot hold administrative hearings. If the office find something missing, they have no ways of pursuing that property.”

According to Bryan, the State Auditor has not had power of subpoena since 1947. “In 1947, the Alabama Legislature gave the subpoena power of the State Auditor to the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts,” Bryan said. “They have the power to do actual financial audits. We are one of only eight states to have this division. We have gone through so much as a state and a nation. Our resources have become so limited that we have to think in ways we never thought before.”

What Bryan proposes is either consolidating the office of the State Auditor with the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts or significantly strengthening the powers of the State Auditor. “I believe we can do something better with the State Auditor,” Bryan said. “The 1895 Alabama Constitution created the State Auditor as an independent financial office—an office with subpoena power that could hold administrative hearings. Let’s get the State Auditor position back to where it’s supposed to be—to the position that the Constitution established.”

Whether Bryan is elected or not, any changes to the powers of the State Auditor must be initiated by the Alabama Legislature. If he is elected, however, Bryan vowed to work with the Alabama Legislature to fix the problems he sees with the office.

The PCRW will next meet on Feb. 26. The featured speaker will be Dr. Stan Cooke, who is running for Lieutenant Governor in 2014.