When looking at Iowa Governor Chet Culver’s administration it is really hard to find anything to be encouraged about.  His administration has been marked by fiscal mismanagement, and it appears that this was a problem before even occupying Terrace Hill.  An audit by the United States Election Assistance Commission discovers some problems with how then Secretary Culver handled funds from the Help America Vote Act.

Dave Price of WHO-TV broke this story last night on his blog:

The report criticized a program Culver’s office used called “Celebrate Voting”. The events featured, among other things, dancers, refreshments and singer Simon Estes. Investigators found the $118,000 cost was improperly spent because it failed to promote voting as required. The report also said the office failed to properly document nearly $900,000 paid to employees for working on HAVA programs.

In all, the review questions more than $2.55 million in spending. Current Secretary of State Michael Mauro told me, “The audit speaks for itself. We think a lot of the issues can be worked out. But the time frame deals with before we got into office."

Is it any wonder our state’s finances are such a mess?

HT: The Bean Walker

Update: Graham Gillette on the Des Moines Register’s Across The Spectrum blog boils Governor Culver’s challenge down to a single question.  What is ultimately going to sink Governor Culver, in my opinion, is not ideology.  For the independent voter it will ultimately be a question of competency – can he actually govern?  Based on his current record the answer would have to be “no.”

I mention in my post at the Des Moines Register today that if Democrats were honest with themselves regarding the question of his competency they’d have to say “no” as well.  If they were smart they’d start looking for a primary challenger, but I’m sure they’ll circle the wagons instead.  Which will be good for the GOP.

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