Republican candidate for state auditor Keith Faber is a fan of performance audits to increase efficiency in order to make government better, faster and cheaper.
“We want to give our kids the same opportunities our parents and grandparents sacrificed to give us and that’s why I’m running for office,” Faber said in a recent campaign stop at the Sentinel-Tribune.
He likes numbers and to talk about the way the state has rebuilt the rainy day fund from being virtually empty to “today it is has over $2.7 billion.”
Tax cutting is another issue that he pushes, claiming to have helped institute “more than $5 billion,” in tax cuts, including cuts to the small business taxes.
As proof of the benefits to the state, Faber points to job creation numbers.
“We went from the loss of 400,000 jobs in the state to now more than 520,000 private sector new jobs in Ohio,” he said. “Ask anybody why they are in government, most of us will answer, ‘to grow jobs and strengthen the economy.’”
Faber is the first in his family to go to college, working his way through Michigan’s Oakland University and the same for law school at the Ohio State University.
Faber has served as both a state representative and senator. He was elected president of the Ohio Senate from 2013-16.
In addition to being the current state representative for Ohio’s 84th District, he has a private law practice in his hometown of Celina, where he lives with his wife Andrea, a math professor at Rhodes State College, and their two children.
“Regulatory reform is not sexy,” Faber said. “Most businesses have to reinvent themselves every five years or less. Government doesn’t have a profit motive and needs outside pressure.”
Faber was a part of passing legislation requiring performance audits of state agencies, which also includes public universities.
“Higher education is a form of government,” Faber said. “The cost of higher education is the only thing going up faster than health care.”
The campaign website states that “Keith Faber issued the Ohio Higher Education Challenge that reduced the cost of a degree at Ohio colleges and universities by an average of 11 percent. Keith Faber will initiate performance audits of higher education to help eliminate waste and inefficiency.”
Part of the reference is to the Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency in Higher Education, which is related to his backing of the adoption of four year tuition guarantee programs.
At Bowling Green State University, that program is called the Falcon Tuition Guarantee.
As previously reported, according to university press information, “tuition and fees will be established for each succeeding cohort of undergraduates, and will be locked in for their respective four-year programs.”
At BGSU, the estimated total cost for an average on-campus student in 2019 would rank BGSU as 5th least expensive of 13 public four-year colleges in Ohio.
In other educational reform topics, Faber said, “I’m a supporter of school choice. … It has dramatically improved public education.”
However, he also addresses the ECOT school, the online charter school also called the Electronic School of Tomorrow, which has been making its way through the courts for a variety of reasons.
“Knowing what we know now, we’re going to look at online schools differently, but the legislature is changing the rule. Heck, I’ve introduced and co-sponsored two bills that have already passed, one’s already been passed into law. It’s changing the dynamic for e-schools.”
Faber also addressed the issue of gerrymandering and his belief in the direction it should go.
In May, Ohio passed reformation of redistricting methods to combat gerrymandering for Congressional districts and made similar changes for state-level offices in 2015.
“I’m proud of that work,” Faber said. “I want to focus on compactness,” he said in reference to the future shape of districts.
He points out that the new redistricting methodology is spelled out in the constitutional amendment and while the Auditor of State is listed as having a role, it is limited.
Faber’s vigilance to conservative efficiency is not limited to government as he has also already put 180,000 miles on the 2008 Chevy Impala he’s been using during the campaign.
“I try to stay frugal,” he said.
Faber’s opponent is Democrat Zack Space. The election is Nov. 6.