February 11, 2019 at 11:00 am

Letter: Outside budget help

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How disappointing to Alaskans that Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy chose to ignore the goal to hire Alaskans, reaching out to Michigan to hire Donna Arduin as his director of the Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Arduin bragged that she had managed budgets in many other states.

A simple Google search reveals her prior work in other states has been strongly criticized by nonpartisan economic experts.

In 2003, Ms. Arduin was hired by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California to conduct a line by line audit of the state budget. But during her 11-month stint in California, no such audit was ever released. She left this job to become a lobbyist for a private prison corporation.

In 2007, Ms. Arduin was hired as a consultant to Marco Rubio in Florida and she authored a prospective tax swap plan. A nonpartisan Washington, D.C. think tank, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, heavily criticized her plan, saying, “We find the authors used a flawed equation in arriving at the results. Basic errors were committed, invalidating their conclusions.”

In 2012, Oklahoma commissioned Ms. Arduin’s firm to do a report about eliminating the income tax. An emeritus professor at Oklahoma State University who reviewed her report stated, “if I had a student turn in a report like this, they would have gotten an F.” He also reported there were mathematic errors in her report, concluding that Ms. Arduin’s firm “really violated a basic tenet of econometrics. It’s pretty sloppy.”

Are there not many Alaskans who have expertise in economic issues who have much better backgrounds in managing budgets who would be a far superior choice for Director of Management and Budget for Alaska?

Joanne Kell

Anchorage

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