Meet Rebecca Otto

Click here to read Rebecca's bio.


Winner of the National Award for Excellence in Accountability.
Elected President of the National State Auditors Association.
Named 1 of the 15 Most Influential Government Auditors in America.

Why Rebecca Otto

Rebecca watches out for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers with what the worldwide IIA calls "courage, integrity and leadership." Here are a few of the many ways she is working to make Minnesota better.

  • Standing Up for Taxpayers

    Rebecca stands up for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers.
    She does her job without fear or favor.
    She provides accountability so citizens can trust government.
    She is a fiduciary for more than $73 billion in state investments.
    She serves on the Public Employees Retirement Association board, and fights the assault on public pensions.
    She oversees more than $20 billion in local government spending.
    She exposed the state's dumping of its deficit onto our property taxes.
    She works to improve efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

  • Fighting the Assault on Pensions

    Rebecca is defending Minnesota's taxpayers from the assault on public pensions. Groups aligned with the private 401(k) industry want to line their pockets by doing away with public pensions, and moving public employees into riskier and more expensive 401(k)s. The groups are spreading disinformation, claiming that Minnesota will be "the next Detroit." Nothing could be further from the truth. The true risk is that people with poorly performing 401(k)s will wind up coming back to the taxpayers, because we don't want poverty in our senior population.

  • Improving Performance

    Rebecca promotes efficient, effective service delivery by our local governments, whether it be maintaining streets and highways, providing firefighting services, or public safety.

    The State Auditor publishes a performance measurement report that shows how well residents feel their cities and counties are doing in a variety of key areas. This helps cities and counties do a better job of providing the services people value most.

    The State Auditor issues Best Practices Reviews to help local governments improve their delivery of services. During the economic downturn, Rebecca decided to issue a review on reducing energy costs in local government, which won the National Excellence in Accountability Award.

  • Protecting Affordable Housing

    As State Auditor, Rebecca Otto serves on the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) board. Her leadership over the last eight years has helped guide it to nation-leading success. MHFA finances safe, clean, affordable housing for our low- to moderate-income Minnesotans, and to foster stronger communities. This can include housing for our seniors, our veterans, our families with single parents, and many others. During the housing market crisis, Rebecca pushed for measures that would keep Minnesotans in their homes. Rebecca understands the importance of housing stability for the success of our children in school and of workers on the job.

  • Providing Leadership

    With your support, Rebecca Otto has become one of the most prominent financial leaders in the United States. In 2009, she won the National Excellence in Accountability Award. In 2013 she was named president of the National State Auditors Association. In 2014, the American Center for Government Auditing named her one of the 15 most influential professionals in government auditing at all levels, citing her "courage and integrity necessary to face difficult situations, and willingness to call out opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness in government operations, even when doing so may not be popular or may incur strong opposition from those in power." She is the first female democrat to be elected Minnesota State Auditor, the first democrat to be re-elected, and one of only 7 elected women state auditors nationwide. She has an open-door policy and lets young people shadow her to learn about public service.

  • CASE STUDY: PROTECTING THE PUBLIC TRUST
    ISSUE:
    The Metro Gang Strike Force debacle
    PROBLEM:
    Did not control access to their property and evidence room.
    SOLUTION:
    Rebecca worked with law enforcement agencies across the state to develop a best practices review on developing policy and procedures manuals for their property and evidence rooms. The result: the report is being used state-wide and nationally by law enforcement agencies to help protect the chain of custody of evidence, helping to protect the integrity of our justice system.
  • It's Easy Being Green

    Remember your Uncle Arnie, who kept coffee cans full of old bent nails and bolts on the garage shelf because he never knew when he might need one? Rebecca and her husband Shawn do that. The old Minnesota ethic of waste not-want not and efficiency runs throughout their lives, from building their home themselves, to the use of wind power and superinsulation to generate and save energy, to Rebecca's focus on efficiency at the office, which allowed her to expand the office's investigations while cutting her own budget. Being green and saving green are conservative values that make for a great State Auditor.

  • CASE STUDY: HELPING FIREFIGHTERS
    ISSUE:
    Volunteer Fire Relief Associations
    PROBLEM:
    Antiquated laws that created compliance and oversight issues
    SOLUTION:
    Rebecca convened and chaired a firefighter working group that, under her leadership, has been able to overhaul laws around volunteer firefighter relief associations that hadn't been looked at in over 30 years, greatly strengthening our mostly volunteer firefighter system throughout Minnesota. The Minnesota State Fire Chiefs recognized her work with their top award.

     

  • On Nonferrous Mining

    As State Auditor, Rebecca is not pro-mining or anti-mining; she is pro-taxpayer. It is part of the State Auditor's job to watch out for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers and make certain they are not left holding the bag after a nonferrous mine closes. The State Auditor sits on the State Executive Council, where in 2013 she voted against the approval of 31 leases to mine nonferrous minerals because of potential taxpayer exposure to cleanup costs. Rebecca is pushing for an open and transparent process when it comes to the setting of financial assurances for new copper mines, which are like damage deposits, so that taxpayers are protected.

Endorsements

Over 1,400 community leaders, elected officials, unions, and organizations endorse Rebecca Otto

See the full list

  • Rebecca Otto's leadership has not only benefited her state but our country as she sets the standard for auditors nationwide in her role as president of the National State Auditors Association.

    Emily's List

  • Rebecca Otto has emerged as one of the most principled public servants in the nation.

    Stonewall DFL Caucus

  • The Teamsters know you will work to protect the rights of Minnesota's working men and women.

    Teamsters Joint Council 32 DRIVE

  • Representing over 14,000 members in Minnesota, we are proud to endorse Rebecca Otto for State Auditor. It was a unanimous vote.

    United Steelworkers Dist. 11

  • It my great pleasure and honor to endorse your candidacy for reelection as State Auditor.

    Senator Scott Dibble

  • We look forward to supporting your work as we collectively work to improve the lives of all Americans.

    SEIU Minnesota State Council

  • You have proven to be a great friend of first reponders and labor and we wish to see you coninue as a leader we can count on.

    Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters

  • We couldn't be more excited to endorse you in your reelection!

    womenwinning

  • Auditor Otto does not shy away from making the right choice for taxpayers—she has earned another four-year term.

    Minnesota Association of Professional Employees

  • Our decision to endorse you is based on your positions on rural issues.

    Minnesota Farmers Union PAC

  • Rebecca Otto has been an excellent, nation-leading State Auditor, and a strong and rock-solid supporter of labor, and she deserves and has our strong support for her re-election.

    Bill Heaney, Legislative & Political Director, IBEW Minnesota State Council

  • You have been a great friend to our issues and concerns.

    DFL Veterans Caucus

  • Thank you for your service and your dedication to issues that are important to nurses, patients and working families.

    Minnesota Nurses Association

  • We collectively endorse your excellent work and candidacy to serve a third term as the State Auditor or Minnesota.

    UTU

Rebecca's Approach

Rebecca believes that in order for people to support their government, they have to trust their government. The State Auditor's Office is key in fostering that trust, by providing transparency and accountability in local governments' financial activities without fear or favor.

Audits

Audit division

The State Auditor's Office oversees more than $20 billion spent annually by over 3,000 local governments. This Division conducts audits, establishes uniform reporting standards and provides technical assistance and education.

Investigations

Legal/SI Division

The State Auditor's Office investigates allegations of theft or misuse of public funds and provides legal compliance information to help local governments avoid pitfalls and get it right when spending taxpayer money.

Reviews

Pension & TIF Divisions

The State Auditor's Office reviews almost 700 public pension plans, and promotes legal compliance and accountability through examination and review of development authorities’ use of tax increment financing (TIF).

Board Service

Constitutional Division

The State Auditor serves on six state boards: Executive Council, State Board of Investment, Public Land Exchange, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Public Employees Retirement Association, and Rural Finance Authority.

Reports

Gov't Information Division

The State Auditor's Office collects and analyzes local government financial data and issues reports for the Legislature and the public. It also conducts Best Practices Reviews of local government operations.

Education

All Divisions

The State Auditor's Office helps local governments succeed by providing the tools and resources necessary to be good stewards of public funds, through training sessions and seminars across the state and online.

News

Endorsement: For state auditor, Rebecca Otto

October 20, 2014
Star Tribune

Otto’s capable job ensuring that billions of taxpayer dollars are appropriately and prudently spent has been recognized nationally.
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Opinion: Voters ‘oughta’ re-elect Otto

October 19, 2014
Park Rapids Enterprise

An ambitious and proactive forward-thinker, Otto, in her third term, wants to be able to present to taxpayers, community-by-community,…
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Our view / endorsement: State voters oughta re-elect Auditor Otto

October 14, 2014
Duluth News Tribune

Voters can feel assured of excellent accountability by picking an incumbent who has been recognized nationally
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Otto responds to opponent

October 9, 2014
Deb Gau | Marshall Independent

Based on our Oct 4. story, Otto said, it appeared "(Gilbert) doesn't understand the office."
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Incumbent's view: Working for Minnesota free of fear and favor

October 6, 2014
Duluth News Tribune

A good auditor doesn’t tell people what they want to hear. Rather, you tell them what they need to know — and I do that without fear…
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Incumbent State Auditor touts record, experience

October 6, 2014
Jacob Tellers | Fergus Falls Daily Journal

In 2014, the 180,000 member Institute of Internal Auditors named Otto one of the 15 most influential government auditors.
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State auditor: Otto trounces Entenza

August 13, 2014
Doug Grow | MinnPost

Not only did Rebecca Otto win, she likely ended the future political hopes of her opponent
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Rebecca Otto wins 2nd major national award

August 11, 2014
NEWS RELEASE

Rebecca Otto today won the President’s Award from the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers
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Endorsement: Otto for state auditor in DFL primary

August 7, 2014
Star Tribune

Seasoned, reasonable incumbent knows her job — and its limits.
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PoliGraph: Entenza’s latest digs against Otto mislead

August 4, 2014
MPR News

Entenza’s fliers are misleading.
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2014 PRIMARY ELECTION: Otto responds to Entenza

July 31, 2014
Zach Kayser | Bemidji Pioneer

“My opponent clearly does not understand the job,” she said. “He’s been running on changing state policy, which is the Legislature…
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Stonewall DFL: Rebecca Otto 'one of the greatest' LGBT allies in Minnesota

July 28, 2014
Gerald Strauss | Stonewall DFL

Stonewall DFL endorses Rebecca Otto over her opponent, Matt Entenza, saying "Rebecca has evolved to become one of the greatest allies…
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Panel rejects Entenza's voter ID claim in state auditor race

July 24, 2014
Abby Simons | Star Tribune

"Rebecca Otto had it right," DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said. "Matt Entenza will say anything to get himself elected."
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Otto: Big Money Has No Place In State Auditor Race

July 20, 2014
WCCO-TV

Rebecca Otto sat down with WCCO's Esme Murphy to talk about her August 12 primary election race against challenger Matt Entenza.
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Margaret Anderson Kelliher endorses Rebecca Otto

July 14, 2014
NEWS RELEASE

Former MN Speaker of the House and 2010 Gubernatorial candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher endorses Rebecca Otto.
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Otto proposes new report on roads and bridges

July 11, 2014
MPR News

Otto said she’s working on a new initiative called “Infrastructure Stress Reports,” which will identify and quantify public needs…
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Otto pledges transparency in Auditor’s office

July 5, 2014
Marshall Independent

"My opponent seems to think that it's the governor's office, and it's not. It's about oversight," she said.
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Otto makes pitch for another term as auditor

July 3, 2014
Fairmont Sentinel

Otto, who has held office for two terms, says her job is not "governor" or "state lawmaker." Those jobs already exist.
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DFL Chair's Corner with Rebecca Otto

June 27, 2014
MN DFL Party

In this entertaining video Ken Martin speaks with our nationally recognized State Auditor Rebecca Otto
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Colorado marijuana audits receive national recognition

June 22, 2014
The Denver Post

Dianne E. Ray, Colorado's state auditor, accepts the national Excellence in Accountability Award from Rebecca Otto, president of…
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Rebecca Otto on the Joel Heitkamp show

June 11, 2014
KFGO Radio - The Mighty 790

Otto, surprised by the challenge for her seat when Matt Entenza threw in for the race, explains why she is best for the position.
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The politicizing of the Minnesota state auditor's office

June 10, 2014
StarTribune

Just the prospect of having information selectively packaged and presented to legislators and the public in ways that support a political…
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State auditors gather in Minnesota for group's annual national conference

June 10, 2014
StarTribune

The group's current president, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, is hosting State Auditors from around the country.
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State Auditor Otto releases Criminal Forfeitures Report

June 4, 2014
ECM Newspapers

State Auditor Rebecca Otto today released the Criminal Forfeitures Report on the amount of cash and property seized by law enforcement…
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State Auditor Rebecca Otto endorsed by DFL for third term

May 31, 2014
NEWS RELEASE

Otto is president of the National State Auditors Association, and has been named one of the 15 most influential professionals in…
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American Center for Government Auditing Launches

April 22, 2014
Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal

The inaugural listing highlights achievements in government auditing, including those of NSAA president Rebecca Otto, who is the…
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Rebecca Otto named one of ‘15 Most Influential Professionals in Government Auditing’

March 27, 2014
News Release

Rebecca Otto was recognized for demonstrating the courage and integrity necessary to face difficult situations, and a willingness…
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Report: Cities cut costs, raised taxes to offset slashed state funds

March 12, 2014
David Peterson | StarTribune

After years of cutbacks, Minnesota’s cities are spending less than they were a decade ago, when inflation is factored in, State Auditor…
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3 pension plans post strong rebound

January 18, 2014
Abby Simons | StarTribune

Three large public pension plans in Minnesota have not only bounced back from dismal returns on their investments, but surpassed…
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Minnesota pension fund to seek help monitoring overtime spiking

January 9, 2014
MaryJo Webster | Pioneer Press

"Perhaps the media have drummed up a crisis," said board member Rebecca Otto, the State Auditor. "We don't have the data to make…
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Judge: Classes in lieu of traffic tickets are illegal

January 6, 2014
Abby Simons | StarTribune

State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who has warned for a decade that such programs are not allowed, praised the judge’s decision.
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MAPE Endorses State Auditor Otto for re-election

December 4, 2013
News Release

"Auditor Otto does not shy away from making the right choice for taxpayers – she has earned another four year term."
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Otto: Think of taxpayers when considering copper-nickel mining

December 3, 2013
Cathy Wurzer | MPR News

The state must fully understand the financial risks of copper-nickel mining, which comes with environmental concerns different from…
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Northeastern Minnesota mining opponents find hero in state auditor

November 27, 2013
John Myers | Duluth News Tribune

Otto said she wanted to make a point, and did so, becoming Minnesota’s first statewide elected official to raise any opposition in…
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State Auditor Otto: I'm Pro-Taxpayer

November 27, 2013
WDIO-TV

The state auditor has been accused of being pro-mining and anti-mining in the past. And she wanted to set the record straight.
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Rebecca Otto receives U of M Distinguished Alumni Award

November 23, 2013
News Release

"These achievements bring honor to the college," said Jean Quam, dean of the university's College of Education and Human Development.
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State auditor on mining: Long-term risk hard to quantify

November 20, 2013
Rebecca Otto | StarTribune

Why I did not back the leases recently granted for nonferrous mineral exploration.
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31 Mining Leases In Northern MN Get Green Light

October 25, 2013
Bill Hudson | WCCO-TV

State Auditor Rebecca Otto was the lone "no" vote in granting approval to 31 non-ferrous minerals mining leases.
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Why Do So Many Governments Resist Benchmarking?

September 18, 2013
Governing Magazine

Rebecca Otto, the state auditor who oversees the effort, believes this has been an important initiative for the entities that use…
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State Auditor Rebecca Otto to run for a third term

August 20, 2013
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger | StarTribune

Otto said in a campaign video on Tuesday that less revenue for government is the "new normal" so officials have to look for innovation…
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State Auditor Rebecca Otto leads the Statewide "Vote No" tour

November 5, 2012
David Crary | Associated Press

State Auditor Rebecca Otto enters the RV at a stop in Edina, Minn., on the "Minnesota Votes No" statewide tour Monday, Nov. 5, 2012…
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EDITORIAL: ENTENZA'S EXIT

July 19, 2006
Editorial | Pioneer Press

Some kinds of politics just stink. Such as the smear-your-neighbor-without-regard-for-context kind.
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