In response to revelations that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller received loans totally $95,000 from two of his Deputy Attorneys General, Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa is calling for a special investigation looking into the matter noting a potential violation of the Iowa Code, section 721.2:
Demands that any public employee contribute or pay anything of value, either directly or indirectly, to any person, organization or fund, or in any way coerces or attempts to coerce any public employee to make any such contributions or payments, except where such contributions or payments are expressly required by law.
Strawn notes five questions that Iowans need answers to:
Whose idea was it to loan the campaign $95,000?
Where did Jeff Thompson’s $75,000 come from? His salary is only $120,000 per year.
Tom Miller controls the wages to these employees. If these employees receive a raise or bonus, how will Iowa taxpayers be assured their tax dollars are not being used to repay a campaign debt?
Did Tom Miller or anyone in his office use official resources to arrange the campaign loans? The Iowa GOP will file a public records request on Monday, to determine if official resources were used to arrange these campaign loans.
Why did Tom Miller accept a loan from his employees? It is certainly poor judgment to be indebted nearly $100,000 to people he is supervising.
The Des Moines Register mentioned the revelation only noting that Miller took the loans were needed earlier for cash flow purposes for pre-buy advertising. If that is the case why were both loans disclosed as being made this month? There is also a question why Attorney General Miller didn’t disclose his relationship to the lenders when the disclosure form gives that opportunity.
On Monday the Republican Party of Iowa will also file an open records request to try to get answers for some of those questions.