The one and only Iowa Attorney General Race debate was held yesterday at the University of Iowa Law School between Democratic incumbent Attorney General Tom Miller and Republican challenger Brenna Findley. I have read the scant coverage offered and some info that was emailed to me. I hope to watch or listen if it made available online. From what I have read I have three observations.
1. Incumbent Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s claim to bipartisanship is asinine.
So I guess that is why he didn’t defend our Defense of Marriage Act (which was bipartisan legislation). His bipartisanship also led him to warn county recorders about legal consequences (like getting them removed from office) if they didn’t comply with the Iowa Supreme Court’s unconstitutional order for them to commence issuing marriage licenses. Please show me the law in the Iowa Code that allows gay marriage. Also show me where in the Iowa Constitution it gives the Iowa Supreme Court the authority to administer the law.
Constitution 101 – they can interpret the law and issue an opinion. That’s it. Tom Miller doesn’t seem to understand this either and lacks understanding that it is his role as Iowa’s Attorney General to defend our laws. As much grief as I give the Obama administration at least the U.S. Department of Justice seems to understand that. I know the Obama Administration disagrees with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but Attorney General Eric Holder at least realizes it is his job to defend it.
Is his commitment to bipartisanship the reason why he saw no conflict of interest having one of his staffers, Donn Stanley work for Governor Chet Culver’s campaign when the campaign was under investigation? Perhaps bipartisanship is why he protected an ally when he should have advised Governor Culver to fire former Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Administrator Lynn Walding.
I suppose it is bipartisanship that led to his informal opinion that the Iowa Association of School Board’s records remain secret. I’m sure that has nothing to do with protecting Senator Tom Harkin.
2. He seems to think standing up for the Constitution and Iowa’s 10th Amendment rights is acting in a partisan manner. From Radio Iowa:
Findley stressed her promise to join other state attorneys general in challenging the federal health care reform law. ”That bill isn’t just wrong, it’s unconstitutional,” Findley said. “And it’s up to your attorney general to stand up for you against that unconstitutional mandate and our current attorney general has refused to do so.”
Miller said he believes the law is “terribly, terribly against” Findley’s envisioned legal challenge. “She sees the job as a place to further conservative, right-wing policy goals,” Miller said, “but mainly ideologically constitutional and legal goals.”
Please Mr. Attorney General, show me where in the Constitution it gives Congress the right to mandate individual health insurance? You should be protecting Iowans from that intrusion, but again what he calls “bipartisan” is just demonstrating his partisanship.
3. He doesn’t seem to care that his office’s screw-up led to two violent sex offenders to be released.
When he was pressed about this in today’s debate he responded, “that will happen from time to time.”
Are you kidding me. At least he should have said, “we blew it and are terribly sorry we will do our due diligence to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Instead we get that those things happen… shucks, nothing we can do.
Two violent sexual predators on the streets… oops, my bad probably will happen again because those things “will happen from time to time.”
That alone my friends is reason enough to give Attorney General Miller a pink slip.
But this debate shows we have several.
Update: Linked at The Bean Walker and cross-posted at Publius Forum