Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is the target of a new digital ad paid for by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). The GOP Attorneys General accuse Miller, a Democrat who is serving his ninth four-year term, of politicizing Iowa’s gubernatorial succession.
Last week Miller released a controversial formal opinion stating that Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) will lack the authority to appoint her replacement when she is sworn in as Governor when Governor Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) is confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China and resigns from office.
This opinion represents a reversal from what Miller’s office initially believed agreeing with the Branstad administration and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate that Reynolds would have the authority to appoint a new Lieutenant Governor.
Miller now says that Reynolds upon Branstad’s resignation will act as Governor and Lieutenant Governor and will be unable to appoint her replacement.
The Iowa Constitution prohibits the Governor to hold another office. Iowa law states that the Governor has the authority to appoint a new Lieutenant Governor if the office is vacant which Republicans argue will be the case when Reynolds is sworn in as Governor.
James A. Albert, a professor of law at Drake University and chair of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, even went so far to call Miller’s opinion “absurd” in a recent op/ed in the Des Moines Register.
Caffeinated Thoughts learned that RAGA, which represents 29 Republican Attorneys General, will launch their digital ad campaign tomorrow criticizing Miller.
“Tom Miller is playing politics with a serious situation,” RAGA Executive Director Scott Will said in a statement sent to Caffeinated Thoughts. “Experts from across the political spectrum agree the law explicitly grants Reynolds the authority to appoint her replacement.
“This episode demonstrates the importance of electing Republican attorneys general who will uphold the rule of law. Iowa deserves better from its attorney general, and RAGA is investing in Iowa to send Tom Miller a message: stop playing politics and start upholding the law.”
The ads targeting Miller, who is up for reelection in 2018, will link to an online petition.