Iowa Attorney General Miller ‘off and running’ for ninth term

Cited successes in tobacco regulations, mortgage suit during press conference

James Q. Lynch
Published: November 13 2013 | 2:15 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 11:26 pm in
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Iowa Attorney General is “off and running again with zeal and excitement.”

The eight-term Democrat kicked off his plans to seek an unprecedented ninth term during a Cedar Rapids news conference Wednesday.

Miller, 69, talked about how public service has been a “leading value” of his life as he has followed n the footsteps of his father, who worked in the Dubuque County Assessor’s Office.

“He considered public service a noble cause … an opportunity to serve other people,” he said.

“I’ve tried to live by those values,” Miller said.

Miller highlighted to his work on the nationwide tobacco settlements and his leadership in a multi-state suit against banks stemming from the mortgage crisis as key accomplishments during his tenure.

The state has received upward of $888 million since 1999 from the tobacco settlement and $40 million from the mortgage crisis suit, which went to homeowners and to set up the Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline.

More recently, his office butted heads with news media and other state agencies seeking access to public records.

Miller is defending the Iowa Department of Human Services in a series of complaints from the Des Moines Register over the cost of and availability of records in relation to a state-run juvenile home and he’s publicly feuded with State of Iowa Ombudsman Ruth Cooperrider who accused Miller’s office of trying to interfere with her ability to investigate complaints about state and local government.

On Wednesday, Miller said these were “honest disagreements” over “basic principles of what we believe” and added he believes in open and transparent government.

He said there was still more work to do as attorney general, highlighting his efforts to get restrictions on electronic cigarettes and starting a white-collar crime division in his office.

He was first elected attorney general in 1978. He ran for governor in 1990 but lost in the Democratic primary. He was re-elected attorney general in 1994 and in each of the four times he’s stood for re-election since.

In his last contest, he bested Republican Brenna Findley by more than 120,000 votes in the same election that saw Gov. Terry Branstad beat incumbent Democrat Chet Culver. Findley now works as Branstad’s legal counsel.

Mike Wiser of the Des Moines bureau contributed to this report

 

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