Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, Brenna Findley, debated this afternoon before students and faculty of the University of Iowa Law School.
Findley accused Miller of being an “activist” attorney general who was too quick to go after private businesses. “The most important function is that the attorney general serve the interests of the people,” Findley said. “I believe I work for the taxpayers, not just for government.”
Miller suggested Findley would pursue a “right-wing” agenda if she’s elected. “The voters have a very, very clear choice,” Miller said. “I love this job…and I love it ’cause I have a passion for using the law to serve the interests of ordinary Iowans.”
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.”
The two candidates answered questions from a University of Iowa law professor who served as debate moderator as well as from law school students. A tape of the forum will be replayed on Mediacom cable systems throughout the state next week.
Miller, who graduated from Harvard Law, is seeking an eighth term as Iowa’s attorney general. Findley, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, has served on Republican Congressman Steve King’s staff for seven years before leaving to run for office.