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October 19th, 2010

Miller’s Office Stonewalls Access to Secret School Board Files

Yesterday the Des Moines Register broke the story about the informal opinion issued by the Attorney General’s office that the files at the Iowa Association of School Board’s should remain secret from the public and media.

“The Iowa Association of School Boards has asked Attorney General Tom Miller whether it must publicly disclose records being sought under a new provision of the state’s open-records law.  The Des Moines Register has been denied access to several months worth of e-mails between its staff and the staff of Sen. Tom Harkin, a longtime IASB supporter, and Michael Perik, a Harkin campaign contributor whose companies have collected millions of dollars from IASB through work contracts.  The Register has also been denied access to e-mails related to the newspaper and its inquiries into IASB early this year.”

October 17, 2010 Des Moines Register.

Today Brenna Findley, Republican candidate for Attorney General, called on AG Miller to release his reasons for keeping the emails and documents in question from public scrutiny.

“Iowans deserve to know why AG Miller is to keeping these files from the public.  I believe in open, honest government that is accountable to the people.  I call upon AG Miller to stop stonewalling and release an official opinion. Legislators intended for the IASB documents to be made public, and we need to know why the Attorney General has not called for the release of the records, or his justification for keeping them secret” said Findley.

Brenna Findley has promised to bring openness, accountability and transparency to the Attorney General’s office.

“It is time for the government to work for the people,” said Findley.  “As Attorney General I will serve as the legal watchdog for Iowans, holding state government accountable.”

AG Tom Miller has a long “to do” list to clean up his office:

1. Return the thousands of dollars in polluted money given by DeCoster.  (RETURNED ON AUGUST 30, 2010)

2. Come clean on the actual cost to the taxpayers of the Film Office scandal and to let us know when we can expect a report on the pay for play scandal involving allegations of donations from casino interests to Culver.  Culver’s campaign is being managed by one of Miller’s top employees who is on leave from the AG’s office.   (STILL AWAITING ACCOUNTABILITY)

3. Explain why he refused to allow Governor Culver to fire Lynn Walding, former head of the Alcoholic Beverages Division, for mismanagement and whether he investigated the underlying allegations.  State auditors have investigated the Alcoholic Beverages Division and found improper spending, including tens of thousands of dollars on artwork, leather chairs, bicycles, a camper and high-definition televisions, as well as other improprieties and mismanagement. Walding was formerly a top staffer to AG Miller. (STILL AWAITING ANSWERS)

4. Stop charging taxpayers and the media up to $40 an hour for access to public records.  Miller supported allowing the Department on Aging to charge by the hour for access to emails that would shed light on the muzzling of the Ombudsman, even though taxpayers already pay the salaries of state government employees.  (STILL DOUBLE BILLING TAXPAYERS)

5. Go to all 99 counties to listen to the concerns of everyday Iowans, like Findley is doing.  (STILL HAVEN’T SEEN HIM)

6. Explain why the Iowa Association of School Board’s files should remain secret from the media and public. (NO ACTION)

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The Iowa Republican





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