Iowa Attorney General: Miller vs. Battaglia

(KWQC) - Candidate responses are posted exactly as we received them and have not been edited.

Tom Miller (incumbent) :
Political Party: Democrat
Hometown: Dubuque
Current City: Des Moines

Marco Battaglia:
Political Party: Libertarian Party
Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Current City: Des Moines, IA

Previous work experience:
Miller: I have served as Iowa's Attorney General since I was first elected in 1978 except for four years (1991-1994) when I was in private law practice.
Battaglia: Financial Crimes, taking on money laundering, usury, elder abuse, and all manners of scams that we see in Iowa. I have worked with regulation and law regarding banking, mortgage, and insurance in the private sector with a number of of Iowa's largest employers.

Family/family background:
Miller: I grew up in Dubuque, where my father was the longtime county assessor. He was the inspiration for my early interest in public service. I have a son, Matt, a daughter-in-law, Brittany, and a one-year old grandson, Jake.
Battaglia: I have one son and I live on an acreage on the south side of Des Moines. My father served in the Peace Corps, in Africa, under JFK and worked for the Iowa Department of Education. My mother immigrated here from Italy with her family when she was a child. My grandparents moved here from their native Italy to escape from the hardships caused by fascism, Nazi occupation, and mob rule. They wanted to give us the protections of the constitutions and the bill of rights.

What was your very first job?
Miller: My first job after law school was serving two years as a VISTA volunteer in Baltimore, Maryland.
Battaglia: My first job outside of working with family members was at the movie theater in Johnston, Iowa. I worked there from the time that I could first legally work at 16, through my high school education, and then intermittently, through my graduation from the University of Northern Iowa.

What life achievements are you most proud of?
Miller: I am most proud of the work my office has done to protect Iowans from consumer fraud. We have brought significant reforms in how major industries interact with Iowa consumers, including telemarketers, sweepstakes, buying clubs, mortgage servicers, and student loan processors. In the process, we have returned tens of millions of dollars to Iowans. We continue to fight consumer fraud in the areas of automobiles, home improvement, debt collection, telecommunications, and data breaches.
Battaglia: I could not be more proud of my son. He loves reading, he is very interested in chess, and he loves to learn. I am proud of the work that I have done with the Libertarian Party of Iowa. We have come a long ways in the last decade. In the next election cycle it is likely that we will be on the ballot and in debates in all 50 states. I am proud of the work that I have done to raise awareness on human trafficking in Iowa, on harm reduction, and on mental health rehabilitation.

What would be the first thing you do once elected?
Miller: Making Iowa safer is my first priority. My office plays a central role in criminal law. We have handled serious crimes and sexually violent predator commitments in 91 counties and criminal appeals to uphold convictions from 96 counties. We successfully pressed for strengthening of laws on child pornography, enticement of children on the Internet, human trafficking, and rape kit testing. We serve crime victims with victim compensation and domestic violence and sexual assault programs.
Battaglia: I would start focusing on ending the back log on rape test kits, on occupational licensing reform, criminal and civil justice reform, harm reduction, and on mental health and addiction rehabilitation. I would set a goal of eradicating human trafficking from the state of Iowa within 10 years.

Why should voters choose you in this election?
Miller: My record makes it clear I am qualified for this position. With my skills, experience, and great staff, I have repeatedly delivered outstanding results for Iowans in the areas of consumer protection, criminal law, and advocating for farmers. I find immense satisfaction in working as the "people's lawyer" and using the law to serve the interests of ordinary Iowan. My polestar is to work in a non-partisan manner, read the law fairly and accurately, and "call them like I see them."
Battaglia: The application of the law and the defense of those in our state and their inherent rights and liberties. That is what I see as the primary responsibilities of Attorney General according to Iowa Code. I find partisan politics in the attorney general role problematic. We have issues of tri-partisan agreement that get lost in the political football. Things like occupational licensing reform, mental health and addiction rehabilitation, civil and criminal justice reform, and family law reform.