Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller started running television commercials this week. I didn’t see the video on YouTube or his campaign website, but I taped it during the lunchtime newscast on KCCI. UPDATE: The video is now available on YouTube:
Male voice-over: His number one priority: protecting Iowans. Attorney General Tom Miller [photo of Miller, words “Tom Miller Protecting Iowans” on screen]
582 dangerous criminals sent to prison for life–Tom Miller. [Words “582 in prison for life–Tom Miller Attorney General” on screen]
84 sex predators and rapists kept in prison beyond their original terms. [words “84 predators and rapists kept in prison” on screen]
And he continues to lead the fight in the legislature for tougher laws on sex predators–Tom Miller. [photo of Miller, words “tougher laws on sex predators, Tom Miller Attorney General” on screen]
A mortgage hotline helping twelve thousand Iowans struggling to keep their homes. [words “12,000 home owners helped” on screen]
Cracking down on crime, standing up for Iowans. Tom Miller: A tough crime-fighter, a proven attorney general.
They certainly mentioned his name a lot of times, which is important for an incumbent who’s not in the news every day. I would like Miller to emphasize his consumer protection work, but I’m not surprised he went with the “tough on crime” angle. Republican attorney general candidate Brenna Findley is running tv and radio ads emphasizing her commitment to locking up sex predators (which implies the incumbent is not doing that job).
Miller has lobbied the state legislature for tougher laws on sex predators, so his commercial is accurate. I think it’s worth noting that while the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws keeping sex offenders in custody beyond their terms, the programs “have almost never met a stated purpose of treating the worst criminals until they no longer pose a threat.”
The mortgage help hotline is important, and Miller should talk more about that kind of work before the election.
Speaking of foreclosures, the Attorney General’s Office announced today that Miller “is leading a 49-state bipartisan mortgage foreclosure working group, as part of a coordinated national effort by states to review the practice of so-called ‘robo-signing’ within the mortgage servicing industry.” The Wisconsin-based Daily Reporter has more on that effort. I’ve posted the press release from the AG’s office after the jump.
UPDATE: The Iowa Student Bar Association of the University of Iowa College of Law is sponsoring a debate between Findley and Miller, now scheduled for October 20 at the law school in Iowa City. Law students will submit the questions in advance.
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General http://www.IowaAttorneyGeneral…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2010
(DES MOINES, Iowa) Attorney General Tom Miller is leading a 49-state bipartisan mortgage foreclosure working group, as part of a coordinated national effort by states to review the practice of so-called “robo-signing” within the mortgage servicing industry.
The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group, comprised of state attorneys general in 49 states, and state banking and mortgage regulators in more than two dozen states, will explore whether individual mortgage servicers have improperly submitted documents in support of foreclosures. Specifically, the group will investigate whether companies misrepresented on affidavits and other documents that they reviewed and verified supporting foreclosure documentation. The group will also attempt to determine whether companies also signed affidavits outside the presence of a notary public, along with other possible issues regarding servicing irregularities or abuses.
(See attached joint multistate group statement)
“This group has the backing of nearly every state in the nation to get to the bottom of this foreclosure mess, and we plan to work together as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible,” said Miller. “Since this issue affects peoples’ homes and has clear economic implications, this probe and its outcome need to be fair both to homeowners and also to lenders,” Miller said.
Submitting foreclosure documents without verification, with false representation, and/or signing certain legal documents outside the presence of a notary public may constitute deceptive acts and/or unfair practices, and may otherwise violate state laws and court rules.
The multistate group, through an executive committee, will contact a comprehensive list of individual mortgage servicers. The group’s initial objectives include:
·Putting an immediate stop to improper mortgage foreclosure practices.
·Reviewing past and present practices by mortgage servicers subject to the inquiry.
·Evaluating potential remedies for past practices and to deter future improper practices.
·Establishing a mechanism for more effective independent monitoring of future mortgage foreclosure practices.
The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group will consult with federal regulators and agencies, including the Mortgage Fraud Working Group of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in 2009.
“These are starting points, and it’s possible this group may limit, expand or change its objectives,” Miller said. “What’s important here is this is a cooperative and coordinated effort by states to address a serious problem. This is not simply about a glitch in paperwork. It’s also about some companies violating the law and many people losing their homes.”