Gregg touts plans for AG office

Adam Gregg, the Republican who hopes to become Iowa’s attorney general, plans to put together a new unit to tackle cybercrime if he’s elected.

He’s also promising to diligently enforce the state’s laws on open records and open meetings of governmental bodies.

”I think I can fight every single day for Iowa families, Iowa farmers and our constitutional freedoms,” he said Tuesday during an interview with The Messenger.

Gregg most recently served as an aide to Gov. Terry Branstad. He made one of his first campaign appearances in Fort Dodge on June 6, just days after announcing he would seek the Republican nomination for attorney general.

He is seeking to defeat Attorney General Tom Miller, a long-serving Democratic incumbent.

”After being in office for 32 years, he’s somehow managed to lose touch with Iowans,” Gregg said. ”And that’s easy to do when you don’t travel the state and meet with them. I think as attorney general you serve as Iowa’s lawyer, and if you’re Iowa’s lawyer you ought to meet with your clients every once in awhile.”

Gregg said if he’s elected, he’ll visit all 99 counties every year.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Miller defended his work.

”I think that I continue to be very much in touch with Iowans and very much in touch with the powers and authorities of the office,” he said.

”My approach is very much about using the office to help average Iowans and there’s no better example of that than our work to protect consumers,” he added. ”I think the office exists to use the law to benefit Iowans.”

Gregg said he wants to establish a new division within the attorney general’s office focused on prosecuting cybercrimes. He said his proposed new division would take on cases that are beyond the capabilities of local authorities, but aren’t significant enough for federal prosecution.

Crime, he said, is moving online just as commerce is.

”An attorney general needs to understand those trends,” he said.

Gregg said he will be aggressive in his approach to enforcing the laws on public meetings and public records.

”I’m going to be an advocate for a more open, efficient and accessible government and that includes working to improve Iowa’s open records laws,” he said. ”I’m going to look at the open records laws through the lens with which they were intended and that is to err on the side of openness.”

Gregg said he also wants to review all of the state’s boards and commissions that issue professional licenses, and make recommendations to the governor and Legislature about which ones are necessary. For example, he questions why the state has a board that regulates landscape architects.

The attorney general’s office is the legal adviser to all of those boards and commissions, and thus is the right agency to conduct such a review, he said.

”This is a specific example of how we can cut red tape, how we can make government smaller, how we can remove barriers to job creation,” Gregg said.

Gregg was Branstad’s legislative liaison from 2012 until this year. In that role, he served as a link between the governor and lawmakers. Before joining the governor’s staff he worked for a law firm.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central College in Pella and a law degree from Drake University in Des Moines.