FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Statement in Response to Miller’s Apparent Use of Public Resources for Political Purposes
Marion, Iowa – June 7, 2016
In response to his opponent’s apparent use of public resources for political purposes, Joe Stutler of Marion, Iowa, Democratic candidate for Linn County Auditor, issued the following statement:
“I am disappointed that my opponent appears to be using county resources for campaign purposes. Such actions are in violation of election laws covered in Iowa Code 68A.505 and Iowa Administrative Code 351.5. Violating the public trust is not something we want from any elected official. When the Auditor violates the public trust, violates election law, that calls into question the very legitimacy of the election. I believe the people of Linn County deserve an auditor who won’t violate election laws in an effort to be elected to public office.
We’ve run a positive campaign, focusing on the issues and steering clear from personal attacks. The integrity of elections in Linn County is the issue at hand, as that is one of the key responsibilities of the Auditor. We should be able to trust that our elections are run fairly and within the law. I intend to do just that, despite current practices to the contrary.”
Stutler has filed a complaint with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
Stutler provided a timeline and substantiating evidence showing Miller’s alleged actions:
On May 25, 2016, Miller attacked Stutler’s military service and challenged him to share his records.
On May 30, Stutler posted his military records for all to see:
On June 2, someone with access to county resources and Miller’s county and personal email accounts scanned Miller’s military records on county equipment and had them emailed to Miller’s county email account. That person then changed the subject line of the email to “BB game” and forwarded the email to Miller’s personal email account.
On June 2, Miller added a blog post to his personal blog regarding his military records, including a file named 20160602112406047.pdf
On June 3, Stutler noticed on Miller’s blog an attached file with a name that appeared to be a date-time stamp associated with office equipment. Upon reviewing the file, Stutler learned that it was produced on a Savin MP C4503. Stutler called the county finance department and learned that kind of equipment is used in the Auditor’s office. Stutler submitted a complaint to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, and submitted a FOIA to the county requesting information regarding that equipment and the file.
On June 6, Stutler received two responses from the county regarding his FOIA. One shows that the logs for the Savin MP C4503 were cleared on the afternoon of June 3 (after the complaint was filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board). The second shows the full email chain from the Savin MP C4503 to Miller’s county email account and from there to his personal account. All evidence has been forwarded to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
Stutler is seeking the Linn County Democratic Party’s Nomination in the June 7, 2016 primary election. Stutler is running to bring transparency, accountability, and collaboration to the Auditor’s office.