Republican Brenna Bird said she wants to be Iowa’s next attorney general for the same reason she loves being a county attorney — to help victims.
Democrat Tom Miller has held the position of Iowa attorney general for more than 40 years, but Bird believes that her record of standing up for victims and her will to help law enforcement shows that she’s the right person to take over as Iowa’s top law enforcement official .
“I like being a prosecutor because I get to work with law enforcement and also keep our county safe,” she told The Hawk Eye. “Our current attorney general has just been silent on issues regarding law enforcement.”
Bird, who is currently serving as a Guthrie County attorney, said ensuring criminals are being prosecuted properly is one of the more important jobs of the attorney general’s office. She said that even deciding how to charge someone with a crime is one of the most important decisions she can make.
Prosecuting a crime can give the victim justice, but Bird also said it has the possibility of helping those charged with crimes to turn their life around. As a county attorney in a small county, it’s not uncommon for Bird to run across someone she’s previously put in jail. She said that it makes her proud when she sees that person has now got their life back together.
“That accountability, I think it helps a lot of people. Nobody likes to face that, but it has to happen if it is going to change,” she said.
The attorney general’s office is called in to assist on major crimes. In Burlington, the Iowa attorney general’s office was called in to assist in the murder case involving Eddie Breuer when Des Moines County Attorney Lisa Schaefer was struggling with several murder cases at once.
Related: Breuer’s death was a sad day
Bird said one of her priorities would be to hire more attorneys in the Area Prosecutions Division. Often when the attorney general receives calls to assist county attorney offices, it is to assist with murder cases or difficult sexual assault cases. She said the attorney general’s office could not hope to fulfill this obligation without being properly staffed.
It’s not just the prosecution side that she is worried does not have enough attorneys. The Iowa Attorney General’s office is also responsible for all appeals in the state. Without the proper attorneys to defend the state’s convictions, Bird said criminals could end up getting out of jail if their appeals are granted by the Iowa Court of Appeals or the Iowa Supreme court.
Bird also wants to create a “cold case” unit for the state.
“With the changes we have seen with DNA and other techniques, I think it’s something that we need to be doing,” she said.
To finance it, Bird said she would go through the budget and figure out where money is being spent effectively.
“I will do a top-down audit to make sure those services are being used to help victims of crime, because that is so important,” she said. “Sometimes government uses money to expand government programs, but it doesn’t always looked at where the money is spent.”
Bird said another important part of her job as attorney general would be to make decisions on whether to take the federal government to court.
Bird said this is one area in which she feels Miller is not fulfilling his duties to the citizens of Iowa. One example Bird gave was that Miller did not sue the Biden administration when the Occupational Health and Safety Administration attempted to mandate vaccines for all workers at large companies.
“When the federal government does not do things that follow federal laws, then the attorney general takes them to court to enforce that,” Bird said.
This article originally appeared on The Hawk Eye: attorney-general-talks-hiring-more-prosecutors-suing-federal-government/7745826001/” data-ylk=”slk:Brenna Bird talks hiring more prosecutors, suing federal government” class=”link “>Brenna Bird talks hiring more prosecutors, suing federal government
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