...or sh**t rolls down hill.
Richard, your point, "If the legislators want to extract petulant payback on the press corps because the coverage of their august body is often embarrassing, then perhaps they should quit doing and or saying so many stupid things." is well taken. Growing up in rural Iowa, as children you learned your lessons the hard way. Eventually you understood when it was proper to open your mouth and when it was far safer to keep your thoughts to yourself! How such decorum has bypassed this body is on them, if they don't want to hear what they say repeated, maybe it is best they resign and take their comments with them. Protecting this rabble from the public who elected them isn't the job of the legislative body, and especially those who have better sense and know how to not open their mouths and insert their feet!
Thanks for writing this, Richard. You had the great fortune to work for a leader with integrity, who believed he governed for ALL the people of Iowa. I hope you're doing well. Susan and I spend part of our days wondering/guessing what The Old Reporter's take would be on so many things in the last 10 years.
Richard - Thank you for sharing your very thoughtful article. The Iowa government and the press were so much more to admire during the Bob Ray years. Every thing was not so bitterly partisan.
Best wishes to you and Julie,
Tone at the Top
It's not only happening in Iowa, and it's a by-product of a lot of factors, starting with the crash of local and state journalism. When reporters are not present, when it's not the norm for officials to be asked challenging questions, when freedom of the press is not ever-present and at the forefront, when power no longer believes in accountability, when media is siloed into camps, when opinion or public clicks matter more to journalism management than the truth -- the result is that honest journalists are physically removed and denied access. Where is this not happening? How can we reverse this autocratic trend?
When I heard what the had been done in the Senate, I came in & rewound the TV. Couldn't believe what I heard. Knew that was a Kim Reynolds type move!!! Thank you for writing your article. What is going on in the legislature and the Governor's office is just plain wrong and NOT in the interest of the people. I am embarrassed about what Iowa looks like now. This is indeed not the Iowa I remember or was proud of. I didn't much like Branstad - Reynolds is far, far worse, in the Trumpian style!!!!
Dick, I read this column in The Register yesterday and just had to tell you how much I appreciated it. It should be shared more widely.
Awesome column, Richard! Yes, it should be in all Iowa newspapers. Nice to see Norm Brewer's comments......a good blast from the past. Register reporters are always the best! So, maybe set up shop in the balcony! Could always see good stuff from up there. All comments aside, this is tragic......and why? What's the back story/who ticked those senators off?
Thank you for sharing your experiences, Richard. I hope people in Iowa are screaming from the hilltops.
Thank you for writing this column, Richard. Just about the time I begin to think the governor and the republicans in the legislature cannot do anything that would surprise me anymore, this whole deal comes along. What?! I hope your column is picked up and published by newspapers all over our state. What the governor and these people are doing is so wrong and does not reflect well on our state at all. This is not the Iowa in which I grew up. These are not the values of the people I know in this state. We used to be in the vanguard of social change, a model for public education, a place that supports families, all families, a place where fresh ideas were welcomed and debated with intelligence and respect. We seem to be in a ditch because we have state legislators who cannot think of the future of the state of Iowa and the people who live here or of the people who might want to live here. Mean has become the norm for way too many elected officials in this state. It is not a good place to be. As I said before, this is not the Iowa I know.
I wish we could go back to the days of Bob Ray both nationally and in the state but we can’t! And yes, there are 29 kinds of marble in the state Capitol and only one Is from Iowa and it is in the 3 rooms of the Governor’s office. It is a very white marble from Charles City Iowa!
Gov. Bob Ray's administration was as transparent as any I covered. Thanks, Richard.
Succinct analysis of the autocratic tendencies of Iowa Republicans to stonewall the public. Falls right in line with today's(1/9/22) DM Register Op-ed piece by Jim Chrisinger "What Authoritarianism would look like here." Republicans' cry "socialism"; I cry "authoritarianism"!
While the opacity is unsurprising, the charges represent a move to halt some of the most damaging gubernatorial and legislative actions. Thank you for sharing your work.
Good needed article! However I thought rule 1 was Good Government is Good Politics 😉