Randy Evans

Randy Evans

Randy Evans is executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, a 43-year-old nonprofit education and advocacy organization that works for improved government transparency and citizen accountability. He can be reached at [email protected]


Secrecy isn’t how police build trust and respect

By: - October 19, 2022

Middle ground is not something that often is seen nowadays in Iowa government or our politics. These days, candidates, elected officials and community members often are seen as flawed if they speak in favor of the middle ground. Case in point: Too many people have staked out extreme positions on one of the most important […]


Yearlong banishment from a public meeting isn’t ‘reasonable’

By: - October 7, 2022

“Reasonable” is a word that is used often in Iowa’s laws. Reasonable fees. Reasonable rules. Reasonable efforts. Reasonable force. But events in recent weeks show government officials are not always following what many Iowans would think the term means. And when government officials deviate from “reasonable,” they should not be surprised if their standing or […]


Two Iowa care center deaths raise uncomfortable questions about justice

By: - October 4, 2022

There was a recent news update about two elderly Iowans who wandered away from different care centers last winter and froze to death. There is no question the deaths were horrible tragedies. There is no question they resulted from carelessness and a needless lack of attention by employees of the centers. There are important questions […]


Technology has super-sized community donations

By: - September 24, 2022

Growing up in Bloomfield in the 1950s and 1960s, I remember seeing empty coffee cans next to the cash registers in places like Ollie O’Briant’s drug store, Bill Tews’ coffee shop and Isham Pottorff’s gas station. The cans had handwritten signs taped to the side — a common fundraising technique of the day. Those simple […]


Interest group’s ad rakes Axne over term limits issue but ignores Grassley, Ernst

By: - September 17, 2022

Televisions are getting larger, but that does not make it easier to decipher the political ads that are as common these days as gnats at a picnic. There is one thing we should understand about these ads: Their purpose is not to educate voters or inform them about the finer points of a candidate’s views. Instead, […]


Wise school leaders don’t keep the public in the dark about cybercrime

By: - September 11, 2022

These days, I stand in front of audiences and engage in what is politely called “public speaking” more often than even Mr. Gentry ever imagined when I showed up at his office door 55 years ago with a bug-eyed expression of concern. Mr. Gentry was the guidance counselor at Davis County High School. He was […]


We all don’t benefit equally from government aid — it’s not just student loans

By: - September 3, 2022

President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans for many borrowers is fair game for vigorous debate — and disagreement. Americans have been debating and disagreeing for 246 years. What jumps out in this latest dispute is how some politicians are blind to the inconsistencies in their arguments against this […]


A welcome antidote for what ails our spirits

By: - August 20, 2022

Not all of the best medicine comes with a prescription from a physician. Don’t read this to mean I am advocating treating coronavirus with ivermectin, a drug more often used on horses. That’s not what is on my mind today. Recent news has left many of us discouraged. Floods, wind storms, shootings, politicians, pestilence, and […]


Iowa gives too little attention to care of its elderly

By: - August 13, 2022

People in the health care field have worked their tails off since the COVID pandemic hit Iowa with a vengeance in 2020. Doctors, nurses and all manner of technicians and support staff have performed heroically under circumstances that often were trying. But the death this year of a patient at a Centerville care center has […]


Two wrongful-arrest cases show suspicion is not enough in our system of justice

By: - August 6, 2022

It is difficult for many of us to muster empathy for people accused of crimes who have complaints about the way police treated them. This lack of empathy probably occurs because ordinary folks do not think they will be in situations like people accused of crimes. If that includes you, allow me to introduce you […]


If Grandma can Zoom, the government can, too

By: - July 19, 2022

In my day job, I wear the hat of the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has been around for 40-plus years. We advocate on behalf of the public and journalists for government transparency and accountability to the people of this state. Periodically, I speak to groups of […]


What happens when you have a beef with a judge?

By: - July 16, 2022

It was not in the menu, but there was a heaping helping of irony served up one evening last week at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining at Morton’s steakhouse. Demonstrators were outside, intent on ensuring he left with indigestion and not just a full belly. At the […]