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]

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Lawmakers’ mixed message on mandates puzzles Iowans

By: - February 13, 2022

I’m confused, and I have a hunch I am not the only one. Are government mandates a bad thing — or are they good? My confusion comes because I hear what leaders in the Iowa Legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds have said for months. It certainly seems as if, to a person, they agree mandates […]


Massive tax cuts won’t solve Iowa’s population challenges

By: - January 23, 2022

I stumbled across a statistical tidbit the other day that probably will surprise many people. U.S. Census Bureau figures show that between 1900 and 2000, the state that grew the least in population, on a percentage basis, was Iowa. Read that again. No state had smaller population growth between 1900 and 2000, as a percentage, […]


Senate removal of media won’t keep Iowans informed

By: - January 11, 2022

Typically, in the days leading up to the start of a new session of the Iowa Legislature, the attention is on lawmakers’ goals and priorities — and on the pledges they make to work together for the good of the people of Iowa. This year, however, Republican leaders who control the Iowa Senate announced a […]


Two accidental shootings by police, two very different approaches to justice

By: - January 1, 2022

Minnesota and its government officials delivered an important lesson recently on how to provide justice — and their lesson should be taken to heart by their neighbors in Iowa. The contrast is jarring between the way government handled the deaths of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., and Autumn Steele in Burlington, Iowa. One was […]


Those ‘good neighbor deeds’ can recharge us

By: - December 25, 2021

When I walked out the door at the Des Moines Register for the final time on Dec. 12, 2014, there was an unfinished piece of work tucked away in a box of assorted stuff I carried. The folder contained a few dozen newspaper clippings, press releases and notes to myself I had collected. There was […]


Some school officials haven’t learned important lesson about public records

By: - December 16, 2021

The past couple of years have been challenging for Iowa’s 327 public school districts. Parents have become very engaged with their schools — and enraged, too, at times. This has revolved around masks and vaccines, what is being taught or not taught, the content of library books, and an assortment of other concerns. But in […]

Redhead teenage male bullying mixed race teenage boy in the corridor at school.

Why aren’t we discussing student behavior issues?

By: - December 11, 2021

When you have orbited the sun as many times as I have, people sometimes want to tap into the insights you have gathered through the years. Young journalists and newsroom managers ask about the lessons I accumulated from a half century in the newspaper business. One lesson is quite simple, actually: Keep your eyes and […]


Our political system has withered since Bob Dole’s days

By: - December 9, 2021

The death Sunday of Robert Dole was a potent reminder of what we have lost as a nation. Another member of the Greatest Generation has left us — another of those Depression-era kids who came together to save democracy in the dark days of World War II. The career of the 98-year-old Kansas Republican reminds […]


Libraries should be for all, not just for some

By: - November 27, 2021

There’s a big birthday coming up in Iowa in about a month. This place we call home — these 55,800 square miles of farm fields, wooded land, and clusters of housing and commerce — joined the Union 175 years ago on Dec. 28. This should be cause for a celebration. But it probably won’t be. […]


Public must be informed in doctor discipline cases

By: - October 25, 2021

The Iowa Legislature’s “to do” list should be a little longer after last week. And people need to contact their senators and representatives in the Legislature to make sure they understand their duty is to protect the health and safety of Iowans. The reason? The Iowa Supreme Court handed down a decision Friday that will pretty […]


The wacky extremes with ‘two-sideisms’

By: - October 23, 2021

The requirements for becoming a teacher were always straightforward: Earn a college degree in education, take enough classes in your area of specialty, practice your teaching skills for a semester as a student teacher. Politicians have added a new skill this year in some states: Be a mind reader. That’s what teachers in a Texas […]


These men have eloquent guidance about keeping life in perspective

By: - October 16, 2021

Richard Deming, the son of a grain elevator worker and grocery store clerk from small-town South Dakota, is a modest, soft-spoken man. He has spent the majority of his adult life with people when they are most vulnerable — when they or loved ones are fighting cancer. Ron Fournier came out of a different background. […]