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].


Making a better world, one person at a time

By: - December 24, 2020

This season reminds us of all that is possible, of the importance of concern and compassion for others. But even a message so sound, so succinct and so universal can benefit from real life examples. A California sheriff’s deputy with Iowa roots will help us with that today. So will a couple of behind-the-scenes angels […]


‘Unemployment’ is not the same for everyone

By: - December 15, 2020

The boss told Gus Malzahn on Sunday that he was no longer needed. His employment was ending immediately. With that blunt conversation, Malzahn became another statistic of 2020. He took his place next to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs this year — a year when unemployment, at times, rivaled those dreadfully […]


U.S. House is the wrong place to decide who won 2nd District race

By: - December 8, 2020

Tone-deaf. That’s the dismal state of the political discourse in our nation these days. Regrettably, Iowa has an all-too-prominent role in this bumbling lack of awareness of how our democracy is being eaten away by the people who want to be our leaders. Pour yourself a glass of Maalox. You will need it, because your […]


This Thanksgiving recipe doesn’t depend on food or family

By: - November 25, 2020

With all of the frustrations, the tragedies and the maddening political chaos that have been with us this year, I have the perfect recipe for our Thanksgiving celebrations. No, it is not a new take on green bean casserole. It’s not some newfangled way to ease the strain on our belts after a holiday meal. […]


WW II lesson is ignored during this pandemic

By: - November 18, 2020

Forgive me, but I don’t think Americans are as tough as we used to be. Specifically, I don’t think many of us see the big picture the way our parents and our grandparents did. I venture down this treacherous path because I think this lack of toughness is affecting Iowans’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. […]


Weary reflections from the middle of the road

By: - November 11, 2020

I’m tired. I’m worn out. My energy has been sapped. I am tired of getting up every day and bracing myself to learn who or what, in the dawn’s early light, the president has demeaned, disparaged or mocked like a school kid. I long for the days when political leaders try to bring us together, […]


Governor’s lawyers admit her staff refused to release public records on COVID-19 testing

By: - October 27, 2020

When the Iowa Legislature wrote the state’s public records law 50 years ago, lawmakers wanted to guarantee that anyone could obtain copies of state and local government records that are not designated by statute to be kept confidential. There is no asterisk in the law. There is no exemption saying the governor can ignore the […]


UNI student leaders missed important lesson on free speech

By: - October 20, 2020

There is a significant disconnect right now at the University of Northern Iowa. We think of colleges and universities as places where people come together to learn, to discuss and deliberate ideas, and to strengthen their thinking skills. But that has not occurred this month at Iowa’s third-largest university. The UNI student government refused last […]


Michigan governor kidnap plot shows danger of vigilantes

By: - October 13, 2020

My closest friend spent his working life in law enforcement. He handled everything from minor traffic violations to homicides, with assorted robberies, break-ins, vandalism and domestic assaults in between. Sadly, Denny has been gone for three years. Among his family’s treasured possessions are his sheriff’s badges, the shoulder patches from his uniforms and the large, […]


2020 has shown us why America needs journalists

By: - October 8, 2020

Editors’ note: This column was orginally written for the National Newspaper Association in observance of National Newspaper Week this week. There is one week set aside each year to salute newspapers for the important role they have played in our nation, a role that goes back to the beginning of these United States. This year, […]


We should be talking about everyone’s taxes, not just Trump’s

By: - September 29, 2020

The events and issues of the past couple of weeks have been swirling around in my head like Toto, Dorothy and the debris picked up in that famous Kansas cyclone. Here are some thoughts from that vortex: *  *  * HOW DO YOU COMPARE? People were buzzing Sunday night over news reports dealing with federal […]

Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst

‘Principles’ shouldn’t be a matter of convenience

By: - September 22, 2020

One of my co-workers at the Des Moines Register was Gene Raffensperger, an excellent reporter with a delicious sense of humor. When Raff was working on a dull story, he often would announce to colleagues, “We’re going to need another tanker of Murine. I’ve got an eye-burner here.” Raff is no longer with us. But […]