By Emily Geiger
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…
There is a very interesting article in the Register about how Chester is trying to stick it to the aforementioned Des Moines paper by charging them for legal fees associated with an open records request. The Register wants to get its hands on some government emails that might shed some light on what state officials knew when about the Atalissa bunkhouse situation.
The $630 fee Chester wants to charge is not for any actual cost of materials associated with the request (i.e. copies). Rather, the fee is to pay for Chester’s lawyer to look over all the emails requested to see if there are any that Chester doesn’t have to make public. That’s right, Chester’s making the Register pay for a lawyer to try to find stuff to keep from the Register.
Don’t I remember Chester saying something during his campaign about wanting to make government more open and accessible to the people? Oh, wait, that was a long time ago and all the new information Chester has had to try to remember since he became governor must have pushed that little tidbit out of his mind. Space is limited in there, you know.
Now for the feud angle. Once again there is a bill pending at the Statehouse that would strengthen Iowa’s open records laws. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy just happened to pick today, the day after the Register runs its story about Chester playing keep away with public records, to go public himself, voicing his own unwavering support for tougher open meetings and records laws.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that McCarthy was almost trying to draw attention to the fact that Culver seems to be keeping secrets, flouting the current open records law in an effort to cover his own abundant rear end… and that is no small task… if you know what I mean.
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