Monday, October 01, 2007

Freedom of Information -- past, present and future

The annual meeting of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council was held Sept. 28 in Des Moines. (As a past president, I'm a member of the organization's executive committee.)

The program included a special award for citizens of Riverdale, Iowa (above), who -- at great personal expense, anguish and time -- who have taken their city government to court (and won) over the illegal withholding of public documents. Pictured are, from left, Allen Diercks, Marie Randol and Tammie Picton. (Their lawyer, from the Quad Cities, is Dubuque native Michael Meloy.)

Also featured was a panel discussion focused on the legislative task force looking at revisions of the Iowa open meetings and open records laws. Among the panelists were Keith Luchtel, lobbyist for the Iowa Newspaper Association (at left in the videos), and state Sen. Mike Connolly, D-Dubuque, co-chair of the task force.

Also shown in one video shot are panelists Herb Strentz (far end of table), founding executive secretary of the Iowa FoI Council, and Lee Rood, Des Moines Register reporter.

In the videos, Luchtell and Connolly discuss the task force's task -- which is formidable.

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