Council supports Statehouse blogger

The Iowa Freedom of Information Council is supporting a Windsor Heights blogger who has been refused press credentials to cover proceedings in the Iowa House of Representatives.

The blogger, Laura Belin, writes about Iowa government and politics on her widely read publication, Bleeding Heartland.

But Carmine Boal, the chief clerk of the Iowa House, has turned down Belin’s request for press credentials. Boal told her that she does not meet the qualifications for press credentials. However, Iowa House rules contain no qualifications for credentials, and other bloggers have in the past been granted press credentials by the Iowa House.

The Iowa Senate, which operates under its own rules, issued press credentials to Belin this month.

Randy Evans, executive director of the Iowa FOI Council, wrote to Boal this week and urged her to reconsider her decision on Belin’s application. Evans said in his letter that it would be unfortunate if Boal actually were basing her decision on the liberal commentary that Belin sometimes includes in the blog. Evans said it is not permissible for a government entity like the Iowa House to base this decision on the content of the publication.

Boal is hired by the majority party in the House. This session, Republican members are in the majority.

You can read a copy of Evans’ letter to Boal by clicking this link: HouseClerk