“The Longest Week” at 35: The First Major Story I Remembered As A Kid

“The Longest Week” at 35: The First Major Story I Remembered As A Kid
Waterloo Courier headline July 13, 1981
Waterloo Courier headline July 13, 1981.

Every five years, or a quinquennial, I pull out the old newspaper clippings like clockwork.

The gravitational pull of an unsettling anniversary continues to bring new angles and perspectives that percolate.

Age and time can do that to a person.

Over the past week, a popular question was asked on social media:“What was the first major news story you were aware of as a kid?”

Many responded: the JFK assassination, the September 11th attacks (15 years coming up), Challenger (30 years ago this past January), among many. Some also had local stories that were the first big news story that they remembered.

For me, it was, and always will be July 12, 1981.

Thirty-five years ago this evening, Waterloo, Iowa police officers Michael Hoing and Wayne Rice were gunned down during a noise dispute at a home.  A manhunt followed as the suspect, James Michael “T-Bone” Taylor, was on the loose and was eventually captured.

Taylor was and will always be the first major news story I remember vividly because that week was surreal and scary.

Page A3 of the Waterloo Courier, July 13, 1981, on the story of two Waterloo police officers slain.

To write a personal account of the story reinforces the impact that the case has in my life and the history of my hometown.

Several things have happened in the past five years since I wrote “The Longest Week” on July 12, 2011.

In March 2014, Taylor and former Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Marvin Messerschmidt died within a week of each other. Messerschmidt was the officer who chased down Taylor in a bean field outside of LaPorte City. Taylor stumbled to the ground, Messerschmidt apprehended him, ending the largest manhunt in Iowa history.

On the morning after Taylor’s death, I received a phone message from Adam Amdor. Amdor formerly worked at KWWL-TV (he currently works in public relations). Everyone’s friend Paul Yeager suggested to Adam to reach out to me.

Adam wanted to link my story to KWWL’s website story on Taylor’s death.  I was caught off guard by his request. After thinking it over (quickly), it was a story that needed to be told, for educational and historical purposes. I am a strong proponent of using history as a form of education. I called Adam and left a voice mail, giving my permission to link my post.

I prepared myself for an onslaught of reaction, comments, or something trollish.

It didn’t happen.

What did happen was that people read the post to get an understand the events of that hot humid week in July 1981 in the eyes of a five-year old kid. To this day, it is the most read blog post on this site.

The Taylor story stands out as a moment that remains a permanent fixture in the Cedar Valley.

———————————–

“Hi, are you the one who wrote about T-Bone Taylor?”

The Facebook message blinked across my screen two weeks after Taylor’s death.

“Yes, I am the person who wrote it.”

Her request was simple. She was attempting to write a book about the slayings and the eventual forgiveness of Taylor and the families affected.

I consented to help, but I acknowledged to her that I did not know all of the details of what was said and done, outside of what I remembered and the recollections of my father. Remember, I was five years old. Five year old kids see everything and asks a lot questions that adults do not feel comfortable answering, especially at that time.

We traded information on what we gathered. I felt that she has some salient material to go with, especially the time period from the trial until Taylor’s death. That angle was one of great interest to me.

After a month or so, due to personal issues, she abandoned the project. I never heard from her after that. It was unfortunate, but as the cliché goes “life gets in the way” and it does.

—————————–

Once in a while, I’ll glance at the post, and the late Randy Brubaker comes to mind. Brubaker was the Des Moines Register’s news desk editor. Randy passed away from heart failure in May 2014. Bru grew up in Waterloo, and he knew all about the Taylor case.

“Bru” sent me an email days after the original post in ’11. Bru said that it would be a good idea to pitch the story to the Register’s editorial board because it was one of the biggest stories in Iowa over the last 50 years.

I sent an email to Randy Evans, who was on the editorial board until his retirement about a year ago. That idea didn’t go anywhere, but it was worth pitching a story.

IMG_1879

When I wrote the original story, the one thing I never did was to pull out the old clippings, take a picture of them, and post them. I decided to do it for this post. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has several more archives of “the longest week” (front page headlines, the manhunt, and the timeline).

I don’t know why this story continues to be a major part of my life.

Maybe I do know why. I lived through that week. My grandparents and father had an indirect connection to it. I remember the weather, the sense of fear, the surrealism of the events.

The best answer for it?

It was the first major news story I remembered as a kid, and it’s the one I can never forget.

It’s Never Boring When You Have Topics to Write About

It started with a cause and a passion…five years later, a blog proved that it’s never boring in Des Moines, Iowa.

Today is the fifth anniversary of “Des Moines Is Not Boring”, a blog dedicated to touting and showing everyone that Des Moines is not boring…ever. The brainchild of Pete Jones has expanded over the years, with featured writers and topics, but the premise remains the same, which is there is plenty of events, activities, and things to do in Des Moines.

If Forbes and other publications have acknowledged that Des Moines is a busy place, then DMINB is doing their job.

Congratulations DMINB on this special day. From one local blogger to another, a tip of the fedora for a job well done and continued success.

942
No visit to the Iowa State Fair means not seeing the new tractors and combines for this John Deere guy. Remember my friends, nothing runs like a Deere.

For the first time in 12 years, I didn’t go to the Iowa State Fair. From a physical standpoint, I’m dealing with some pain in my right leg which makes walking or running unbearable at times. It was sad not being able to see some of the new things at the fairgrounds, but missing one year isn’t the end of the world.

Neither is missing a cold glass of cherry phosphate…and fried cheese curds…hot beef sundae….pork chop on a stick…sweet potato fries…JR’s mini donuts…you catch my drift?

If you have never heard or read anything from noted sports writer Wright Thompson, this week might be a good time to read some of his stuff. On Wednesday, his story on Dan Gable‘s fight to help save wrestling is required reading. To be honest, Thompson did a better job of telling the story and the life of Gable than the old SportsCentury episode did a decade ago.

As a native of Waterloo, Gable is one of the most recognizable faces that represent my hometown, along with the Sullivan Brothers, NFL great Reggie Roby, among a few others. However, Gable, with Bob Siddens, Jim Miller, Dave Natvig, Bob Buzzard, and others, put Waterloo on the map as the hotbed of prep wrestling in Iowa.

Picture of Dan Gable when he prepped at West Waterloo High for legendary coach Bob Siddens from 1964-66. (courtesy of DanGable.com)

For many sports fans, the return of football is much like the sports version of New Year’s Day. Friday will mark the return of prep football in Iowa, as Week 0 opens up for 54 teams, most of them in the 8-player class.

Where did the summer go? Sly and the Family Stone must have taken it with them.

Which brings me to do some shameless plugging, if you don’t mind. Good friend Marco Santana of the Des Moines Register profiled DM Webcasting earlier this week. I happen to know Greg Goaley and Pete Tarpey. So does everyone’s friend Paul Yeager.

Getting to do games with this guy on Friday nights…priceless. It’s time to “…go back, Jack, and do it again…” on August 30th.

This will be my fourth season working with Paul covering the CIML, notably Dowling Catholic and WDM Valley football and our third year webcasting high school football on the internet.

DM Webcasting is behind the live online streaming of both schools’ home games. Paul will handle the play-by-play duties, I’ll do the game and score updates on Twitter, Seth Drury has the sideline report, and we’ll make sure coach Andy Pollock knows how Aplington-Parkersburg is doing in their games.

In case you didn’t figure it out…there will be a heavy Wartburg presence in the pressbox.

UPDATE: Today, The Des Moines Register announced that they will carry a live feed of all the games this season, via DM Webcasting, on their website. That’s a big news for high school football fans across the state.

We’ll make our season debut next Friday as Valley hosts Waukee at Valley Stadium. I hope you can tune in, watch, and enjoy the broadcast, because as we all well know, “there is no cheering in the pressbox. If you want to cheer, buy a damn ticket”, as the great Duane Schroeder famously said.

In Search of…an Identity

Mike Draper’s column in Juice tripped my trigger on something that I’ve put off writing about.

I’ve been a Des Moines resident for 15 years. I didn’t grow up here, left the state, and came back, like Draper did. I’m from Waterloo, went to Wartburg College, and came here after college. And yet, I’m still an outsider to some of the locals, because I’m not a native of Des Moines.

Mike noted in his column that no one who visited his store during the Division I wrestling tournament was there for the tournament. Is it me or do I think that the customers Mike polled were local folks that didn’t care much for the wrestling tournament?

No wonder why I feel like an outsider. I was happy as hell to have the tournament here.

If there is one thing that sticks out to me about living here and that is how much a sizable number of locals are indifferent about things and events that people outside of Des Moines are interested in.

This is how a good number of people who live in Des Moines view the Iowa State Fair, high school tournaments, and other events that take place in their city…with a healthy dose of apathy. (pickthebrain.com)

The majority of people who attend the Iowa State Fair, the high school state tournaments, and the Drake Relays, to name a few, are not from Des Moines. A good number of DSM residents do not care for these events, much less be bothered by them. The longer I’ve lived here, the more accurate it is, at least in my mind.

There’s so many other things to do here, which is great and healthy. But let’s not get in the habit of dismissing things that help bring recognition and respect for our city. The wrestling tournament was a good thing for Des Moines. To say that it’s not, is delusional at best.

I was put off by Draper’s comment towards the CVB, the Partnership, and the business community, in the way they are trying to attract people to Des Moines, with his veiled shot by calling the wrestling tournament a useless folly that Des Moines didn’t need.

I think he’s wrong to assert that Des Moines doesn’t deserve to host the wrestling tournament again.

St. Louis and Philadelphia are larger than Des Moines. Secondly, their arenas are built for professional teams and leagues.The Scottrade Center holds 19,260. The Philly Wells Fargo Center holds 19,500.  Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena holds 16,980. Just because Des Moines didn’t get over 100,000 (96,000) fans during all six sessions of the wrestling tournament, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Des Moines blew their one and only chance. Hell, 96,000 is better than zero.

For years, the Iowa State Fair couldn’t crack 1 million in attendance. I don’t see no one calling for the State Fair to pack up and leave.

Yes, Mike, people come for the experience. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s why they are “visitors” for a reason. To experience Des Moines. You shouldn’t be offended by that.

Now, let’s get to the heart of Draper’s column.

Draper is correct when he says that Des Moines needs to utilize its natural strengths. The question is: what are these strengths besides financial services and agriculture? Are we not trying to break out of the stereotypical mold of insurance and corn?

I have attested in the past that Des Moines is searching for an identity to cultivate and grow.

Just like humans, a city in search of an identity have to go through a lot of shifting and shuffling before it finds what they are good at. (searchingforgrace.com)

It’s getting tiresome trying to be the next Omaha, Kansas City, Twin Cities, and Chicago. They have their own identities. They have went through the growing pains of finding what works for them.

There is no quick, painless way to naturally develop an identity. It’ll take a many face plants, mistakes, hits and misses, and a few good things to build an identity. Unfortunately, that isn’t good enough for some folks, who think Des Moines should be a midwestern cosmopolitan that would rival Minneapolis and Chicago.

I think we’re doing just fine…as long as we continue to evolve, tweak, poke and prod.

Des Moines is a work in progress. It’s identity will change throughout time, so will these natural strengths that Mike Draper touts.

Des Moines is the city that fits me. Not Chicago, New York, or Dallas. Not too small and not too big. It’s just right.

I like my art and my RAYGUN shirt as much as I like my wrestling.

A Letter to the Editor in re IowaCare Program

In this morning’s Des Moines Register, editor Andie Dominick wrote a column explaining that the IowaCare program is a flawed program.  She formed this opinion based on an interview with Sharon Davis, who is on Medicare, and her son, who in need of coverage for Asperger’s Disease.  Davis asserts that IowaCare is a defunct system.

After reading Dominck’s complaint about IowaCare, I feel that a response to has to be made to address IowaCare.

I am currently a patient under the IowaCare program.  Dominick says that IowaCare is not an option.  To this I reply:  IowaCare is not a failure as Mrs. Dominick perceives it to be.  I disagree with a few of the broad stroke statements that were made.  I hope my personal observation of IowaCare will help clarify several of these misconceptions.

Andie Dominick (Des Moines Register)

Mrs. Dominick and I have one thing in common.  We are both people living with diabetes (if you haven’t read it, please pick up and read “Needles”, Dominick’s personal story about living with diabetes).  I do not know how her experience have been as it relates to health care coverage.  So, I’ll give a synopsis of my experience.

In September 2012, I was diagnosed with advanced stage diabetic retinopathy.  Retinopathy is when the blood vessels around the retina in the eye start to bleed and swell, causing vision impairment.  If not treated immediately, it will cause blindness.  I am a young professional who is affected by the economic downturn and have worked as a temp employee to make ends meet in the best way possible.  For three years, I did not have insurance to cover for medical visits, insulin, and necessary equipment to manage my diabetes.

As a result, my health took a dangerous turn, especially my eyes.  I’ve heard a bit about IowaCare in the past, but thought of it to be another convoluted program that middle class people couldn’t get into because it was only for individuals who had no coverage and little to no income.

Once I was enrolled into IowaCare, I made it a point to learn more about the program and what it offers.  If I was going to save my vision, and my life, then I need to know what it does, rather than complain about its limitations.  In other words, use it to my advantage.

IowaCare, in essence, save my vision and potentially my life.

In regards to Davis’s claim that IowaCare doesn’t provide specialized treatment, that is partially true…and false.  I am receiving specialized treatment for not only my eyes, but also for diabetes through Broadlawns Internal Medicine clinic.  The problem for most who seek treatment at Broadlawns is that they are normally referred to the Primary Care clinic.  Primary care is for general maladies such as colds, flu, and minor health issues.

Sharon Davis (Charlie Litchfield/Des Moines Register)

The major issue is that patients who have more serious health conditions such as diabetes, foot problems, or mental health, should not be sent to primary care.  They should be seeing specialized care.  Broadlawns do have a mental health wing at their campus.  They also have diabetes care, foot care, et cetera. But the prevalent route is to send patients to a form of simple regular care that will not address what they really need.

My interpretation of the Dominick opinion piece is that everyone “assumes” that every condition and every illness would be covered under IowaCare or any other state-sponsored insurance program.

Which leads me to inquire if Mrs. Dominick talked to a larger sample of individuals who are receiving treatment under IowaCare.  She would have probably received several different viewpoints from those who are just as frustrated as Ms. Davis is, or those who have taken the time to ask questions and learn more about IowaCare as I have.

I am disappointed in Dominick’s view that a program is flawed, based on one person’s opinion.  I offer a different observation, for which it should be heard.

There are other programs and coverages out there that people have to research, find, and ask questions about.  I hope I’m wrong in saying this, but it appears to me that Davis assumed that IowaCare would cover everything.  To make that conclusion is not wise.

Neither is not asking questions about what it covers and accepting it “as is”.

All of us know that the new national healthcare plan that the Obama administration will put into place isn’t an “one-size fit-all” operation, and yet we continue to blindly believe that it will be.

Here are my suggestions for improvement of the IowaCare program, if Mrs. Dominick cares to read what a lowly blogger who is in the program thinks:

Location:  There should be consideration to expand the program to other hospitals to serve a regional area (NW, SW, SE, etc).  The push back will be that an established health system will prefer to offer patients their services over a state-supported service that is affordable and feasible for patients who can not afford a $500 visit and travel long distances, to name a few.

Resources:  UI Hospitals is a research hospital that is able to provide a wide range of specialized services to patients.  UI is able to receive federal funds for research and medicine.  Broadlawns is “county hospital’ for the poor and disadvantaged who need primary care.  Over the past few years, Broadlawns have expanded their specialized services, including mental health, but is limited due to their status, and being operated under the auspices of Polk County.  There should be a push for more funding to give Broadlawns the resources that is close or equal to the U of I Hospitals and Clinics.

Education:  in my opinion, IowaCare is not a failure, Mrs. Dominick.  We failed it because we don’t bother educate ourselves in understanding more about programs being offered.  We just “assume” everything is under one umbrella.  The more knowledgeable we are about the different types of programs, the more input and suggestions we can offer to help make the them better and provide expanded specialized services.

If a physician or specialist doesn’t know what type of programs are out there for patients who needs specialized care, then how will the patient know where to go to receive said care?  We are in a world where the internet is at our hands, and patients are going to find the sources to address their health situation.

I was extremely fortunate to have an ophthalmologist who knew the IowaCare program, enroll me in it, and made it a priority for me to be seen by a specialist in Broadlawns Internal Medicine clinic.

Blowing up any health care program would simply put many patients, including me, back to square one:  no coverage.  I don’t have the time to wait for the long-anticipated national health care plan to kick in.

Time is of importance.

My retina specialist put it bluntly this way:

“…people who have health benefits through their job, take them (benefits) for granted.  They’re just pissing it away by not regularly using them for checkups and health maintenance.  People who don’t have insurance and/or health coverage are constantly reminded every day that their health could go sideways.  They are the ones who really care about their health.  It’s all they got.”

Don’t Follow The Sheep

You have your own thoughts and opinions that doesn’t always coincide with the group or part of society you belong to. Don’t let anyone bully you into suppressing your own ideas and follow the sheep.

Sheep.

They stick together, graze together, and if one goes, then all of them go the same way.

It’s the human version of silo thinking.  When you think a certain way, then it’s hard to open your mind to listen, read, or see different ideas or viewpoints.

But in life, you don’t have to follow the sheep, because it’s the right thing to do, or because everyone else is doing it.

Be a black sheep.

I’m always interested in listening to different viewpoints on both sides of the political aisle.  I don’t tell people how, why, or who to vote for.  I don’t roll like that.  That’s your decision.

As long as you don’t guilt me, push me, or tell me who to vote for, then we’re cool.  I won’t hold a grudge, demonize you, or whatever candidates and voters are doing to each other these days.  I expect the same out of you.

At least I know where you stand on certain topics.

Voters are sheep.  Democrats and Republicans are leading the herd. People are forced to choose one or the other.  If they choose one, they are either crazy (Dems) or evil (GOP).  You’re not really allowed to question some issues or topics that merit discussion, for fear of ticking the party bases off.

I’m the black sheep.  A moderate.  An independent. I’m your party’s worst nightmare.

In other words, I’m the guy most of you Dems and GOP hate more than anyone, because I’m not following the sheep.

My views are derived from both parties.  There are some I’m favor of, there are some I’m against.  There are candidates and officials I respect, there are those I’m not crazy about.  Don’t expect me to vote a straight ticket.  I have never voted a straight ticket since I was eligible to vote in 1994.

Baa?

As I wrote two years ago, the Democratic and Republican parties are a mirror image of themselves in almost everything, only that their view of the world is different.  Campaign tactics, organization, structure, spinning messages to the public, etc., are the same on both sides.

I knew early on, as a young kid, that my view of politics was different from everyone else’s.  The only problem is that if I was to say what was on my mind, people would shoot it down, scream at me for not having the same beliefs as they do.

Or maybe because I’m not a flaming liberal or a fire-breathing conservative.

Trying to be civil in an increasingly uncivil society when it comes to expressing views in a civil format has become extinct.

I may not agree with everything Ed Fallon does, but he exemplifies being a “black sheep” by questioning fellow Democrats and their issue positions. He’s not afraid to stand out alone.

Which is why I have become comfortable writing what I think on a blog.  I can put it down in writing without being interrupted.  Since I’m a stutter, it’s hard to get a word in during a conversation, even with someone who loves to hear themselves all of the time.

The point here is that it’s alright, no, it’s perfectly normal, to have views that are from both sides.  If Democrats and Republicans don’t like that, screw them.  It’s your own opinion and beliefs that should trumpet over the sheep mentality of blindly agreeing with everything a party stands for or what they believe in.

Black sheep may not fit the prototype, but they are comfortable in their own skin.

Which is what I intend on doing from now on.

Baa, baa, baa.

An Endorsement Is An Opinion…Not Validation

On Saturday evening, the Des Moines Register announced their endorsement for President of the United States.  For the first time since 1972, the Register endorsed a Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.

Of course, this caused an uproar with many (specifically liberals and anti-Romney people) to no end.

Just because your newspaper didn’t endorse your guy, it doesn’t guarantee that he’ll lose. Endorsements are a crap shoot.

I find it funny on how people overreact to such silly things such as an endorsement.

An endorsement is nothing more than an opinion.  Everyone endorses something or someone.  However, for my generation (Xers) and Milennials, we have a bad habit of not looking at history and facts as we’re running around going crazy over the Register’s endorsement of Romney.

First of all, an endorsement, as I noted, is an opinion.  Traditionally, endorsements doesn’t hold much weight or sway people one way or another.  In other words, it means nothing by the time Election Day arrives.  Most of the time, anyone who is endorsed doesn’t always win the election.

Here is a list of the election year, candidates the Register has endorsed, and who actually won the presidential election.  Mind you, since 1976, the Register endorsed a Democratic candidate, until their decision on Saturday night.

1972:  Richard Nixon; Richard Nixon

1976:  Jimmy Carter; Jimmy Carter

1980:  Jimmy Carter; Ronald Reagan

1984:  Walter Mondale; Ronald Reagan

1988:  Michael Dukakis; George H.W. Bush

1996:  Bill Clinton; Bill Clinton

1996:  Bill Clinton; Bill Clinton

2000: Al Gore; George W. Bush

2004: John Kerry; George W. Bush

2008:  Barack Obama; Barack Obama

Out of 10 presidential endorsements, the Register was wrong on 5 of them.  That’s 50%.  See, endorsements doesn’t provide much of a bounce for a candidate.

Which leads me to this observation:  it’s amusing to read the reaction of those who have had no issue with the Register endorsing their party candidates (for this long of course)…until the paper chooses someone else they don’t like.

In the above classic clip from the British comedy series “Yes, Prime Minister”, PM Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby argue over newspapers.  Humphrey believes that papers only pander to readers’ prejudices, in which Hacker delivers his memorable line, only be upstaged at the end by his private secretary Bernard Wooley.

Newspapers, to me, should not be in the affirmation business when it comes to people and their political views, for the most part.  They are (and should be) in the information business.  You need information and facts, so that you can make your own conclusions or learn more about a topic.

They assessed their interviews and interactions with both candidates, scrutinized their proposed agenda and plans, and made an opinion.  That’s what you and I do on a daily basis about someone or something.

Ironically, most of you have already made up your mind about who you are endorsing and voting for.  There is no difference.

Entities such as MSNBC and Fox News are in the affirmation business.  They provide the biased slant that you want to hear, thus making you feel good by affirming your political beliefs and values.  Where else do people turn to hear Rachel Maddow affirm your liberal views and Ann Coulter to validate your conservative views?

For as much progressive (or liberal) views the Register’s editorial board has endorsed from supporting the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling on Varnum v. Brien, more government transparency, endorsement of light-rail service to Des Moines, and others, to let one thing like a political endorsement make you lose your mind, isn’t one of them.

Nor should it.

It’s alright to disagree with the Register’s endorsement, but let’s not get too batshit crazy here.  It’s one opinion, and the opinion is subject to be wrong…including your opinion as well as mine.

No one is obligated to appease your political beliefs, as a way to make you happy.

Open Records Law: Beneficial or Detrimental?

The news hit my Twitter feed shortly before 9pm last Friday night June 1st, and by Saturday night, Nancy Sebring went from former school superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools to being the former superintendent of both Des Moines and Omaha Public Schools.

No one didn’t have to wait for the Saturday paper to arrive at their doorstep to read the news of how Nancy Sebring resigned. Newspapers are using Twitter to break the news.

An open records request by an Omaha World Herald reporter to the Des Moines schools did more than release the information on why Sebring tendered her resignation as the head of DMPS.  Yes, it revealed that she likes writing racy emails but it opened up a debate on whether or not the Freedom of Information Act and the Iowa open records law is being used properly or is it being used as a tool to smear someone.

A person on Twitter shortly after the news posed that question from above.  Her feeling was that the Des Moines Register‘s decision to publish was a witch-hunt.  Over the past 24 hours, it has begun to appear like it as more and more information and details come out about it.

Is it a witch-hunt?  Depends on how much stuff you have read so far.  It may look like it, but keep this in mind:   Sebring used the school district’s email system to send and receive those “love letters”.  If you work for an employer, it’s not only in print, but it’s also common sense:  do not use the company’s email for private and personal emails, especially anything that would get you fired or subject to public reprimand.

In short, if you’re going to write personal things like that, use your personal/home PC and personal email.  Using a company PC and company email puts you and your employer at risk for trouble.

That’s why Sebring tendered her resignation…to curttail a possible termination by the board, possible litigation against all parties involved, and further embarrassment.

And in that perspective, it is not a witch-hunt, for which I respectfully disagree with the person I know on Twitter who asked that question.  A witch-hunt is when you start spreading false information about people, breaking into their personal home emails, and using information that should be private and putting it out there in public.

Former DSM Superintendent Nancy Sebring

It’s funny and hypocritical (in my view) of us, as citizens, demand to know why Sally Mason‘s husband is on the University of Iowa Foundation’s payroll, why did our nation went to Iraq, and what other secrets people and groups are hiding, and yet we think that the salacious emails Sebring was sending and receiving was going too far, especially when people were still asking why did she abruptly resigned?

Keep in mind that the University of Iowa, Governors Vilsack, Culver, and Branstad, has battled the Des Moines Register, tooth and nail, over releasing information that the Register deems to be pertinent to the public.

The question that is at the heart of this story is whether the open records law, and the pursuit of it, being used to uncover credible information or is it for agenda-based reasons?

Human nature suggests that we want to know what is going on everyday, every minute.  And yet those who felt that the Register went to far in publishing the Sebring emails are also the same people who demand that our government is hiding information.

You can’t have it both ways/  Or can you?