Editorial

Some visits are better than others

Friday, April 10, 2015

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley has a policy of visiting all 99 counties in Iowa every year. Whether or not he tours industries or other facilities during his visit to each county, he will always host a meeting that is open to the public and the press.

He answers questions from the people who come. If time permits, he answers questions from all who have them.

Unfortunately, his former fellow U.S. senator from Iowa for many years, Tom Harkin, made no such commitment. It seems that he rarely appeared in the western half of the state.

It initially appeared that Joni Ernst, Tom Harkin's replacement, would join Grassley in his tradition of access by Iowans. Not exactly.

She is now on a 99-county tour, but the stops appear to be facility visits rather than public forums. A media advisory email has notified us of an April 10 visit by Ernst to the Little Sioux Corn Processors in Cherokee.

The media advisory stated the tour is closed to the press, but "there will be a brief media availability after the event."

Perhaps Senator Ernst will be more open during future visits throughout the state.