(The Center Square) – Iowa Capitol Press Association announced on Tuesday it has cancelled the 2023 edition of its annual legislative preview, which has taken place annually for more than two decades.
Republicans Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Grimes, and Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, declined to attend the event, forcing the cancellation, the association said.
“The Iowa Capitol Press Association is very disappointed with this decision by Republican statehouse leaders, a decision that continues an unsettling trend of reduced availability to Iowa journalists,” ICPA said in the statement. “The ICPA continues to believe elected officials who craft state laws and operate state government should be accessible to the journalists who monitor that work on behalf of all Iowans.”
Alex Murphy, communications director for Gov. Kim Reynolds, told The Center Square Tuesday that on Dec. 15 he sent Iowa Capital Press Association President Erin Murphy an email in which he wrote: “Thank you for the invitation to participate in your forum; however, this year we respectfully decline this interview,” the email said. “We are beginning our discussions internally about potential post-COS (Condition of the State address) media plans, but have nothing set it [sic] stone at this time.”
Reynolds’ annual Condition of the State address to the Iowa legislature will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. Iowa PBS will livestream the event, and it can be watched on the governor’s Facebook page and and YouTube channel, her office announced on Tuesday.
Grassley and Whitver didn’t respond to a request for comment prior to publication.
Disclaimer: Mary Stroka and The Iowa Torch editor, Shane Vander Hart, are members of the ICPA.