Updated: Well, never mind, the Iowa Senate voted to continue having government entities funding newspapers...in the meantime, Vinton Today will keep plugging along without government dollars...


I had to giggle as I dumped my junk mail on the counter and opened the Livewire. I have no idea why I do it, habit I guess. There's never anything worth opening it for, and I guess I'm still looking for the grocery store ad. But I found an interesting letter to their readers concerning the state pulling money out of their bank account, er, I mean about "Freedom, Transparency and the Right to Know."

I took a second to get out my tiny violin and began playing it as I laughed, and laughed and laughed.

In a nutshell, the state wants to publish those itty bitty font notices that you can't read, (as seen on the back page of the article in the Livewire) on a central website for everyone to be able to read.

Then you don't have to subscribe, get out the magnify lens, search through the recycling bin...none of that. You can simply go online, like those of us in the 21st century tend to do.

Of course, what the newspaper is really saying is that, they need the money. Without it, well, they'd go broke-er. When they said, "a newspaper has an economic interest" they aren't kidding. They say that it's only a mere 1% of any government body's spending.

So let's see how much that is. According to this website, the city budget according to the website linked here is $14.40 Million and the Livewire said the newspapers only get about 1% so roughly $144,000 goes directly to the newspapers.

It would be tough, but I could live off that. I could hire a second reporter, an ad person, yeah, I could make a go of it. I'd make more than I do now PLUS have someone selling ads to make even more, oh I see how this works.

Now let's add in the county's 1% of their budget at $137,144.22 so add on the $144,000 and according to the newspaper they ONLY get a cool $281,144.22. Elon Musk has it right. Legacy media is state-sponsored. Label every newspaper, "state-sponsored" for truth in advertising.

Vinton Today has been saying for 13 years that this needs to stop. 1% doesn't sound like much, but when putting in a street, that one percent might cover a little bit of the concrete costs. 1% of the county budget, that would buy TONS of gravel.

The newspaper said that Iowans should demand more scrutiny of their government. I think I've done that for the newspaper this week.

Support TRUE local media, VINTON TODAY and tell our Senator in Des Moines to vote YES. Tell him that unless Vinton Today and INDEPENDENT news site can get a cut of that, to publish notices neither should the newspapers.

I'll make it easy. Copy and paste this:

Dear Senator McClintock,

I would like to ask for your support for Senate File 546. I read my local news on Vinton Today, a local, independent website. It does not receive any government money for support, and never has.

Currently, Vinton Today operates with the support of its community, as all newspapers should.

Thank you so much for your time.


Here's his contact info.

Contact | McClintock for Iowa

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JG April 20, 2023, 3:05 pm According to the county vendor reports published on VintonToday the county pays around $1600 every couple of reports for public notices. Even if you call it a monthly expense they are looking at $19,200.00 per year. The write up says that the cost is less than 1% not equal to 1%, 0.001 is less than 1.
Interestingly I can not tell you what the city of Vinton pays because they do not feel the need to post their vendor reports.

Editor's note: I just used their numbers...I believe that schools also have to print notices, and probably other departments that I'm not thinking of.
JO April 21, 2023, 4:40 pm Dear Editor,
I would like to let JG know that the City, by law, is required to publish within 15 days of Council meeting the minutes AND accounts payable and receivable. This is an excerpt from a checklist that the Iowa League of Cities published-

Minutes must be written and published within 15 days of the meeting. Is the clerk’s substitute aware of this?
Be sure to include the title of all resolutions and ordinances in the minutes.
A list of disbursements must be included in a publication listing the vendor name, description of service or supply and gross amount paid.
A summary of the receipts by fund must also be published.
If an ordinance was passed, a copy must be published. (Suggest working with city attorney on this as an acceptable “summary” may be used to cut publication costs.)
I am unsure if Vinton publishes their
expenditures since I do not get the paper, but if what you say, JG, is true The City is violating Iowa law.