“It’s excessive and counterproductive because it creates ill will toward Iowa,” Yepsen said. “Once again Iowans look like they are trying to profit financially from this event. I’ve had several reporters tell me they really don’t need it and won’t be there.”

And while all the attention is on the GOP this year, the Iowa Democratic Party is hosting its own caucuses, which will feature a televised address from President Obama. Should any reporters want to cover the Democratic caucuses, they can also register for a credential. This year, there is no charge.

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Erika Fry is a former assistant editor at CJR.