Iowa Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat who is seeking re-election, has seen questions about his campaign take the spotlight away from some of the bill signings he’s conducted recently. Changes in his campaign and regular staff and donations from gambling interests to his campaign have been the focus of questions from reporters.
At a bill signing today, Culver said reporters were missing the mark when asked about the possibility of a tax increase linked to the bill setting up the conservation trust fund. “I really hope at some point you focus on the fact that on about eight or ten occassions we have passed very imporatnt bipartisian legislation,” Culver said, “and it think thats’ really important that we focus on that when it comes to reorganizing government, the early retirement plan, protecting domestic violence victims, a long list of very impressive bipartisan legislation.”
Culver says leaders in the state should get credit for working together. “We see very little bipartisanship in America right now anywhere, and in Des Moines we’re finding common ground. And this is another example of that today, so it’s a sign of getting things done and working together to be responsive to the wishes of our constituents,” Culver says.
Culver still has several more bills to sign — including a controversial one that changes the concealed weapons law. He is not saying what he plans to do with that bill. Culver says he is taking one bill at a time and will continue to meet his responsibility to sign the bills and when he makes the final decision on those bills he will hold a ceremony and let everyone know where he stands.
The bill would require Iowa sheriffs, in nearly all cases, to grant a gun permit if the person has taken safety courses and hasn’t been convicted of a felony. Those in favor of the law rallied at the statehouse Monday. The Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association opposes the bill.