Governor Chet Culver’s pick for Public Safety Commission will get the job. At least two more Republicans plan now to vote to confirm Gene Meyer as Iowa’s Public Safety Commissioner. That means Meyer will have at least the 34 “yes” votes necessary in the Iowa Senate to get the job.
Last week, 30 Democratic and two Republican senators voted for Meyers — two votes short of confirmation. But Republican Senator John Putney of Gladbrook over the noon-hour announced he’ll now back Meyer, too. “I personally — and I only speak for myself — am confident that Gene Meyer has the expertise and the vision to lead the Department of Public Safety,” Putney said.
Republicans had raised concerns that because Meyer had been head of the Division of Criminal Investigation, he might favor one part of the agency over another. “However, since that time some of us have visited with various (division) directors and have been convinced that they are very comfortable with Mr. Meyer,” Putney said.
Putney talked with his local sheriff, too, who urged Putney to endorse Meyer for the job. Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedon, another Republican, said over the noon-hour that he, too, would vote for Meyer’s confirmation because northwest Iowa law enforcement officials had convinced him Meyer was more than qualified for the post.
Governor Culver refused to back down when Republicans voted Meyer down last week and this morning Culver said he hopes the Senate votes to confirm Meyer as Public Safety Commissioner by the end of today. “We want the very best person to lead the Department of Public Safety,” Culver said. “Gene Meyer is that person.”