Governor Branstad has appointed his youngest son to the state commission that oversees hunting regulations.
Twenty-nine-year-old Marcus Branstad will be a voting member of the Iowa Natural Resources Commission as of May 1, if the Iowa Senate confirms the appointment. It’s an unpaid position.
Marcus Branstad was among the crowd in his father’s statehouse office in 2011 when Governor Branstad signed a bill that legalized dove hunting in Iowa.
“This kid loves to hunt — a lot of different species,” Branstad said, laughing as he added: “And this is one more.”
Marcus Branstad was in the governor’s hunting party the first weekend of 2013 when Terry Branstad bagged an eight-point buck. The Natural Resources Commission on which Marcus Branstad has been appointed to serve was recently in the spotlight for proposing rules that forbid the use of lead shot during dove hunting season. More than a year ago, the governor publicly noted his son testified against the proposal during a public hearing.
“He was one that felt it was inappropriate for the DNR commission to go against the wishes of the legislature,” the governor told reporters last year.
Branstad issued an executive order in 2012 to overturn the policy and allow the use lead shot during dove hunting season.
Marcus Branstad’s name is among dozens on a list of the governor’s appointments to state boards and commissions. All must win confirmation from 34 of the 50 members of the Iowa Senate in order to serve.
Branstad has appointed the chairman of the board that governs the state universities to another term. Former Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang’s current term on the Iowa Board of Regents expires April 30th. Branstad also named a doctor from Webster City and a businessman from Grimes as new members of the Board of Regents.
The governor also reappointed several top administrators, asking Terry Rich to stay on as head of the Iowa Lottery and Timothy Orr to remain the Iowa National Guard’s adjutant-general.
Branstad named several former state legislators to key positions in state government.
Republican Representative Nick Wagner of Marion lost his bid for reelection last November. Branstad has appointed Wagner to serve on the Iowa Utilities Board, a job that comes with a six figure salary. However, most of the 700 Iowans who serve on state boards and commissions are volunteers and only receive compensation for travel and meal expenses.
Branstad has named former Republican Representative Richard Arnold of Russell to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Arnold did not seek reelection in 2012. It means three of the five commission members will be former legislators.
Another legislator who didn’t run for reelection in 2012 — former State Senator Tom Rielly of Oskaloosa — is to become a member of the Iowa Transportation Commission. Rielly, a Democrat, was an advocate for a state gas tax increase when he served in the senate.
Former State Senator Maggie Tinsman of Bettendorf, a Republican candidate of the U.S. Senate in 1998, has been appointed to a state council to find ways to prevent disabilities. Retired Republican lawmaker Willard Jenkins of Waterloo will become a member of the Iowa Commission on Aging. Insurance agent Bob Skow, a former Democratic member of the Iowa House, has been appointed to the board that oversees the state HAWK-I program that provides health insurance to children in low-income households.
Sandra Blodgett of Clear Lake, the wife of former Republican Representative Gary Blodgett, will serve on the Commission on Judicial Qualifications.
Tahira Hira, a former Iowa State University professor who is now a senior policy advisor to ISU’s president, has been appointed to the Credit Union Review Board.