DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad didn’t look far too find someone to appoint to the Natural Resources Commission.
The fifth-term governor appointed his son, Marcus Branstad of West Des Moines, to the commission that sets policy regarding fish, wildlife and conservation as well as overseeing state parks and forests.
The Branstad administration defended the appointment of the governor’s son, pointing out that he will go through the same confirmation process as every other appointee. Governors’ appointments must be confirmed by two-thirds of the 50-member Senate.
The younger Branstad, 29, has a “heart for service,” according to the governor’s spokesman, Tim Albrecht. He’s a longtime outdoor enthusiast and hunter.
“He has a passion for outdoor resources,” Albrecht said.
The governor appoints the “best possible individual” to state boards and commissions “and Marcus’ passion made him a great candidate for that job.”
Marcus Branstad, a political science major of Buena Vista University, is a manager at the American Chemistry Council.
Senate Natural Resources Committee Chairman Dick Dearden, D-Des Moines, said he would welcome the younger Branstad’s input on natural resource issues.
“Marcus is a nice young guy,” Dearden said, adding that he once hunted with him. “He’ll do a nice job. I’m glad the governor appointed him.”
One thing Dearden and Marcus Branstad likely will agree on is the governor overturning a ban on the use of lead shot by mourning dove hunters. The liberal blog Bleeding Heartland suggested the Branstad appointment “will presumably help make sure that commission never again tries to ban lead ammunition for any kind of hunting.”
The seven members of Natural Resource Commission serve six-year terms.
Other appointments include Delia Meier of Eldridge to the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board. Meier is senior vice president of the Iowa 80 Group, which operates the “World’s Largest Truck Stop” near Walcott, and daughter of founder truck stop founder Bill Moon.
Meier hosted Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a campaign event at the landmark stop in 2012 and she’s been at the Statehouse this year lobbying against a proposed hike in the state’s fuel tax.