About 30 people attended John Hickenlooper’s Perry presentation Sunday evening. He began by giving his personal story about being a geologist before being out of work for two years. He then started a brew pub restaurant and became successful at that. His firm started the Raccoon River Brewery in Adel years ago.
He seemed to have a great sense of humor, and he told several funny stories during his presentation. Margaret, my wife, told him that she wished he was governor of Iowa and that he would be a great guy to have living next door.
He told of his success as mayor of Denver, Colo., by getting all the suburbs to work together to form a light rail system from the airport to downtown Denver.
Then he described his two terms as governor and explained how he got the oil and gas industry to work with environmental groups to solve the methane release problem. Methane is the most serious greenhouse gas.
He said he also spurred a lot of economic development in Colorado.
When asked why he did not run for the U.S. Senate, Hickenlooper said he could win if he ran but that there are other good candidates in Colorado who can beat the Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. He said he thinks he would be more beneficial to the country as the U.S. president.
He believes that he can work with Republicans across the aisle as he did in Colorado in order to solve some of the issues that face our country.
I told him about the water pollution problem in Iowa and asked if he would support changing the Clean Water Act to remove the exemptions for agricultural chemicals and hog waste runoff, which are causing the hypoxia zone in the Gulf of Mexico. I said our voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy was not working for Iowa.
He said he would try collaboration first in order to get all the parties to work on a solution. He did not give a direct answer to my question but said sometimes the federal government needs to step in to bring about change.
He would sign the Paris environmental accord and work with other nations to strengthen our alliances, such as NATO. He thought that bashing our longtime allies, like Trump has done, is a bad thing to do.
He was not in favor of all the free stuff that some Democrats are advocating, and he was concerned that the “socialism” label would be detrimental to the Democrats in the coming election.
He wants to start job apprenticeship programs for high school kids, starting in their junior year. The students could learn needed items, such as math, while working. He would also increase junior colleges because they are cheaper for the students, but he did not mention how or who pays for junior college.
I was not impressed with his education plan. I thought his education ideas were weak and and were not well developed. His website says we need to teach the right things, but he does not define these things. He wants to reduce the student loan rate to 2.5 percent. That would help, but the students would still have massive debt.
He encouraged every one to donate $5 to him so he can get enough point to be in the next debates. He is a distant cousin to Iowa’s Burt Hickenlooper, who was a former Republican governor of Iowa and later a U.S. senator from Iowa.