DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Following a recent event in Dyersville, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper denied rumors that he would end his Democratic presidential campaign in favor of a run at a U.S. Senate seat back home.

At least “for now.”

“You even have people in Iowa coming up to me saying, ‘Why aren’t you running for the Senate? We have too many people running for president,’” he said.

But Hickenlooper believes his executive experience may yet make a difference to voters tasked with choosing from a field of 24 candidates.

“I was a small business owner, I was a mayor, I was a governor,” he said. “That executive experience, I think, uniquely prepares me to bring this country back together. In everything I did in those three parts of my life, I have been the one who gets people who oftentimes don’t like each other to come together and find common ground, to build enough trust to find compromise.”

For instance, Hickenlooper boasted getting the oil and gas industry to work with bitter rivals in the environmentalist community, resulting in methane regulation in Colorado.

“I am going to keep putting some more time in this presidential campaign because I think I’m the only person who has actually done what everyone else is talking about,” he said.

Following two more mass shootings last weekend, one in El Paso, Texas, and another in Dayton, Ohio, Hickenlooper also held up Colorado’s universal background checks on gun sales as proof that even in regions where residents love the Second Amendment, some gun regulation is possible.

“After the shooting in Aurora ... we recognized that part of our jobs as leaders was to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” he said. “Universal background checks are the one surefire way to do that. Getting to universal background checks was a battle. But we’re paving the way for other states. If we get a couple more states to do it and a couple more terrible shootings, we’ll get it done nationally.”

This was before President Donald Trump pressured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring background checks to a vote. But Hickenlooper said early changes in Republican minds were heartening.

“Heck, Mike DeWine, the Republican governor of Ohio, is coming out for universal background checks,” he said. “If you would have asked him a month ago, he would have said, ‘Never.’ People are changing.”

One reason for that, he said, is that domestic terrorism is working.

“We’re in a different situation right now,” Hickenlooper said. “Kids are scared to go to school. If you’re a terrorist and want to harm our country, make kids scared to go to school. People are scared to go to a mall or a Walmart. Want to harm our economy, make sure people won’t spend any money? We are allowing ourselves to be terrorized by Americans.”

Bustos proposes Rural Green Partnership

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., last week submitted what she has named the Rural Green Partnership to the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

The “framework of principles” would use largely economic incentives for rural communities and industries in a fight against the climate crisis.

The Rural Green Partnership aims to expand established conservation strategies and creates incentives for their adoption. It endorses investing in rural infrastructure, including broadband, the power grid and carbon dioxide pipelines to convey captured carbon to where it can be used beneficially.

This would also use zero- and low-interest loans, tax credits and grants to incentivize clean energy development and innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also calls for increasing research funding for farming practices, sustainable land uses, clean energy technologies, storage, carbon capture, etc.

The plan would get green programming into apprenticeships, community and tribal colleges and more.

“I intend to meet the challenge head on and give rural America — including the families in northwest and central Illinois — a seat at the table as we tackle the climate crisis,” Bustos said in a release. “Rural America offers an enormous amount of potential to address climate change and is home to a wealth of resources that cannot be overlooked.”

Marklein: ‘Delete it!’ measure to trim fat from Wisconsin statutes

To Wisconsin Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, the state’s 7,689-page, six-volume collection of state statutes is at least 19 pages too long.

That’s why he has authored a bill to clean up and remove out-of-date and obsolete language. Specifically, he targeted sections associated with seven obsolete tax credits and Illinois income tax reciprocity criteria.

“While it may seem like a small thing, deleting 19 pages of obsolete tax law is one way to clean up our state statutes,” Marklein said in a press release. “It also exposes the sheer volume of tax credits we still have and the complexity of our tax system. If we sunset a tax exemption, we should also include language to delete it from statute.”

Crop insurance deadline

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats from Illinois, joined other Midwest lawmakers in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week to defer penalties or postpone the crop insurance premium deadline by two months, until Dec. 1.

The senators, according to a release, cited how flooding, unusually high rainfall and other extreme moisture conditions have prevented planting throughout the farm belt.

“All reports are that a large percentage of crops are in fair to poor conditions, much higher than the historical average conditions in the country, which presents more financial uncertainties for farmers regarding the quality and timing of harvest,” they said in the release. “Delaying the crop insurance premium deadlines will provide many farming operations with additional financial flexibility in the coming months.”

Gillibrand, Harkin to host event featuring Dubuque residents

U.S. Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, will host a community conversation on disability rights today in West Des Moines. The event is set for 10:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn and Suites West Des Moines-Jordan Creek.

Scheduled to join the prominent politicians are Iowa Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, and Bill and Kyle Stumpf, a father-son Dubuque duo who were Gillibrand’s guests during a recent presidential debate.

“Too often the needs and priorities of persons with disabilities and their families are overshadowed by the politics of convenience,” said Harkin. “I look forward to this opportunity to shine light on their priorities for the future as we approach 2020.”