John Delaney centers campaign on jobs, climate change

2020+Democratic+Candidate+and+former+Maryland+Congressman+John+Delaney+speaks+to+business+owner+Jason+Hall+and+his+family+at+Moxie+Solar+in+North+Liberty%2C+IA%2C+on+Friday%2C+Oct.+18%2C+2019.+The+visit+was+part+of+John+Delaney%E2%80%99s+Heartland+Startup+Tour.+
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John Delaney centers campaign on jobs, climate change

2020 Democratic Candidate and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney speaks to business owner Jason Hall and his family at Moxie Solar in North Liberty, IA, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The visit was part of John Delaney’s Heartland Startup Tour.

2020 Democratic Candidate and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney speaks to business owner Jason Hall and his family at Moxie Solar in North Liberty, IA, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The visit was part of John Delaney’s Heartland Startup Tour.

Jenna Galligan

2020 Democratic Candidate and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney speaks to business owner Jason Hall and his family at Moxie Solar in North Liberty, IA, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The visit was part of John Delaney’s Heartland Startup Tour.

Jenna Galligan

Jenna Galligan

2020 Democratic Candidate and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney speaks to business owner Jason Hall and his family at Moxie Solar in North Liberty, IA, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The visit was part of John Delaney’s Heartland Startup Tour.

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Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney is staking his presidential run on his experience as a two-time company founder. 

In a visit to North Liberty startup Moxie Solar Friday, Delaney and his campaign invited local entrepreneurs for one-on-one conversations and an interview with Moxie Solar CEO Jason Hall. 

The North Liberty stop was the first on a “Heartland StartUp Tour.” In 1993, Delaney founded Health Care Financial Partners, which gave loans to health-care service providers and later started a commercial lender called CapitalSource. Both companies were publicly traded, and eventually merged or were bought out.

“I want to be the president that brings jobs to every community in this country through entrepreneurship,” Delaney said. “…I’m going around Iowa, to communities that need jobs, and talking about how we encourage entrepreneurship, how we support them, and how we make sure they can grow.”

Kelly Finn, founder of a Cedar Rapids ACT prep company, FinnPrep, said she hadn’t heard of Delaney before being invited to the event, but liked that he was focusing on small businesses and entrepreneurs, saying his outreach made her think more favorably of him.

The former Congressman, who began campaigning in July, 2017, didn’t qualify for the September or October debates, and must meet at least 3 percent in four Democratic National Committee-approved polls and 160,000 unique donors in order to get on the November debate stage. Delaney hovered around 1 percent in the last Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted in September.

Delaney said he believed he had enough time between now and the Iowa caucuses Feb. 3 to be a top ticket candidate. 

“Yes — particularly with what my focus is now, which is rural Iowa, entrepreneurship, and jobs. No one else running is talking about those things. And it’s actually the most important thing for Iowa,” he said. 

He added that he didn’t think it was essential to get on the debate stage in November.

“I think Iowa can send some surprises to the national stage,” Delaney said. “And I’m planning on being one of those.”

On climate change, Delaney told the group about a $4 trillion proposal he released in May to address the warming of the Earth. In it, he pledged support for a carbon tax and dividend proposal, where the government would levy a tax of $15 fee per metric ton of Carbon Dioxide, and then distribute that revenue to Americans in a monthly dividend.  

He’s one of several candidates who support that policy. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Andrew Yang. A 2017 carbon tax and dividend bill he cosponsored in the House didn’t make it passed being introduced. 

He also supports ending fossil fuel subsidies and investing that money into technology to extract CO2 from the air, and build pipelines across the U.S. that would transport the carbon.

John Niemeyer, 49, of Kalon, asked Delaney whether he believed that Americans would be resentful of a carbon tax if it increases costs of those who have to commute, comparing it to the 

the French Yellow Jacket movement, a series of weekend protests in France beginning in late 2018 against a carbon tax. Delaney said redistributing the tax money in a dividend would make up for a higher cost of living.

Niemeyer said he’ll likely vote for President Trump in 2020, though has voted for Democrats locally. He added he likes Delaney’s policies and political philosophy best out of all the Democratic candidates — he believes the national Democratic Party 

“Their main party focus on the shame factor. And they want to shame you into the right thing. I just don’t think that’s the best policy,” he said. 

Rob Hogg, a Democratic state senator from Cedar Rapids, introduced Delaney. He’s been hosting climate-focused events with candidates in eastern Iowa throughout the presidential-nomination season. 

Hogg, who hasn’t announced who he’ll caucus for, said the carbon tax and dividend plan Delaney supports is a good step in addressing climate change, but shouldn’t be the only way to address it. 

“My belief is, is that yes, we should do the carbon fee and dividend, but people shouldn’t think of it as that’s the only thing we’re going to do,” he said.  

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