The laws of our land have a powerful impact on our ability to thrive. That’s why it is so important to support candidates who have our best interests in mind. They aren’t always the ones who get the most media attention or have the highest campaign budgets. We must pay attention and hear what they have to say to make the most informed decisions about how we vote. On Oct. 18, 2019, Democratic candidate John Delaney kicked off his Heartland Startup Tour with a visit to MOXIE headquarters in North Liberty, Iowa. This gave our community a unique opportunity to hear his platform and speak with him in person.
Who Is Presidential Candidate John Delaney?
John Delaney is a 56-year-old businessman and attorney who grew up in New Jersey. He spent part of his childhood working at construction sites with his electrician father.
After graduating from Bergen Catholic High School, Delaney received scholarships from his father’s labor union, the VFW, and American Legion that helped him cover the cost of attending Columbia University. He graduated with a B.A. in 1985 and earned a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center three years later.
Delaney was elected to represent Maryland’s 6th congressional district in 2013. He remained in office until this year. Now, he is working towards a loftier goal: winning the 2020 presidential election.
The Spirit of an Entrepreneur
Along with experience in politics, Delaney also brings the spirit of an entrepreneur. He co-founded two companies during his adult life.
Health Care Financial Partners (HCFP) was founded in 1993. The business provided loans to smaller health care service providers that were often overlooked by large banks. HCFP went public in 1996 and was trading on the New York Stock Exchange by 1998. It was acquired by Heller Financial the following year.
Delaney’s second foray into entrepreneurship formed CapitalSource in 2000. The Maryland-based business provided capital to approximately 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses during his time there. The company earned a U.S. Treasury Bank Enterprise Award from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in 2010. Delaney was serving as CEO at the time.
CapitalSource was also included in Washingtonian magazine’s list of best places to work in 2005. Delaney received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004.
The lessons learned during his time as an entrepreneur have helped shape part of John Delaney’s platform.
“I want to be the president that brings jobs to every community in this country through entrepreneurship,” Delaney stated. “I’m going around to 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.”
It seems fitting that he would begin his Heartland Startup Tour at MOXIE. Our story is an example of the many Delaney wants to highlight on the campaign trail. What began as a local operation bringing renewable energy to the region has exploded into a successful company that’s reaching communities across the nation. It’s the kind of business growth that Delaney hopes to nurture throughout America.
John Delaney’s Stance on Climate Change
Solar energy and climate change are two topics that are often discussed together. While he wants to see entrepreneurs thrive, Delaney also considers the health of our planet to be a top priority. He released a $4 million proposal last May that addressed global warming.
In the proposal, Delaney outlined a carbon tax and dividend proposal. This would include a tax that starts at $15 per metric ton of Carbon Dioxide produced. The fee would increase by $10 annually. The revenue from the tax would be distributed to Americans each month. Supporters of the policy want to create marketing incentives to reduce emissions.
According to the official Delaney website, “It is time we put a price on carbon to end polluters’ free ride.”
The plan discusses additional incentives like options for how to use the dividends. These include putting them in a tax-advantaged savings account or retirement account. The website also promises that “Delaney’s Carbon Fee will reduce carbon emissions by 90% by 2050.”
Delaney isn’t the only candidate who backs the policy. He’s one of several including Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
While a CO2 tax helps, it will take more to find a long-term solution to the global warming issue. Delaney promises to support the development and use of Direct Air Capture/Negative Emissions Technology or NET. He plans to lower the cost of NET using a reverse auction program that will give companies who can have the biggest impact priority access to government subsidies.
Delaney also plans to increase the government’s budget in this area five-fold. He wants to see more funding go toward green energy programs. The investment will pay for research that helps improve how we gather, use, and store energy.
There is an emphasis on harnessing the innovation and creativity of people to find ways to combat climate change. Another way this would be done is through Delaney’s challenge grant program. The program awards the creation of new and better methods for preventing wildfires, reducing emissions, electrifying freight, and storing and transmitting energy.
Democratic state senator Rob Hogg introduced John Delaney during the gathering. Hogg has organized climate change-focused events in eastern Iowa. He agrees that this is a problem that requires a multi-pronged approach: “My belief 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.”
The 2020 Presidential Election
MOXIE CEO Jason Hall and other entrepreneurs had the opportunity to meet with John Delaney and hear his take on some of our nation’s biggest issues. It’s a reminder of the importance of knowing not only who is running, but what they stand for. We also need to understand how a candidate’s beliefs align with what matters to communities in Iowa and throughout the United States. The 2020 presidential election is fast approaching, and we need to be armed with information if we’re going to make it count.