To the Newton Independent:
During the past month, I have received a few e-mails from small businesses in and around Newton asking about any state programs administered by the Iowa Department of Economic Development that could be of financial assistance during this recession. A couple exist, but the window of opportunity is very narrow, and each case is different.
Then today, much to my anguish and surprise, I learned that Whirlpool was the recipient of an Iowa Values Fund forgivable "loan" (gift) of $6.5 million for plant improvements and expansion at their Amana refrigeration facility.
The Values Fund board should be ashamed of themselves to reward a company that has denied former Maytag employees their negotiated benefits. This board's gift of taxpayer's money to the very company that has wreaked so much sorrow and mental anguish to so many is beyond belief.
The profits of Whirlpool tripled during the last quarter. Their nerve in demanding of the state this financial gift is nauseating.
State Senator Dennis Black