Several small business owners took part in a press conference on Wednesday to share their concerns and reiterate their demands for answers from democratic senatorial candidate Teresa Greenfield.
Greenfield, who is running against Republican Senator Joni Ernst, was the focus of the letter authored by 11 small business owners. In the letter, the signers demand information about Greenfield and her company’s decisions to terminate and evict the leases of several long-time small business owners in the Apple valley shopping center located in Windsor Heights in 2015.
Two of the signers of the letter delivered last week spoke at the outdoor press conference. Jacob Handsaker, who owns an excavating business, spoke first, “When you run a small business, you put down roots where you are, and you become a part of your community. It concerns me that Theresa Greenfield would throw our small businesses aside for the next big dollar sign coming.”
“We would really like some answers from Greenfield on the letter that we sent, and we have not gotten any response yet,” said Handsaker
“All the people, like Joni Ernst, stepping up for small businesses shows the desire and compassion that makes this country great. We all have a role we can play to keep our local businesses and families strong. We need people like Joni Ernst to do that because Joni listens to Iowans, Joni cares for Iowans and Joni acts for Iowans,” said Mike Vaughn, Co-Owner of BDI Signs spoke next. He also singed the Greenfield letter.
Incredibly, after months of avoiding talking about the topic, the Greenfield campaign dismissed the concerns over the evictions via tweet. The Campaigns press secretary referred to the process as a “long-completed economic development project.”
“Two-faced Theresa is having a hard time balancing her ruthless real estate mogul past with her political aspirations,” said Jeff Kaufmann, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa after the press conference. “The fact that the Greenfield campaign views kicking Windsor Heights small businesses to the curb to make way for a multinational corporation as a positive thing is pathetic and shows her true motives. Iowans are beginning to see Greenfield for what she is, just another slick politician who’s bad for small businesses.”
The issue has provided extensive fodder for the Republican National Senatorial Committee. On Tuesday, they rolled out a new ad hitting Greenfield on her business record and the evictions and lease terminations she signed.
New NRSC Ad in Iowa: @GreenfieldIowa is putting big corporations ahead of small businesses. Iowans deserve better. #IASen #iapolitics pic.twitter.com/TB0wy8lNVs
— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) June 16, 2020
In a statement shared with Iowa Field Report NRSC spokesperson Nathan Brand said, “Greenfield has no answer for signing the eviction papers of Iowa small businesses to make way for a multinational corporation.”
“Greenfield’s failed business record and refusal to answer questions from Iowans show that she is not only unprepared to lead but is only looking out for her own interests, not the interests of Hawkeye State voters,” said Brand.