Friday, January 8, 2010

My letter to the CEO of Maytag/Whirlpool

Dear Mr. Fettig,

When I started having trouble with the Whirlpool washing machine that was already installed in my home when I purchased it last year, I began to entertain the idea of simply replacing the machine with a high-efficiency model. My locality offers incentives for converting to the latest "green" technologies, and I was intrigued by the rave reviews and greater capacity and performance these machines seemed to offer. After much research, I had just about settled on one of the new Maytag Bravos (now a subsidiary of Whirlpool). So far so good.

Lastly, I wanted to be sure my purchase would align with my personal convictions and values. As an Iraq combat veteran, I care deeply about the fate of our country and its people. So many families and hard-working citizens are suffering today from predatory lending and credit practices, inadequate access to routine health care, and the reduction in government services due to revenue shortfalls caused by off-shoring and high unemployment. I didn't put my life on the line in a foreign land only to return to watch my neighbors being ravaged by a government that redistributes their wealth to the already-wealthy through lax regulatory practices and a corrupt political system.

Initially, I was encouraged to confirm that Whirlpool/Maytag is indeed based in the USA, thus fostering our own economy. But I was extremely dismayed to discover where your political contributions have gone: Sen. Max Baucus, who had single-payer advocates arrested during hearings on health care reform, just for peacefully and respectfully trying to get that option on the table; Rep. John Boehner, who stands solidly against environmental progress (one of the reasons I want a new washing machine!); Sen. Tom Coburn, who seemingly prayed for Sen. Byrd's death just to block health care reform; Sen. Jim DeMint, who has blocked nomination of a new TSA chief in the wake of several very troubling security threats, because of the possibility of unionizing the TSA (when many public service sectors are in fact unionized, and certain federal employees can be ordered not to strike -- remember the air traffic controllers?); Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who seems to feel no shame in holding health care for all Americans hostage to her personal whims and interests; and I won't even bother going on about Stupak, Grassley, and the rest. Clearly, the purchase of a Whirlpool/Maytag machine would NOT be in line with my core principles: to improve our global environment and our domestic happiness and prosperity.

I am posting this to several blogs and to my Facebook page. I promise, in fairness, to post any response you may have.


Cheryl Kopec
Tacoma, WA