Since the recession, we've seen a lot of troubled towns in the country but nothing that looks quite as broken as Newton. Even the local chapter of the Optimists Club has closed.
"I wanna tell everybody that we're a company town where the company left, but we're gonna thrive," Chaz Allen told Pelley.
Allen is the mayor of this town of 15,000 people; it's a part time job that pays about $4,000 a year. Allen walked "60 Minutes" and Pelley through an abandoned Maytag plant that, at its peak, held 2,500 factory workers building washers and dryers.
If anyone out there is interested, the mayor has more than 1.7 million square feet to rent. "It is available, it is available, we'll make you a good deal," he told Pelley.
The mayor has been trying to pull new jobs into town. He made a run at green energy, and got a company that makes wind turbine blades. But every time he gets a few hundred jobs, he seems to lose a few hundred.
This fall, a telecom company called Windstream had two layoffs.
"It was 60, and then it was 146 the next time," Mayor Allen explained.
Asked how that affected people around Newton, Allen said, "You know it's a rollercoaster. I was affected in the first layoff. I was one of the ones at Windstream that was affected in the first round."
The laid-off mayor told Pelley he still doesn't have a new job.
His town is shrinking: this year they closed an elementary school and they're slashing the city budget. Allen told Pelley that due to budget cuts, the city has lost policemen, firemen and that the hospital is being reduced in size.
And that is the backdrop for Tuesday's election. In our national poll, we asked folks what the most important issue is in America: fifty four percent said jobs; health care came in second at seven percent. Only one percent said the war.
Newton's congressional district is bipartisan country. It voted for George Bush in 2004 and then for President Obama. But now Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell is fighting for his job. He has been reelected six times, but this week his race against Republican Brad Zaun is too close to call.
"My wife and I watched the news last night and I think every ad was a political ad," McNeer said.
"Well how much relevance does all of that have to you?" Pelley asked, referring to the ads, including one about the debate on the Islamic cultural center near New York's Ground Zero.
"Nothing, nothing. Doesn't have a bit of relevance to me," McNeer said.
We invited some of the folks in town to the Legion Hall. About 40 gathered on a Thursday evening.
"How many of you would say that you're angry about politics?" Pelley asked.
Virtually the entire room replied with a "yes."
"I'm sick and tired of people going to congress in Washington D.C. and making a living out of it while we starve to death," one man told Pelley.