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Jack Conway and Convergys

By Kevin Osborne · July 21st, 2010 · Winners and Losers


JACK CONWAY: The Kentucky attorney general who is challenging Republican Rand Paul for the U.S. Senate seat this fall has more money in his campaign war chest than his better-known, Tea Party-loving rival. Democrat Conway has almost $4 million on hand, compared to Dr. Paul’s $3.8 million. Some GOPers quickly point out the figures are misleading because Conway’s booty includes $525,000 in personal loans, including $400,000 he loaned to himself.

All we’ll say is if Republicans are so concerned about the tactic, perhaps they will agree that money doesn’t equate with free speech and finally will back meaningful campaign finance reform to end these types of tricks. Conway and Paul are vying for the Senate seat held by Republican Jim Bunning, who is retiring.


CONVERGYS: When Cincinnati City Council cut a deal with Convergys Corp. in 2003 to keep its headquarters downtown, the firm got $52.2 million in aid, including $22.5 million in job-creation tax credits and $29.75 million in grants from the city (translation: free cash from taxpayers).

But under the deal, Convergys must keep at least 1,400 workers downtown or pay a $1 million penalty.

Convergys has dropped below the threshold and is asking city officials to redo the deal and forego the penalty. (This is after the company reneged on a similar deal with Norwood years ago.) Meanwhile, Convergys just hired more than 3,600 employees in the Philippines, where we’re sure they’re making far less than comparable jobs in the Queen City.

Sorry, Convergys, but you need to pay up here. Maybe you could spend less on coming up with silly names.


CITY HALL: Amid looming budget deficits and the specter of possible layoffs, administrators at Cincinnati City Hall have some good news to report. They negotiated a better contract with Duke Energy that will save the city and its various facilities — like the Water Works plant and convention center — more than $10 million in electrical and gas costs during the next two years.

Duke agreed to offer energy to the city at below-market rates and also give an additional 10 percent discount. In exchange, the city extended its contract with Duke until 2013 instead of shopping on the open market for another energy provider. (We’d still like to see if the city got bids from firms like Dominion and First Energy Solutions, though, for a better comparison.)


JOHN BOEHNER: We really don’t like picking so much on the House minority leader from West Chester, but he always gives us such good material. This time, Boehner said the financial reform bill recently approved by Congress ought to be repealed and will be if the GOP gains a majority in this fall’s elections.

He alleges the bill — which gives protections to consumers on terms for credit cards, mortgages and student loans — also “institutionalizes” taxpayer-funded bailouts of failing financial firms. Not true, replied FactCheck.org, which noted the bill requires banks and financial institutions to pay for dismantling the firms and liquidating assets.

Unfortunately, Boehner’s slippery hold on the truth and willingness to do whatever Wall Street asks of him doesn’t seem to matter to most voters in his sleepy district.



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