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Procter & Gamble and Mayor Mark Mallory

By Kevin Osborne · October 13th, 2010 · Winners and Losers


PROCTER & GAMBLE: The maker of household goods has long been a fine corporate citizen here in its hometown, whether it's by donating to charities or bringing fresh, creative young talent to live in the Queen City. The latest example is P&G's support for the city's expanded recycling program. To help boost participation just as Cincinnati officials are distributing larger recycling containers to many households, P&G is offering $5 discounts on its products to anyone who registers at the free online RecycleBank. That New York-based program allows local residents to accumulate rewards points by increasing their recycling amounts and spreading the word through social media. These are good incentives to get people to change their habits and lessen their personal impact on planet Earth. On the other hand...


PROCTER & GAMBLE: We're deeply disappointed that P&G wouldn't let Justin Coussoule keep his job as a purchasing manager there while running as the Democratic candidate for Ohio's 8th Congressional District, against Republican incumbent John Boehner. The company initially told Coussoule in February that he could keep his job while he ran for office.

But in April, P&G notified him that company policy required him to quit if he won the May primary and ran in the general election. Tellingly, P&G conceded the policy wasn't available previously to Coussoule or any other employee. Having raised tens of thousands of dollars, built a campaign organization and actively campaigned for nearly three months, Justin chose to resign. P&G is far too organized and efficient a firm to have let this happen. If it truly wants to promote democracy and good government, it should've let him just take a leave of absence.


PHIL HEIMLICH: Reinventing yourself after a setback is as American as apple pie, and finding a new job in this economy surely is to be applauded. Still, we're not sure it's a good thing that Heimlich, a longtime Cincinnati city councilman who served a single term as a Hamilton County commissioner, recently registered as a City Hall lobbyist for at least two companies. Heimlich was once considered a rising star among Southwest Ohio conservatives but that was before he bungled his commission term and aborted two separate campaigns — one as running mate to gubernatorial hopeful Jim Petro, the other as a GOP primary challenger to Jean Schmidt. Neither bid went the distance. Now that his radio talk show, Hard Truths, has flopped, Phil once again is walking the marble corridors of municipal government. He's the lobbyist for Hilltop Concrete and Prus Construction, but given that he alienated many council members and City Hall staffers with his aggressive, accusatory style, we don't see how Heimlich could grease the skids for those companies with local officials.


MARK MALLORY: Ever since Mallory first became Cincinnati mayor in late 2005, he's played fast and loose with Ohio's public meetings laws. Whenever City Council members look like they're getting into a serious disagreement during a public meeting, he will recess the session and call different factions of the group into a corner to try to privately persuade or pressure members into a compromise. But such “round robin” vetting of elected officials violates the spirit and, possibly, the letter of the laws. Maybe Mallory could get away with such tactics at the Statehouse, where it takes much more to have a quorum, but that's just not proper in city government. Kudos to The Enquirer for suing Mallory and the city to stop this shady practice, after he used it once again to decide how to divvy up casino revenues without public input or scrutiny.



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