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  • Tom Sussi

Nationwide Chose Sides Long Ago


An oversight.

That is how Natosha Prolago, Director of Political Programs for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, dismisses that her office omitted my name in a company-wide email to its employees listing the names of candidates running for Columbus City Council and linking them to recorded Zoom interviews with the candidates.


Nationwide
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This email went out on November 1. A Nationwide insider contacted me, pointed out the “oversight,” and at 6:48 that evening I contacted, via email, four Nationwide employees including Prolago, inquiring why my name was missing from that list. Even Sheila Eubanks, a write-in candidate, made the list.

Nationwide Response Two
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I didn’t hear back from Nationwide until 2:37 p.m. the following day, Election Day, an email from Prolago stating, “Tom, thanks for bringing the matter to our attention. We republished the email pointing to your video and apologize for the oversight on our part.”

Prolago is referring to the Zoom interview I did on October 25 with members of Nationwide’s Civic Action Program (CAP) and Government Relations Office. City Council candidates were allowed 15 minutes to address five questions like, “why are you running for office.” Those sorts of questions. The objective, according to Nationwide, is to educate its employees about the candidates. The interviews were posted on the company’s website.

On paper, the process sounds fair and objective, but long before my October 25 interview, Nationwide showed whose side(s) its on.

On October 18, the company’s Political Action Committee (PAC), contributed $500.00 to the campaign of Columbus City Council candidate Lourdes Barroso de Padilla.

On October 19, the company’s PAC contributed $500.00 to the campaign of City Council candidate Nick Bankston.

And on October 20, the company’s PAC contributed $7,500 to the campaign of incumbent City Council President Shannon Hardin.

Nationwide, for the record, did not contribute a penny to my campaign.

Over the years, Nationwide has contributed generously to the political campaigns of each setting member of Columbus City Council and Mayor Andy Ginther.

In Columbus, big businesses like Nationwide, decide who gets elected at City Hall not the public. Big businesses buy politicians in this town and control them like puppets. Democracy? Not even close.

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