Bright yellow and red neon sign saying Dispatch Ohio's greatest homes newspaper above a big fancy building at night

The Japanese hedge fund-owned Columbus Dispatch is trying very hard to get back in touch with its old family-owned crazy. The experiment with being even-handed and rational in its news and editorial page policies is apparently at an end.


Case No. 1. The Dispatch unleashed a vicious attack on Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for spending $2 million of tax money to run public service advertisements touting a savings plans for the physically challenged on Ohio television stations. It featured Mandel, OSU head football coach Urban Meyer – who should have known better – and a sweet young girl. "Lying, hiding or just plain reckless" was the headline of the editorial that took down Mandel.

I only wish that the newspaper cared as much about the alleged $2 million that Gov. John Kasich cost the state's taxpayers to pay for travel, food and protection by State Troopers while he traipsed across the country in 2015 and 2016 running for president. The Dispatch never challenged the state law that permitted the secrecy and hardly lifted a reportorial finger to unearth and publicize the records.

The difference between the two cases is that Mandel's spending promoted a program that benefited needy folks while Kasich's outlay merely fed his need for self-aggrandizement in a failed quest to be president.

Case No. 2. The Dispatch editorialized against Issue 2, a proposal that shows promise of reining in soaring drug prices. Millions are being spent on TV advertising by both sides. The "No" campaign is being funded largely by the big drug makers, aka Big Pharma. Large newspapers like the Dispatch rake in big bucks by printing advertisements for new and expensive drugs that are paid for by, guess who?, Big Pharma.

Rather than protect the public, its readers and subscribers, the newspaper has chosen to protect its pocketbook by siding with Big Pharma.

Repeat after me, dear public. If Big Pharma is against it, we are for it.

My Lt. Gov. Platform Makes Legislators Part-Time

Here is the fifth installment of my platform for lieutenant governor.

  • Tax breaks will be given for energy conservation, green construction and actions toward a sustainable environment.

  • State legislators will become part-time with a 50 percent cut in pay and expenses. The Ohio Legislature also will become part-time, meeting no more than 60 days a year.

  • No more privatized prisons. All will be operated by the government and all employees will be government employees.

  • Strict limits will be placed on phone communication by debt collectors and solicitors with big fines for violators.

  • Email your platform planks to

Ohio Political Ranker: Volume 9

Welcome to Volume 9 of the ColumbusMediaInsider Ohio Political Ranker. Each month I will rank the candidates for governor and other statewide offices in 2018. My criteria include: wealth/fund-raising capability (it will take $50 million to win the governorship), integrity, charisma, name recognition, key issues, and appeal to small town/rural voters.


1. Joe Schiavoni. A knockout.

2. Nan Whaley. Taking on opioids.

3-tie. Betty Sutton and Connie Pillich. Still looking for traction

5. Dennis Kucinich. Boy Mayor emerges as advocate for Issue 2.


1.  Jim Renacci. Calls foes "Fat Cats" and Trumpites love it.

2-tie. Mary Taylor, Mike DeWine and Jon Husted. Stuck in neutral.


  • Late to cracking down on ECOT, the Dispatch aptly described the difficulty of covering the charter school board's meeting and the board's rampant secrecy.

  • A Morning Consult poll showed President Trump's approval in Ohio dropped from 51 percent in January to 46 percent in September while his disapproval rose from 37 percent to 49 percent, a 17-point negative swing.

  • At the GOP gubernatorial debate in Delaware County, most of the audience viewed Gov. Kasich unfavorably. It is just a matter of time before Ohio's absentee governor is underwater with Ohio voters.

  • Plunderbund's ace commentator John Michael Spinelli revealed how Kasich keeps fooling the Network TV pundits in "Kasich Masters Art of the TV Lie."

  • Dispatch editing gaffes this month include printing the wrong weather forecast, leaving printing instructions -- "Get the lead in" -- in an outdoors column headline and running two different pictures of ailing WBNS-TV weatherman Chris Bradley's face on two different articles on the same page.

  • Public Policy Polling found that the major news media are winning their war with President Trump. 52 percent of the public had a higher opinion of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Washington Post and New York Times than Trump, who averaged 39 percent.




Pharma's out



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(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2017, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)


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