The Athletic Club of Columbus is a popular forum for political events in Central Ohio.  They often host debates, discussions and even fundraisers.   For the past few years, the Franklin County Republican Party has held regular Quarterly Leadership Luncheons at the club featuring local reporters and editors from the Columbus Dispatch.

In 2010, the luncheon featured “a panel from the Columbus Dispatch” that promised “a look at the current political landscape and 2010 races,” according to the event’s invitation. Potential attendees were informed that proceeds would “directly support the Franklin County Republican Party.” The cost of attending was $50.00 and checks were to be made “payable to the Franklin County Republican Party.”

Last year’s FCRP Dispatch forum, held in early July, featured well-known Dispatch political reporters Joe Hallett and Joe Vardon.

This year’s event will be held on September 16th, and they have expanded the line-up to include Darrel Rowland and … wait for it … Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison.

They have also increased the price to $75 per person or $500 for a table of eight.   The flier announcing the event was emailed to perspective donors by Franklin County Republican Party leader and top Kasich adviser Doug Preisse.   An image of the flier is included below.

We’ve always complained, and rightfully so, that the Dispatch’s news coverage and editorials support Republicans.  But when the paper’s editor is helping the Republican Party fundraise, a new line has been crossed.

We look forward to reading about this scandal… in the Dayton Daily News.