I never know whether to take a Columbus Dispatch editorial endorsement seriously. That’s especially true after it awarded John Kasich the Gubernatorial Medal of Honor without a hint about his imperfect tenure as a leading force in the Political/Industrial/Crony Complex.

Not a word about his anti-union sentiments, or his allies (think:Mark Kvamme) who raked in millions of dollars in the glow of his office, nor his claim to lead Ohio out of the Bush recession poverty without telling us that the state ranks 41st in economic growth since he took office, nor that he opposed the Obama administration’s stimulus package while now enjoying its job-saving benefits. No sense marring the Medal of Honor.

Don’t get me started.

I mean, we’re dealing here with a family-owned Republican newspaper that hasn’t endorsed a Democrat for president since 1916 (Woodrow Wilson) and has treated the legislative halls in the capitol across the street as its very own plantation.

With giant holdings in banks, real estate and TV-radio media, the Wolfe family owners have been brutal about political dissent and ideological heresies that forever reminded the paper’s critics of Dante’s admonition to “abandon hope of all ye who enter here” as they approached the gates of hell.

I had the misfortune of working for years within the Dispatch’s shadow as a reporter and later as a liberal magazine editor who felt some of its sting. Close quarters some of that time when the Dispatch entered joint operating agreement that moved the fading Columbus Citizen into the mezzanine of the Dispatch as the Scripps-owned Citizen-Journal. The latter, more or less the mad relative in the closet, was said to be independent, but the Dispatch controlled advertising. circulation, news space for the CJ and the minds of the establishment around town.

When newspaper critic and author A.J. Liebling spoke at the Ohio State University campus, he effectively referred to the phony setup as “two hermit crabs living out of the same shell”.

Now there is just one hermit crab, but the message hasn’t changed.

In its endorsement, the paper didn’t even overlook the possibilities of more early voters. Closing its long anticipated blessing for Kasich, it opined:

“As voters take advantage of Ohio’s early-voting opportunities, The Dispatch urges them to re-elect Gov.John Kasich“‘

P.S As Plunderbund reported, in an interview with Columbus CEO Magazine, Mark Kvamme gave a soaring account of Kasich’s brilliant economic works. And who owns Columbus CEO Magazine? The Dispatch Printing Company.