When the Beacon Journal endorsed Republican Anthony DeVitis over Paula Prentice, his Democratic opponent for the 36th Ohio House District, it conceded that it agreed more often with Prentice on policies. But it turned to DeVitis anyway because it believed he was a moderate who could have an influence on the conservative (or Hoofbeat Republicans - my word) in the House.
The paper ignored his loyal support of his side of the aisle on key issues in its erroneous vision of him as a potential game changer. Folks, it's only a two-hour trip down I-77 from downtown Akron to the spooky legislative chambers in Columbus, but still long enough for an Akron-area Republican to change political style and tone from a local editorial board interview upon his arrival among his political caretakers.
As a reporter who once hung out with the pols before and long after legislative business, I saw it happen more than once.
That brings me to Friday's follow-up editorial from the BJ tower that sounded more like regret from a teachable moment than considered re-approval, of the endorsee. Clearly, the paper's voice rose to a shout in condemning the ugly TV commercials - bought and paid for lies, really - under the headline: DeVitis and pals, again.
A couple of points raised by the editorial: A commercial acidly accuses Prentice, a Summit County councilwoman, of not filing campaign contributions. But the paper noted: "Technically she did not fail to report contributions because she didn't receive any - none."
Or how about this whopper from a mailer by the Ohio Republican Party, which the paper said "grossly" inflated DeVitis' "record of pulling Ohio's economy out of a hole, quite a feat for a guy in his first full term".
Oh, did I mention that the Devitis, temporarily the moderate, says he doesn't condone negative campaigning, but silently accepts the benefits? "Tarnished his image", the BJ concludes.
Not quite a conclusion, I'd say. When a paper can post a political rap sheet like this one, the next logical step would be to withdraw its endorsement. Other disillusioned papers have been known over the years to do so.
Scroll down in the redemptive teachable moment. You should find it somewhere.