To be clear on exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party two people whom I know pretty well ran against each other for the Butler County executive chairman of the GOP. Todd Hall, who is the grandson of Carlos Todd ran against Mark Haverkos for the powerful seat just given up by David Kern who was frustrated by all the party infighting. Kern gave up the seat one day before Bridgewater Falls Shopping Center sued the GOP party for $40,000 for breaking the lease of its former headquarters. Knowing something about the situation up close and all the personalities involved, much of the infighting came because Todd, who used to run the GOP for over a decade during the 90s wanted to retake control of the machine politics so that it was friendlier to business. Through his influence the money dried up. Dave Kern was a Tea Party type whom the GOP used to secure seats during the 2010 elections but by 2012, the GOP wanted nothing to do with the Tea Party after the Senate Bill 5 mishandling by John Kasich. So to get all the ducks in a row to support politicians like Kasich, Boehner, and Portman the last I have known from the start of his career and watched decline with corrosive influence, the GOP wanted to push out the Tea Party types like Kern. Under Kern’s watch the fundraising dried up because he wanted to bring honesty and good politics to the GOP. But for the traditional GOP, this wasn’t in the cards.
Mark has been as close to a pure hearted political type most of the time that I’ve known him. He has tried and tried and tried for years to bring to political office the kind of person that every American wishes for, a normal smart guy who wants to give something back to his community. He enjoys following political happenings and over many years has maintained the ability to maintain his mind. He is still trying to do the right things in politics, something I remember well from Rob Portman when he was running for his first congressional seat during a special election in 1993 and catering favor from the Ross Perot fan base. Mark is still that kind of political office seeker. But sadly, he has found himself to live a parallel life to that of Don Quixote and the fight against windmills which he believed to be monsters. Only in the case of Mark, the villains are monsters, and are not imaginary windmills posing as monsters—they are quite literal, but the results are the same—futility. Not to say that Todd Hall is a monster—actually he’s far from it, but the institution he serves is. The people who are the targets of his fundraising efforts for the GOP, several whom I also know and abandoned me when I needed them because they were afraid of a bunch of girls are also generally good people—but the institutions they serve constitute the collectivism of machine politics making them faceless contributors to a vile enterprise known as politics. Mark offered himself as a solution but was rejected in favor of Hall for obvious reasons. Under Mark the GOP likely wouldn’t wrestle much money out of the business community for politicians like Boehner, Kasich and many others seeking money for their war chests. So during the election he lost to Todd Hall 177 to 266—which represents clearly the split of the Republican Party. The purists are in the slight minority, the business oriented GOP machine cogs who desire to use political power to protect their business interests from government are the other. For the rest of this coverage let me provide you with something that the local media does not have access to, or would dare print—the actual speech by Mark given during the election. I’d rather let Mark speak from his own words of the situation and illuminate the plight of a man committed to honesty in the field of political endeavor which is to my eyes equivalent to the plight of Don Quixote. It may seem futile, but I admire his effort.
Mark Haverkos speech for the Butler County executive chairman of the GOP, 2014
I am Mark Haverkos, I’ll turn 60 this year, and I have owned and operated my own business for 30 yrs. I’ve served the GOP mostly by supporting candidates directly by planting signs at 3am and hanging flyers on mailboxes. In last Novembers’ election I spent 13 hrs working the polls to get two West Chester trustees elected and we succeeded by knocking off a 20yr sitting Democrat.
Last year I applied for the County Administrator job and during my interview I was told by Commissioner Dixon he was afraid I had a reputation of “speaking my mind” or “telling it like it is” and that “wasn’t necessarily a good thing”.
I didn’t get the job”. You see, I would rather have someone tell it like it is, than lie to my face”
When I first moved here from Cincinnati I sought a seat on the Butler County GOP and won my central committee seat ever since.
I quickly learned the party had some problems but I had faith things would change. Lord knows every week brings a newspaper headline of something stupid the GOP has done.
The real trouble started years ago when the party held their meetings in what was referred to as the Todd-Ma-Hall, a big fancy building the GOP should never have bought and could not afford.
So while our GOP had little money the Todd-Ma-Hall building was sold and commissions were paid. Those responsible for that mess signed the lease at Bridgewater and more commissions were paid, all while the GOP was broke and rumors swirled that around $20,000 had been misplaced.
The dynasty in charge running the show convinced everyone to just move on, no need to look any further and life would be good.
Some would say it’s all Dave Kern’s fault for not paying the current bills and not holding enough fundraisers. Dave didn’t sign that lease, the dynasty did. I’ve heard several members were working on a settlement deal with Bridgewater, when another member placed a call that ended those talks. Supposedly if the right people were put in place at the GOP the “dynasty” would settle with Bridgewater and make themselves look like heroes.
The Bridgewater lease isn’t the only outstanding bill the GOP owes. Deals were made with the Ohio House Caucus to pay the bills to win the legal challenge that helped get Wes Rutherford elected. The House Caucus to date has failed to pay their part. Our State reps need to pressure Columbus to honor their promise.
If many of us agree the Butler County GOP is broken, how would I fix it ?
First I will ask local office holders for a small percentage of their fundraising efforts go back into our general fund. How can our candidates expect members to pay $50-$100 for every fundraiser they are invited to and then give nothing back in return to the party?
Second, as for our State legislators, I’m asking you to divert a larger percentage of your fundraising back to our local party, rather than sending it to Columbus where it is wasted. Otherwise, what incentive or resources does the Butler County GOP have in supporting you in the next election?
And last I will call on those responsible for the Bridgewater mess and demand they negotiate and pay the settlement themselves before this week ends.
If you’re ready to ignore the past and proceed blissfully into the future without accounting for how we got here, I urge you to vote for my opponent.
However, if your principles matter, and you want those principles reflected in our GOP, then I ask you to vote for Mark Haverkos. Do the resources you donate to the party, your time, talent and money matter to you? If your reputation and the reputation of our GOP matters to you, then I am Mark Haverkos and I respectfully ask for your vote.
On the education front, can you see what I’m cooking? This Yale professor made an entire course out of a children’s story. See what I’m talking about with education?