Meet Mark Weaver.
Weaver is an Ohio political consultant who has been around the state for a long time, and had a pretty great track record before 2011. He was the campaign media consultant to Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)’s successful Senate campaign in 2010, and even was an adviser to Ronald Reagan.
Last year, however, during Ohio’s fight to reform public employee union laws, he sold out and went to work for the unions.
A prominent Republican media consultant has been hired by police and fire unions to thwart plans by Gov. John Kasich and GOP lawmakers to kill binding arbitration and eliminate or alter collective bargaining.
Mark R. Weaver has been commissioned “to help us with our communication efforts as we try to educate the legislature on the realities of collective bargaining and not the sound bites,” said Jay McDonald, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and a major in the Marion Police Department.
Remember how the unions lied so much in their ads that even the Cleveland Plain Dealer called them out? Weaver was their media consultant and one of the brains behind that campaign to kill reasonable union reforms in Ohio.
We have learned Mark Weaver has been working with someone else in Ohio. Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine.
As many of you may have read already, Ohio Republicans are currently in the midst of a major power struggle between moderate Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine and Governor John Kasich, Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, and other conservative elected officials.
Conservatives are up in arms against DeWine for a number of offenses, such as actively working against Governor Kasich in the mainstream media, by working to divert fundraisers away from Kasich near the end of his close battle against incumbent Gov. Strickland in 2010, lying to contributors, outright shunning members of the Tea Party in Ohio, and most recently, blatantly abusing and violating the Party’s own bylaws in order to prevent Tea Party candidates from getting seated on the State Central Committee.
Remember Mitt Romney’s now infamous visit to an Ohio call center last year, and how it turned into a disaster for him when he was non-committal to the aforementioned reforms the volunteers were doing GOTV for? It was reported that Kevin DeWine advised Romney not to take a position on the issue.
Now it makes perfect sense why. Now it makes sense why the Ohio Republican Party did so little for the cause of union reform last year. Now we know why the ORP’s entire public effort to support Issue 2 was sending out the occasional tweet. His media consultant was working for the other side.
It appears that he was trying to keep this under the radar, but we know this because we have seen evidence that Mark Weaver’s firm, Communications Counsel, is behind a big TV and radio ad buy for ORP State Central Committee candidates. Yes, the ORP is spending party money from donors on reelecting SCC candidates. Have you ever seen a TV ad for a state party committee candidate? Some parts of Ohio are about to. Under DeWine’s control, they are spending party resources on protecting his incumbent Republican SCC members from conservative and tea party minded Republicans. That’s donor money that should be spent on defeating Barack Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), not other Republicans. (We have a post coming this week on just how much they are spending. Prepare to be appalled.)
We’ve been giving you plenty of reasons why Kevin DeWine must be replaced as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. Now, here is yet another. His media consultant was actively involved in helping big labor kill reasonable public employee union reforms in Ohio. It’s time for him to go.