Last year, conservative stalwart Ken Cuccinelli narrowly lost his bid for Governor of Virginia. Although I believe that other factors, (press coverage predicting a McAuliffe landslide) tipped the balance away from electing one of the most freedom loving governors in our time, many laid blame on the libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.
The quasi-libertarian Robert Sarvis
In 2013 Sarvis (a former Republican candidate) repeatedly took positions unorthodox to libertarian principles casting doubt on whether he actually believed in the platform underlying his nomination as a libertarian.
He said he’s “not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics.” NRO.
He further came out in support of a vehicle miles driven tax, a tax that would require constant monitoring of driver behavior. Breitbart.
He also expressed openness to Medicaid Expansion in Virginia as long as it was connected to more state level control. MSNBC.
In response to these statements voluntarily made by the candidate and reported on by media, conservative publications, and conservative bloggers, supporters of Sarvis acted as if this was a smear campaign as opposed to vetting.
Then days before the election it came out that Sarvis was funded by democrats
It turns out that “Libertarian Booster PAC” was the single largest contributor (outside of the candidate himself) to the Sarvis for Governor Campaign, providing in kind services to gain ballot access for Sarvis. Libertarian Booster PAC received almost 2/3’s of its funding from a known Obama bundler, Joe Liemandt in 2013.
This news came out the day before the election, too late to reach anyone but the most involved activists. Blaze.
Sarvis, even if he was not a democrat plant to dilute the Cuccinelli vote, was used by democrats in an attempt to dilute the Cuccinelli vote.
Sarvis is running for Senate now, but have the democrats come out again in support in order to dilute the Gillespie vote?
Given the timing of Sarvis’ announcement, he has not had to file a campaign finance report until now. The just now available FEC quarterly report filed by the Sarvis Campaign reflects that no funds were spent on petitioning to be on the ballot. The question then becomes, does Sarvis have an amazing volunteer base, or is something missing from the report?
Sarvis submitted over 19,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot in Virginia this year.
Only two candidates for statewide office in Virginia (Governor and Senator) have qualified from the Libertarian party in the last ten years.
In 2008 William Redpath qualified as the Libertarian Party for Senate. In that election year Redpath spent a little over $13,000.00 on petitioning for ballot placement.
In 2013 Robert Sarvis qualified as the Libertarian Party for Governor. Sarvis received $10,000.00 in ballot petitioning services as in-kind contributions from “Libertarian Booster PAC.”
In federal campaigns, in-kind contributions are required to be reported just as contributions of hard dollars are reported. Robert Sarvis for Senate has reported no ballot petitioning expenses or in-kind contributions.
Given the negative fallout from last year’s last minute revelation, if funding for ballot petitioning was funded by a not-so-libertarian group, there may be delays in reporting such donations. If the money came from truly libertarian individuals or organizations then there will be an amendment and this will not be an issue.
But, as over 19,000 signatures were gathered, either the Libertarian Party of Virginia is far more organized than in the past ten years or something is missing from Sarvis’ report.