Libertarian Party Of Virginia Nominates Cliff Hyra For Governor

Cliff Hyra

Cliff Hyra

On Saturday, May 6th, 2017, The Libertarian Party of Virginia nominated Cliff Hyra as their candidate for Governor during a special convention that was held at the Meadowdale Library in Chesterfield County.

Cliff Hyra is an Intellectual Property lawyer with an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech and a law degree from George Mason University.  He is a lifelong resident of Virginia who is currently living in Mechanicsville with his wife and three children.

His three top priorities as Governor will be:

  • Economic Growth
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Choice in the Education and Healthcare Systems

You can read Rick Sincere’s article on Cliff Hyra over at Bearing Drift by clicking here.

Here is Cliff Hyra’s pre-nomination speech from the LPVA convention.

LPVA State Convention

LPVA State Convention

Cliff Hyra’s acceptance speech is available here.

Last but not least, here is Cliff Hyra’s appearance on the Monday, May 1st, 2017 edition of The Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network.

To learn more about Cliff Hyra’s campaign for Governor, you can visit his website where you can sign up for campaign updates and volunteer to help get him elected.

Debunking The GOP Smears Of Robert Sarvis

This article was written in 2014 by Peter Fuentes and posted on the Robert Sarvis For Senate web site.  It is being re-printed here with permission of the author to remind everyone that Robert Sarvis is in fact a “real libertarian.”  Feel free to share this far and wide…
Sarvis

Robert Sarvis, Virginia Libertarian

Last year, during the gubernatorial campaign, the GOP unleashed a barrage of false attacks against Robert Sarvis.

Why did the GOP do it? Because the GOP was, and is, running scared! The rise of a candidate like Robert Sarvis showed just how out-of-touch the GOP is, especially with millennial voters, moderates, libertarians, and independents. (And by nominating “Establishment Ed” Gillespie this year, the GOP is showing it’s out-of-touch with fiscal conservatives, too!)

When Robert Sarvis entered the race for Governor, the GOP nominee arrogantly dismissed him as “a one or two percent vote getter.” Oh, how his views changed just a few months later!

As Sarvis climbed in the polls, eventually reaching double digits, the GOP panicked. Unable to appeal to voters honestly, the GOP resorted to politics-as-usual, unleashing false accusations about Sarvis.

But every single accusation was FALSE!

So much for the party that likes to talk about “values”… The smears prove how desperate, morally bankrupt, and intellectually dishonest the Virginia GOP has become.

If you know a GOP partisan loyalist, you’ve probably heard some of the below claims.

The GOP claimed that Robert Sarvis was a “Democrat plant” put in place to steal the election for Terry McAuliffe last year and Mark Warner this year.
FALSE – Robert Sarvis was not, and is not, a Democrat plant. That’s an absurd claim.

Sarvis ran for State Senate in 2011 as a (libertarian) Republican against the Democratic Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. Sarvis left the Virginia GOP because he found it to be, in his words, “hypocritical and vacuous on economics and unsound on personal liberty.” But he doesn’t think the Democratic Party is any better.

Indeed, Robert Sarvis, like many other voters, believes the two-party system is broken and has failed to protect liberty or limit government. He rightly points out that both Republicans and Democrats alike are responsible for mass surveillance of citizens, the $17 trillion debt, the failed drug war, the immigration mess, enormously expensive wars of choice, mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, loss of civil liberties, rampant over-regulation of the economy, the financial crisis and Great Recession, and much more.

In 2012, the Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia tried to recruit Sarvis to run for Congress in the 8th district, but Sarvis declined. In early 2013, Sarvis was asked by the Libertarians if he would run for Governor. Seeing the low-quality, illiberal candidates being put forth by the major parties, he agreed, believing that Virginia deserved a better choice. He ran a campaign that inspired many voters in Virginia and many Libertarians around the country.

This year, Robert Sarvis is running for the U.S. Senate to again give voters a better choice.

 

The GOP claimed that Robert Sarvis was funded by the Democrats. 
FALSE – Sarvis was the largest contributor to his own gubernatorial campaign, giving close to double the next-highest contributor. That alone suggests the GOP’s claim is unserious, but let’s drill down further.

The next highest contribution was for ~$11k and came from the Libertarian Booster PAC, a PAC founded by the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party to help Libertarians overcome burdensome ballot access rules favored by Republicans and Democrats to stifle competition.

The Libertarian Booster PAC received contributions from long-time libertarian donors, including a Texas entrepreneur who has a long history of supporting Libertarians and is well-known to the Texas Libertarian Party and national Libertarian Party. He has also contributed to various individual Republican and Democrat candidates, as is common with donors to third parties.

The GOP tries to make a great deal of the fact that the Texas entrepreneur’s wife fundraised for Obama, but if contributions to other parties is a sign of ill-dealing, the GOP should look in the mirror. It took less than ten minutes to find on VPAP a group that gave a $25,000 contribution—more than any donation to the Sarvis campaign—to BOTH Cuccinelli AND various Democratic groups, like the Democrats’ Commonwealth Victory Fund, the McAuliffe campaign, and later McAuliffe’s Inauguration Committee. By the GOP’s donation illogic, it seems clear that Cuccinelli was the Democrat plant! That would make a lot more sense, for what better way to undermine free markets than to tie it to wildly unpopular social policies?

In any case, Wes Benedict, the executive director of the Libertarian Party and founder/director of the Libertarian Booster PAC, has himself refuted the GOP claims about a Democratic cabal. Of Rush Limbaugh’s claims that “the Democrats enlisted a ‘fake Libertarian candidate’ who was ‘bought and paid for by an Obama bundler,'” Benedict said flatly, “That’s an outright lie, and Limbaugh should retract his claim.”

Note just how sad the GOP has become, by its own estimation—it got derailed by a donation totaling $11k?! A donation from Libertarians to a Libertarian? A donation that was just 5% of the Libertarian candidate’s spending, and less than 0.1% of the GOP’s spending in the election?

And if the GOP wants to talk money, they should start by addressing the cancer of cronyism and corporate welfare in their own party. (Dems, too.) In 2013, the Rs and Ds brought in millions in cronyist corporate donations, and 70% of their donations from out-of-state.Sarvis took the opposite approach, raising money from individuals across the political spectrum, and 68% of his funds came from in-state.

The truth is simple:

Robert Sarvis wouldn’t be sacrificing his own personal resources or family time to be a “plant” for a party he does not support. Anyone who knows him or who has heard him speak knows this. He also wouldn’t be spending so much time and energy exposing Democrat Mark Warner’s voting record in support of the surveillance state or against reforms to better protect privacy, or Warner’s inaction on issues like sentencing reform and demanding Congressional authorization for military action abroad.

Why is Robert Sarvis running as a Libertarian? Because he believes passionately in freedom and good government and recognizes both Republicans and Democrats are undermining both.

Why is the GOP so scared of Robert Sarvis and the Libertarians? If a Libertarian Party candidate wins over 10 percent of the vote in a statewide election, the Libertarian Party of Virginia will gain major party status. Since 1999, almost 50 percent of Virginia House of Delegate races and over 40 percent of Virginia Senate races have been unopposed. That’s why the Libertarian Party of Virginia has repeatedly recruited Robert Sarvis to run. With major-party status, it will be easier to run candidates on a more level playing field, and there will be more Libertarians running in two-way races. Competitive elections are good for Virginia, and the GOP and Democrats don’t want that.

The GOP claims Robert Sarvis tipped the election to McAuliffe and will do the same for Warner.
FALSE – The GOP refuses to accept that it nominated a candidate Virginia voters simply didn’t like. Instead, the GOP blames Sarvis for its 2013 loss, despite the fact that the evidence shows this is absurd.

First, note that there was no third-party candidate running for Lt. Gov or Attorney General, and the GOP lost both those races, too!

Second, go back and look at the polls. Throughout the entire race, polls showed Cuccinelli behind substantially, with Sarvis taking fairly equally from both sides. Not only that, a very telling poll showed that, “among voters who support Sarvis, 62% approve of [Bob] McDonnell, while 75% disapprove of Cuccinelli”! Republican-leaning moderates who supported Sarvis were simply NOT going to be voting for Cuccinelli.

But it gets worse for the GOP meme. Election Day exit polls and precinct analysis clearly demonstrate Sarvis didn’t affect the outcome. Even conservative/Republican blogs admit that fact:

Bearing Drift, in Sarvis Almost Cost McAuliffe the Election”, noted that an Election Eve poll had close to half of Sarvis voters saying McAuliffe was their second choice and that Election Day exit polls showed it was well over half. Bearing Drift actually went so far as to say:

Cuccinelli’s anti-Sarvis strategy badly backfired. If he had been open to including Sarvis (who was polling anywhere from 8 to 13 percent in October) in the debates, as McAuliffe was, Cuccinelli could have provided an opportunity for Sarvis to highlight his progressive positions supporting gay marriage and legalizing marijuana, drawing even more votes from McAuliffe on Election Day.

The Federalist (which helped spread the smears of Sarvis for weeks) wrote quite clearly, in “No, Robert Sarvis Did Not Cost Ken Cuccinelli The Election,” that

On net, McAuliffe’s margin of victory would have increased by nearly 1.6 percent without Sarvis in the race.

Slate’s Dave Weigel agreed: “The most Cuccinelli-friendly, reality-based revote, if Sarvis was off the ballot, would have been a 52–48 McAuliffe win.”

So Sarvis actually made it a closer result last year!

What about this year? Well, first note that Warner is consistently beating Gillespie by 15 to 25%. It’s not even close. But not only that, Warner is over 50% in every single head-to-head poll against Gillespie! The only two polls that have Warner under 50% are polls that include Sarvis.

Big-government, cronyist/lobbyist “Establishment Ed” Gillespie is going to lose. And it’s not like there’s much difference between him and Warner anyway. Voting for either major-party candidate is a wasted vote.

Voting for Sarvis is the only way to make your vote count. Getting the Libertarian Party major-party status can change Virginia politics for the better. 50% of House of Delegate seats and 40% of State Senate seats generally go uncontested; you can see Libertarians in two-way races throughout Virginia. Competitive elections are a good thing!

 

The GOP claimed Robert Sarvis is a “phony” or “fake” Libertarian, a Libertarian-in-name-only (“LINO”).

FALSE – This set of claims actually proves how ignorant many GOP loyalists have become. The GOP doesn’t know what liberty or libertarianism IS, which is why they got it so comically wrong about Robert Sarvis.

Before getting to the substantive claims, let’s take a look at some of Robert Sarvis‘s libertarian bona fides:

  • In law school, Sarvis founded a libertarian and classical liberal law journal, the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty.
  • Sarvis has a Master’s degree in economics from George Mason University, known for its free-market, libertarian bent.
  • Sarvis spent almost two years as a graduate student fellow at the free-market-oriented Mercatus Center, where he co-authored papers with libertarians Jeff Miron, Todd Zywicki, and others.
  • Sarvis authored a paper for the free-market-oriented Competitive Enterprise Institute on public pension debt (which threatens state finances and is the fault of both Republicans and Democrats alike).
  • In 2011, running for State Senate as a (libertarian) Republican, Sarvis gave an interview in which he cited Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek as his favorite economists and lambasted the cronyism of his Democrat opponent. He also stood before hundreds of Fairfax County Republicans and said the Republican Party in Virginia shared blame for cronyism.
  • In 2012, Sarvis was recruited by officers and members of the Libertarian Party of Virginia to run for Congress in Virginia’s Eighth district. The LPVA had been impressed with how libertarian Sarvis‘s 2011 Republican campaign for State Senate was. Sarvis, however, declined to run.
  • In 2013, Sarvis was again recruited by the LPVA, not to mention the current Executive Director of the (national) Libertarian Party, this time to run for Governor of Virginia.
  • This year, Sarvis again received the nomination from the Libertarian Party, a party known for its principled stands on the issues.

We could go on, but you can see how absurd the GOP claims are from the get-go. Let’s turn to the substantive claims:

 

The GOP claimed Robert Sarvis isn’t a true libertarian because he doesn’t believe in the “Austrian School” of economics.

FALSE – The GOP so clearly misunderstands libertarianism—and economics—that they apparently think there is but one economic school of thought that serves as the litmus test for being a libertarian.

But that is obviously wrong. Milton Friedman was not an Austrian but was clearly a libertarian. As Friedman said (paraphrasing) “There are no schools of economics, only good economics and bad economics.”

Read the Reason magazine interview that touched off the GOP self-embarrassment. Sarvis sounds decidedly libertarian throughout the interview.

Sarvis actually responded at length to an emailed question about his comments on Austrian economics. Find a link to the reply here.

Moreover, while GMU’s economics department is definitely libertarian, many of its libertarian professors are not Austrians—e.g., Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Russ Roberts (now at the Hoover Institution), and many others.

This claim actually shows how ignorant the GOP is of both libertarianism and economics. Indeed, every single one of Sarvis‘s policy proposals and stances had the support of numerous libertarian economists and legal scholars.

The GOP claimed Robert Sarvis doesn’t oppose Obamacare and supported Medicaid expansion in Virginia.
FALSE – Robert Sarvis opposes government-run healthcare and overregulation of healthcare. That includes Obamacare but also includes a century of bad policies from both Republicans and Democrats. Obamacare is merely the latest incarnation of a fundamentally flawed approach to healthcare policy.

Robert Sarvis has actually studied healthcare economics and proposed numerous specific deregulatory reforms at the federal and state level that will increase competition, lower costs, and liberate healthcare providers and professionals. We can have affordable and accessible healthcare in every community throughout the United States.

Sarvis opposed Medicaid expansion because it would “lead inexorably to future state-level spending increases and tax increases and the crowding out of other spending priorities.” But he has also provided numerous solutions that can help make affordable healthcare available toall! Tellingly, the Virginia GOP’s legislators did not propose a single bill in the 0214 legislative session enacting any of Sarvis‘s myriad deregulatory proposals.)

Of course, Mark Warner voted for ObamaCare, but Ed Gillespie isn’t much better—he was a core advisor in the Bush administration, which expanded the fiscally unsustainable entitlement system to include a new, unfunded prescription drug benefit (at the time, the largest entitlement program created since LBJ). Gillespie also endorsed the individual mandate, and his economic plan tacitly admits he would leave most of ObamaCare in place.

 

The GOP claimed Robert Sarvis supported putting GPS/black-box devices in cars.

FALSE – Running for governor last year, Robert Sarvis advocated for intelligent transportation solutions supported by libertarian and conservative transportation economists—solutions like congestion pricing and user-pays financing to replace the existing tax burden.

A commentator at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote a lengthy blog post, “Memo to Road Socialists”, showing how ignorant the GOP’s claims about Sarvis were. The post concluded:

Robert Sarvis offered the most libertarian and sensible transportation platform this election (or any election I can recall).

The GOP shamelessly (and ignorantly) attacked the very libertarian and conservative idea that the users of roads should be the ones paying for them. Sarvis did not endorse any particular model of user-pays, but the GOP claimed that he supported government putting black boxes in your car. How did they make that seem even remotely plausible? They made it up! They falsely claimed that Sarvis endorsed a mileage tax, that such a tax could only be enacted via a GPS device, and that such a device would have to be owned by the state. Voila!

All of it was utter nonsense. To begin with, Sarvis never endorsed a mileage tax. He included it as one among several policy alternatives that fit under the “user-pays” rubric. Even if he had favored a mileage tax, a mileage tax does not require a GPS device. Even if such a device were used, it could be privately operated and managed. But all of that is irrelevant because Sarvis never endorsed a mileage tax and would certainly not support the government putting tracking devices in cars.

Indeed, in this year’s U.S. Senate race, Robert Sarvis is the only candidate arguing against government surveillance and in favor of civil liberties, Constitutional rights, and privacy. And it’s Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie who are supporting government surveillance, police militarization, and other instruments of intrusive government.

As a U.S. Senator, Robert Sarvis would support legislation devolving transportation funding back to the states.

The GOP claimed Robert Sarvis didn’t support cutting taxes, or even supported increasing them.

FALSE – Robert Sarvis had the most far-reaching tax-reform plan in the 2013 race and does again in the 2014 race for U.S. Senate. Sarvis is also the only candidate willing to engage in an intellectually honest discussion of tax policy.

GOP shills in the media wrote that Sarvis didn’t support tax cuts and even supported tax increases, despite the fact that Sarvis never said anything that would remotely support such a claim.

In fact, Sarvis proposed eliminating the income tax or vastly reducing it, eliminating local business taxes, replacing gas taxes with road-usage fees, eliminating tax deductions and credits that narrow the tax base, removing other preferential tax treatments for favored corporate interests, and more.

But you didn’t hear that from the GOP. Sarvis‘s sin was to speak the truth about GOP hypocrisy—that spending, not taxation, is what determines the size of government, and that it’s irresponsible to try to cut taxes without cutting spending, which is the GOP’s modus operandi. Sarvis‘s proposals, therefore, emphasized spending reforms that would enable tax cuts.

Sarvis‘s tax reform proposals were far superior and far more specific than anything offered by the major party candidates.

And they are again this year. But that’s not hard at all. Ed Gillespie is a big-spending Republican who shares responsibility for the Bush-era deficits that doubled the debt (from $5.5 trillion to $11 trillion)! And Mark Warner is a big-spending Democrat who voted for every spending increase as a U.S. Senator and wants to increase taxes once again). 

Another “Empty Chair” As Dave Brat Dodges 7th District Voters Once Again

At the 7th District Candidate Debate in New Kent, Virginia on October 14th, there was an empty chair on stage.  Why?  Because Republican Congressional Candidate Dave Brat chose not to show up.  The Debate organizer had two confirmations from the Brat Campaign that he would be there.  Confirmations that Brat Campaign spokesman Brian Gottstein said did not exist.  (Gottstein has yet to address the fact that he lied about the campaign not agreeing to be at the debate.)

Dave Brat's Empty Chair

At The Crusade For Voters Candidate Forum, we seem to be seeing a pattern.

At the Candidate Forum held at Virginia Union University and hosted by the Richmond Crusade For Voters on October 19th, there was another empty chair.  Dave Brat chose not to show up again.  Forum organizers were unsure if Dave Brat was coming, or if he was going to send a spokesperson like the Warner and Gillespie Campaigns did.  Apparently Dave Brat chose to do neither, and chose not to inform anyone of his choice.  Debate organizers waited for him to appear and when it was finally clear he was not going to show, they proceeded with the event, leaving his empty chair and nameplate in plain view of the attendees.  And of course Brian Gottstein will come up with an array of excuses.  “Dave Brat had a hang nail.”  “The Sun wasn’t bright enough.”  “Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s was having a special on at that time and Dave couldn’t miss it.”  That’s about how stupid his other excuses have been.  You could point out that Dave should have invested in a DVR, but then Brian Gottstein would just stomp his feet and blame the other candidates for Dave’s failure to plan ahead when it comes to the Kardashians.

James Carr

7th District Libertarian Candidate James Carr.

Libertarian Congressional Candidate James Carr attended the event as did Libertarian Senate Candidate Robert Sarvis.  James Carr is one of Dave Brat’s opponents.  His other opponent, Democrat Jack Trammell, sent his campaign manager to speak on his behalf.

James was there because he truly cares about the voters of the 7th District and he has absolutely nothing to hide.

Many Dave Brat supporters will argue that Dave’s hands are tied.  That his campaign has been hijacked by backroom dealing, Washington Insiders like Brian Gottstein, and that there is nothing he can do about it.

But there IS something he can do.  He could grow a pair and send those Washington Insiders back to D.C. and get back to the type of campaign he was running during the primaries against Eric Cantor.

At the Term Limits Summit in Richmond on Wednesday, October 8th, Dave Brat told Fletcher Voelcker, a 7th District resident, that his campaign staff had not changed since he’d won the nomination back in June.  He made it clear that his campaign staff was the same now as it had been before the primary.

Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!!!  The Republican Primary in the 7th District of Virginia was held on June 10th, 2014.  Brian Gottstein was hired by the Dave Brat Campaign after the primary was held.

And let us not forget Dave Brat’s campaign manager during the primary, Zachary Werrell.  He is no longer with the campaign.  Two people have filled that roll since the primary ended and Werrell left the campaign.  One more lie in Dave Brat’s corner.

Is this the kind of man you want to send to Washington, D.C. to represent you?  A man who would blatantly lie to a voter’s face?  I think not.  Did Brian Gottstein hold a gun to Dave Brat’s head and force him to be dishonest?  Nope.  Dave Brat made this decision on his own.  But Gottstein would probably try and blame the other candidates saying they caused Dave Brat to be dishonest, if this issue were ever brought up publicly.

Brat’s campaign is losing supporters every day because of Brian Gottstein and the rest of the Washington Insiders that have been hired. 10 people – and these are just people I know personally – have stopped supporting Dave Brat and are now supporting James Carr.  At first they were merely looking at the other options because they had grown extremely disappointed with Dave Brat since he won the primary.  But after reviewing James Carr’s positions and listening to him speak, they realized that he was indeed the better candidate for the job.  Just think about it.  These are 10 people that I know.  And there are many more across the 7th District that I don’t know, who are jumping the Dave Brat ship on a daily basis.

Bob Shannon, founder and past president of The Mechanicsville TEA Party, has grown increasingly weary of Dave Brat since the primary.  He is not in the slightest way happy with the direction Dave Brat has decided to go and has voiced his opinion on the matter.  Bob Shannon was instrumental in convincing Dave Brat to run for office.  Now he’s extremely disappointed.

Some are asking if Brian Gottstein is aware that he is hurting the Brat Campaign.  Let’s be clear.  Brian Gottstein does not care if Dave Brat wins or loses.  He will get paid either way.  And regardless of the outcome, he will slither back to that backroom deal in Washington, D.C. whence he came, when it’s all said and done.  Calling Brian Gottstein an opportunist would be the understatement of the new millennium.

Brian Gottstein has claimed that he is a libertarian.  He made the claim in the comments section of this article on Va. Right!  There’s just one problem with that statement.  A real libertarian would not work for or vote for a theocrat.  And that is exactly what Dave Brat is.  In the same comments linked above, Gottstein accuses James Carr of lying when James had irrefutable evidence from debate organizers and sponsors, that Dave Bratt was dodging debates that included Carr.

Another thing Brian Gottstein seems to be good at.  Always blaming someone else for the Brat Campaign’s missteps (as you can see in his comments at the web site above).  Doesn’t this remind you of someone who occasionally resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, when he’s not off playing golf somewhere else???

Dave Brat doesn’t want to face James Carr in a debate because he knows his platform cannot stand public scrutiny.  He also knows James can talk circles around him when it comes to healthcare and economics.  Brian Gottstein knows this as well.  And that’s fine.  The longer Dave Brat hides, the more voters there will be who will be casting their votes for James Carr.

Dave Brat rode the “anyone but Cantor” wave for as long as he could.  And now that Eric Cantor is no longer in the picture, there’s just no reason to vote for Dave Brat.

TEA Party Leader Endorses Libertarian Robert Sarvis For U.S. Senate

Mechanicsville TEA Party Road Sign

Robert Shannon, founder and past chairman of both the Mechanicsville and King William TEA Party groups in Virginia, has officially endorsed Robert Sarvis (L) over Mark Warner (D) and Ed Gillespie (R) in the U.S. Senate Race in Virginia.  Shannon also endorsed Sarvis when he ran for Governor in 2013 against Terry McAuliffe (D) and Ken Cuccinelli (R).

A large 4″ x 8″ Sarvis For Senate sign sits on Shannon’s King William property facing Route 360. Nearly 10,000 motorists pass and see that sign on a daily basis.

Below is Bob Shannon’s official endorsement of Robert Sarvis:

Over the last 5 years it has become clear that continuing to support insiders such as Ed Gillespie will only assist in the fiscal and economic decline of our Nation and lend nothing towards dismantling the “donor class” that Dr. Laura Ingraham referenced when she visited Glen Allen, Va. during the 7th District Republican Primary Race a few months ago.
 
The notion that Ed Gillespie can raise a lot of money should set off alarm bells rather than be seen as some sort of benefit, since it only solidifies evidence of his insider status. Besides, we saw first hand in Virginia’s 7th District with Eric Cantor, the proof that money alone isn’t any panacea or guarantee of victory.  Warner or Gillespie – it doesn’t matter. They are two beltway insiders who have gone on record as big government types.  Both of these men have run the gamut of insider status, from building their personal wealth through government contracts and employment in the lobbying circus in between their stints as beltway boys. Only the most blinded  partisan ideologues would close their eyes to these facts. I am not in that group.  Warner and Gillespie are both part and parcel of the same problem, not a remedy.  
 
Robert Sarvis is a genuine human being running for public office for the right reasons. He has the 3 I’s:  Integrity, Intellect, and Independence . He has the personal fortitude and character to honestly tell you where he stands on an issue. I don’t agree with Rob on several issues, but it doesn’t diminish one iota the primary reason I have come to admire him and continue to support his efforts.  His calm, reasoned, and principled approach to the problems this Nation faces – from fiscal and economic to cultural and  personal liberty – is much more closely aligned with my own than the representatives of the oligarchs that control both major parties leadership.
 
If we as a Nation have any hope of arresting this decline then we must recognize the necessity to look at our problems through the eyes of someone who isn’t “owned” by these oligarchs. No one has their hooks in Robert Sarvis. He will represent us.  That matters much more to me than the differences I have with him on a few issues. Integrity matters, and should matter before anything else. Absent weighing the value of that quality, you end up with more of the same.

Bob Shannon may be reached for comment by sending an e-mail to: robertshannon_44@msn.com

Cuccinelli Political Strategist Says Libertarians Exist To Keep Republicans From Winning

Chris LaCivita

Chris LaCivita served as chief political strategist for Ken Cuccinelli.

When Ken Cuccinelli ran for Governor of Virginia in 2013, he framed himself as a “libertarian-leaning Republican.”  And recently his chief political strategist Chris LaCivita, let the cat out of the bag when he was interviewed for a June 6th, 2014 article at The Washington Examiner concerning North Carolina Libertarian Senate Candidate Sean Haugh.

In the article, LaCivita is quoted as saying: “Libertarians and quote unquote libertarian-minded Republicans exist for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to keep Republicans from winning general elections.”

“From a political standpoint, those individuals are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s best pals.”

Rand Paul & Ken CuccinelliOh what seven months after an election won’t do to one’s memory.  LaCivita forgets that he was part of a team of “political experts” who failed to convince voters that a should-be convicted felon was more “Libertarian” than the real Libertarian Candidate, Robert Sarvis (Sarvis is now running for U.S. Senate in Virginia).  They even brought in former Congressman and 2012 Presidential Candidate Ron Paul (who is known as a libertarian-minded Republican) to seal the deal.  Don’t forget too, that Rand Paul endorsed Cuccinelli over real Libertarian Sarvis.  Of course, Rand Paul (Ron Paul’s son) always endorses Republicans over Libertarians, because, well, he is a Republican and, you know, Liberty.

For LaCivita – once you start telling lies, it’s hard to keep everything straight.

And we all know that Ken Cuccinelli himself, also feels the same way.  But the way you woo Libertarians to your campaign is to lie and pretend you are one.  Unfortunately for Cuccinelli – much like Mitt Romney – no matter how dishonest you are, you still can’t win an election.

Exit polls from the Virginia Governor’s race proved that had Sarvis not been in the race, Cuccinelli would have lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe by an even wider margin.  Let us not ever accuse Republicans of being as dishonest as Democrats.

Libertarians exist to keep both Democrats and Republicans from winning (you could argue that both parties are the same – and you’d probably be right).  In most elections we pull evenly from both sides.  There have been, on a few occasions, times when we have pulled more from the Democrats or more from the Republicans.  But in general, we take from both sides evenly.

LaCivita, like many other Republicans, is being intentionally dishonest.  It’s a growing pattern within the Republican party.  A last ditch effort to save a dying brand that should have never been popular to begin with.  It’s not as if LaCivita hasn’t looked at the exit poll data from the 2013 Governor’s race in Virginia.  But that data doesn’t fit the narrative he’s trying to sell.  So his only option is to lie through his teeth and hope that nobody does their own research.

Republicans and Democrats do not want Libertarians winning elections.  Republicans seem to be the most vocal about it at this time.  The Democrats just sit back with their feet propped up, laughing, while Republicans like LaCivita make fools of themselves and push more Libertarians away from the Republican Party.

I guess Cuccinelli shot himself in the foot when he claimed to be “Libertarian Leaning.” Because according to his chief political strategist, his one and only purpose was to keep himself from winning.

And that’s really good for the Libertarian Party.

Cuccinelli Supporters Should Never Be Accused Of Letting Facts Get In The Way Of Being Dishonest

In the wake of the Virginia Governors Race that ended last Tuesday (November 5th), with Democrat Terry McAuliffe narrowly beating Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the hate mail and vitriol from Cuccinelli supporters has been rampant. For a candidate that Cuccinelli initially dismissed as irrelevant, his campaign sure did spend an awful lot of time the last three or four weeks trying to bring Libertarian Robert Sarvis down.  And Cooch’s supporters wasted no time in jumping on that bandwagon.  How low does one have to get in order to be a Cuccinelli supporter?  Apparently, there is no limit to the level at which Cuccinelli supporters will sink.

Robert Sarvis

Virginia Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Sarvis.

About two weeks prior to election day, stories began making their way across the blogosphere, Facebook, Twitter, and various conservative web sites claiming that Robert Sarvis wasn’t a “Real Libertarian.”  Imagine REPUBLICANS trying to tell ANYONE what the definition of a real Libertarian is.  Yet they tried.  The most hilarious part of the whole thing was when Republicans started claiming that Sarvis was not a Libertarian because he did not believe in Austrian Economics.  They claimed that Cuccinelli WAS in favor of Austrian Economics.  The reality of it is this: Cooch is in favor of whatever type of economics his handlers tell him he’s supposed to be in favor of.  You can read some of these stories herehere, and here.  In some cases, Republicans snookered a lot of voters into believing that their intentionally dishonest statements were in fact a reality.

Richmond Times-Dispatch Columnist Bart Hinkle debunked all of their claims here.  And it wasn’t very hard to do.

Ron and Rand Paul even came to Virginia to endorse Cuccinelli.  A lot of good that did.  Ron Paul called Sarvis supporters INSANE, forgetting what his own supporters were often called when they refused to back down from supporting him.  A lot of speculation has gone into why Ron Paul endorsed Cuccinelli.  But in the end, it really boils down to this:  both Cuccinelli and Paul are Republicans.  And apparently they decided to stick together.

Enter Glenn Beck.  As we all know, Glenn Beck, who has been trying to convince us for a while now that he is a Libertarian, endorsed Liberal candidate Mitt Romney in last year’s Presidential Election.  Effectively throwing his entire country under the bus.  Glenn Beck’s web site “The Blaze” put out a story last week, just prior to the election of Virginia’s governor, claiming that not only was Robert Sarvis not a real Libertarian, but that his campaign was funded by an “Obama Bundler,” in order that the Republican vote be split.  Cuccinelli supporters in Va. ate it up (after all, it wasn’t really true, so what was not to like about it?).  Rush Limbaugh maligned about it on his show for days thereafter.  And even in the face of real facts proving otherwise, not one of them has apologized for being dishonest.  Why tamper with a winning system, right?

Beck, who has claimed since early January of this year to be a Libertarian, endorsed big government Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli (who supported the largest tax increase in Virginia history and who wasn’t even remotely 2nd amendment friendly [VCDL questions here and answers here]).  And like most Cuccinelli supporters, he would stop at nothing to see his candidate win.

Yet his candidate didn’t win.  He sold his soul to the Devil and got nothing in return for it.

The hateful Tweets, e-mails, Facebook comments, and phone calls, which began before election day and are still coming in to the Sarvis campaign and Sarvis supporters, represent the worst in politics.  Ken Cuccinelli hasn’t stepped up to denounce any of them.  But then again, why would he?  I’m sure he’s at the root of them all.

Full Disclosure:  I was and still am a Robert Sarvis Supporter.  And I worked tirelessly for his campaign.  I have no regrets and I am proud to have supported him.  I will do so again for whatever public office he chooses to run for next.