Category Archives: Ken Cuccinelli

Why Ken Cuccinelli deserved to lose

Another version of this was published at VA Right.

I spent the last two weeks handing out literature door to door in Arlington, Virginia and the last few days going to events in southern, central, southwest and far west Virginia for the Sarvis for Governor campaign.  I’ve been to Bedford, Chesterfield, Chesapeake, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Annandale, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Harrisonburg, Reston, Winchester and Roanoke.

I’ve met a lot of Ron Paul supporters who supported Robert Sarvis, who was polling at 8-13%.  The polls were all very inconsistent, some showing the Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, at 51%, some at 45%, and the Republican, Ken Cucinelli, anywhere from 39% to 44%.  Cuccinelli closed the gap toward the end, when his handlers finally let him take his balls out of the box, awakened by the public outcry against Obamacare as it was implemented.  MSNBC’s Chuck Todd said given another week of campaigning against Obamacare failure, Cuccinelli might have won; but it is also true that if he had started being aggressive a week or two earlier he might have as well.  Rather than own up to this GOP failure, the consultants and the talk radio spinners are blaming the Libertarian.

Libertarian Robert Sarvis got the biggest chunk of his vote, over 40%, from people who said they would otherwise not vote, probably not unlike the kind of vote Ron Paul turned out for primaries and caucuses.  This is important to note since in reply to this discussion, Norman Singleton, a longtime staff economist in Ron Paul’s Congressional office and a current staffer at Campaign for Liberty, insisted that it is “conventional wisdom” that Libertarians take Republican votes.  Warning Bell #1 – a Paul functionary approvingly quoting “conventional wisdom.”  In one poll, one third of Sarvis voters had Cuccinelli as a second choice and a fifth had McAuliffe as a second choice.

In the last two weeks, a somewhat desperate Cucinelli campaign attacked Sarvis, usually with weird and irrelevant picayune issues: that one of his unpaid staff tweeted a response to a Ron Paul organizer pointing out that she was a devotee of a recherché Beckian conspiracy hypothesis; another Ron Paul organizer posted 6 seconds, not even a full sentence, from a wonky Sarvis answer, onto YouTube, making it seem that Sarvis favors a new tax (Robert Sarvis has three policy papers on the Mercatus Center website calling for less spending and less regulation); others charge that Sarvis is not really a libertarian because he said he studied all schools of economic thought, not just Paul approved Austrian economics;  or just the general cry that Sarvis is a spoiler causing McAuliffe to win.  On this last point the Cucinelli Paulistas were so desperate to get another 2% for Ken from the Sarvis vote that they ignore the evidence that if Sarvis weren’t there some of his voters would also increase McAuliffe’s total.  In the end, the Libertarian spent less per vote than Cuccinelli did since all spending for Sarvis was $380000 and Ken spent $15 million. He spent almost 45 times what they did. But he got less than 7 times their vote. And he didn’t have to first spend his money to collect 18,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

So apparently Republican candidates aren’t cost effective.

On the last day of the campaign Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze reports that an Obama supporting high tech donor gave money to a PAC that gave to the Sarvis ballot drive, and every conservative chattering monkey from Hannity and Chris Plante on down has called this a dirty trick and said Sarvis is created by the Democrats to hurt the GOP.  Even though the Virginia Libertarian Party always gets on the ballot, including for gubernatorial races, with or without a donation from a Democrat.  And even though the biggest independent expenditure for Sarvis was from the all libertarian Purple PAC, $300,000 for radio and TV ads in the last two weeks of the campaign (and overlooking that Sarvis gave his own campaign twice as much as this Obama affiliated donor).  As one Paul organizer said of why she is supporting Cuccinelli, “personnel is policy.”  She’s right.  Ken Cuccinelli deserves to lose; the GOP infrastructure supporting him is shot through and through with liars and smear merchants.  Note well by the way all the conservative media outlets, The Blaze, Breitbart, and DC’s WMAL that spread last minute questions for and charges against Sarvis never interviewed him earlier or had him on their air.  And their friends kept him out of the debates where these issues might have been aired.  Should such a Nixonian GOP be rewarded with victories?

As to Rand and Ron Paul, it’s funny that Paulistas assume that they know how voters will vote, and how they will vote given their changing expectations about the outcome.  Their own Austrian economics says they don’t and that their attacks on Sarvis represent, as their hero FA Hayek entitled two of his books, “a fatal conceit,” and “a pretense of knowledge.”   Surely some voters change their vote, giving it to or taking it from an independent candidate, depending on who they think is winning.  The Paulistas assume that votes are static and a zero sum game, in direct contradiction to their Austrian economics, which would instead suggest that competition and markets are dynamic and a discovery process, where a new “firm” or a new “product” like the Sarvis campaign, actually increases the size of the market and the number of market participants, and where these new entrants as well as everyone else discover what they want to “buy” during the process of the campaign, not before entering it.  But the Paul’s assume they possess this knowledge, and that they can centrally plan the liberty movement. Norm Singleton has told me that my use of the phrase “central planning” is a smear on the Paul’s.  But the problems of central planning related to decentralized information are known to apply to large firms in a market economy, which may be so big that their internal operations, no longer run by prices, become dysfunctional. And since Paulistas encouraged us to get behind the GOP, now once again shown to be unpopular, shot through with liars, and a flailing failure (unwilling to really fight, until the very end of their campaign, when it was too late), it looks like this is a case of dysfunction.  This hubris led them to waste a lot of time attacking, and even lying about, Sarvis, instead of competing for votes with McAuliffe.  Including ironically charges that Sarvis is not sufficiently Austrian (is Ken?) or is too moderate and wonky and doesn’t oppose taxes (didn’t Ken Cuccinelli’s administration and governor just raise taxes?)

Now the Pauls no doubt have good reasons to support Ken Cuccinelli.  He quashed a move to change the election rules during the Virginia primaries last year, when only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul did the onerous work to make it onto the Virginia ballot and Newt Gingrich and other slackers asked for special favors to be put on without collecting signatures and doing the work.  (That is, all the other Republicans in that primary were kept off the ballot by the same restrictive ballot access laws the Libertarians face every election, which is why Robert Sarvis aimed for 10%, to get the Libertarians permanent ballot status and free them from annual petition gathering, by complying with the Republican co-authored ballot access law which requires them to get 10%.)  This “favor” (of obeying the Virginia law) that Cuccinelli did Ron Paul must be repaid.  And presumably a Governor Cuccinelli would have been helpful to a 2016 Rand Paul presidential effort.

The Paul’s and their groups, like Campaign for Liberty, have decided that they must centrally plan the liberty movement.  They know best, and like Obama or some other statist, they want to collectivize our eggs and invest them all in one basket, the GOP.  As anyone who knows me knows, I am only supportive of Paulian efforts, from Rand’s anti-NSA petitions, to C4L kids protesting Syria, to recruiting candidates like Thomas Massie and Justin Amash.  And I would support any William Proxmire or Eugene McCarthy type Democrats who try to liberate Democrats from the Borg that controls them, should these extinct species reappear.  And the Paul’s and others are free to PERSUADE us that their strategy is the best, or even only, one.  But when they start lying and spinning, though it is not coercion, it is akin to the demand of the central planner that they know best and we must invest all in their 5 year plan, even if we think it may fail.


Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis calls for Ken Cuccinelli to drop out of Virginia race

Speaking before supporters at the Hard Times Cafe in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, Thursday, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis said he is drawing voters from both Democrat McAuliffe and Republican Cuccinelli, as well as voters who usually stay home out of disinterest in both major parties.

Questioned by small “l” libertarian Republicans after the official question period, Sarvis insisted that Cuccinelli cannot win, being 7 points below McAuliffe, but that he, Sarvis, could, given that both Cuccinelli and McAullife are underwater, with higher negatives than positive ratings.  Sarvis called on Cuccinelli to drop out and  let the Libertarian campaign have his $2 million campaign chest to beat McAullife, who is widely disliked for his corruption, stupidity, and crony corporatism.

Sarvis promised more meet and greets and events in Arlington and northern Virginia (this was his first) in the last 8 weeks of the campaign.  Sarvis has run an active campaign, making many stops in Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke, Tidewater, Virginia Beach and other areas of central and southern Vorginia, and has received a high level of media coverage.  Polls have shown him near 10% in the 3 way race.  The Libertarian Party of Virginia is running a dozen candidates for Delegate as well, including Laura Delhomme, an Arlington resident who works in IT for a non-profit, who introduced Sarvis at the event.

Sarvis addressed marriage quality and the history of government intervention in marriage in Virginia, including prohibition of interracial marriage.  (Sarvis has a Chinese mother and his wife Astrid, a pediatrician, is African American.)  Mr. Sarvis has undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics and economics from Harvard and George Mason Universities, and a law degree from New York University Law School.

An Open Letter to David Koch

Among other things, one can offer support to more than one candidate….

Mr. David H. Koch
Executive Vice President
Koch Industries
New York, NY 10065-8051

Dear Mr. Koch:

My name is John Vaught LaBeaume. I am the campaign manager for Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian nominee for Governor of Virginia.

Last night, we read of the fundraiser you hosted for Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Governor. Robert, a long-time admirer of your commitment to and support for libertarian ideas, asked me to address this letter to you. I count myself as an admirer of your efforts, as well, since I first became active in libertarian politics as a teenager in the 1980s.

We wanted to reach out to you and express our view that Robert Sarvis is the candidate in this race that is more closely in line with your libertarian principles than is Mr. Cuccinelli.

Robert Sarvis is the only candidate in the race for Governor of Virginia who can advocate effectively for personal and economic freedom. He is a lifelong libertarian, attended the Koch Summer Fellows program after college, and recently completed a Mercatus graduate fellowship and a master’s degree in economics.

Robert has experience as an entrepreneur and small-business owner, a software engineer and mobile-app developer, a math teacher, and a lawyer, and his run for governor is based on the vision of a Virginia that is “Open-Minded and Open for Business.”

We remember—and applaud—your libertarian position in favor of same-sex marriage freedom. Robert Sarvis is the only candidate for Governor of Virginia actively advocating for full recognition of same-sex marriages. He believes it’s the right thing to do—a view he has always held, but one that is no doubt strengthened by the fact that his own marriage was once illegal in Virginia.

Recognizing same-sex marriages is also the prudent thing to do. Business and investor communities are turned off by regressive social policies. Being a holdout against positive social change hampers Virginia, putting it at a competitive disadvantage in attracting forward-thinking people and businesses. Mr. Cuccinelli remains obdurate on the issue, behind the times and in conflict with the business community.

In the same vein, welcoming immigrants with open arms is both the right policy and prudent policy. Robert Sarvis is the son of an immigrant and favors free movement of people. As Virginia Attorney General, Mr. Cuccinelli filed an amicus brief supporting Arizona’s anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 law, sending a signal that says “You’re not welcome!” to Virginia’s many foreign-born business owners and entrepreneurs. He is now adopting the corrosive rhetoric of what constitutes a “true” Virginian, and we object. In contrast, we share your belief that immigration is good for markets and good for America.

Finally, living near Washington, D.C., we have had the opportunity to visit and learn from the Smithsonian’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. Mr. Cuccinelli has headlined events for a group dedicated to “promoting creationism” and “refuting Darwinian evolution.” For voters in Northern Virginia’s creative capitalist tech community, this association with “Flat Earth” notions is a deal-breaker.

Robert Sarvis, in contrast, grew up on a science-based education. He went to Virginia’s top-ranked science and technology magnet school; spent summers attending math and science camps, including the Center for Excellence in Education’s Research Science Institute; and placed fourth in the most prestigious nationwide high school science competition, the Westinghouse (now Intel) Science Talent Search.

In 1980, when you ran for Vice-President, your LP ticket with Ed Clark staked out bold positions on personal freedom. Those positions were cutting-edge at the time, but thanks to campaigns like yours, they are now widely shared, especially in the parts of Virginia that are growing in wealth and population.

Politico’s Jonathan Martin has described this election as “ground zero” for politics in 2013. Given the Old Dominion’s proximity to national media outlets in Washington, D.C., what happens in Virginia will be telegraphed nationwide.

Unscrupulous opponents of free market ideas are salivating at the chance to tie market capitalism with Mr. Cuccinelli’s unenlightened social views. It’s an argument that would strike voters as counterintuitive on its face, if not for the clear record and policy views of Mr. Cuccinelli.

Robert is running, in part, because he couldn’t stand by and let potentially irreparable damage to the future viability of free market ideas be inflicted by association with Ken Cuccinelli’s intolerant and divisive views on gay marriage, immigration, and other issues.

Instead of class wars and culture wars, we are running a campaign of inclusiveness and open-mindedness, a campaign for both personal and economic freedom, a campaign for a Virginia that is “Open-Minded and Open for Business.” Robert Sarvis is the only option for the multitude of Virginia voters looking for a candidate who combines social tolerance with open markets.

If you or your staff would like to discuss our campaign, please do not hesitate 
to contact us.

Thank you for your continuing support for libertarian ideas.

John Vaught LaBeaume
Manager, Robert Sarvis for Governor 2013

Robert Sarvis
Libertarian Nominee for Governor of Virginia

Robert Sarvis for Governor Ballot Drive

Dear Liberty movement activist,

Robert C. Sarvis of Northern Virginia is running for Governor of Virginia, and he would like to do it as a partisan “L” Libertarian candidate!  While he has not been formally endorsed by our members in convention yet, it is already several months into the petitioning window.  Therefore Sarvis hopes you are available to help him collect signatures to get on the ballot.

The petitioning forms are available here:



Here are the petitioning instructions:


If you are interested in helping collect signatures for the Sarvis petition, please write to Bill Redpath, LPVA Political Development Chairman:

        William Redpath <>

PLEASE NOTE: The LPVA state committee has NOT taken any position on the candidate.  The process is still wide open, and there are *no* roadblocks in place against anyone else who wishes to seek our endorsement.  And as usual, in all internal Libertarian Party elections, “None of the Above” is always a valid and recognized choice.

We are currently nailing down a venue and date/time for a membership convention where all candidates for statewide office will be considered.  The convention will be in late April (at this point it looks like it will be on April 21 or 27, and in Waynesboro), but the exact details must still be worked out.  We will announce those details this weekend; but please SAVE THE DATES!

To be clear: If *anyone* else wishes to seek our endorsement for Governor, Lt. Governor or Attorney General, we will offer their petition forms to you just as we have here for Sarvis, and we will likewise invite you to gather signatures for them as well, prior to the convention next month.  Time is very short, so all candidates will need every minute to petition.

Here is the contact information for the Sarvis campaign:

Sarvis for Governor <>
Sarvis For Governor 2013
PO Box 224 * Annandale, VA 22003
Web site:
Here is more information about Robert Sarvis:



Robert Sarvis, 36, was born and raised in Northern Virginia, graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He has studied mathematics at Harvard University and the University of Cambridge, law at NYU, and economics at George Mason University.

Rob has worked as a software engineer in California, a law clerk for a federal Court of Appeals judge in Mississippi, an attorney at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in D.C., and a mobile app developer in Virginia. He currently does economic research for the Mercatus Center, a free-market think tank associated with George Mason University, and mentors high school computer science students.

Rob ran for State Senate in 2011. He is married with two children and lives in Annandale, Va.


* Same-Sex Marriage: Repeal the state constitutional ban. Recognize same-sex marriages. 
* Transportation: Make users pay. End geographic and other cross-subsidies. Minimize political control; maximize competition.
* Education: Foster free markets in education. Maximize parental choice and control over money spent on their children. Slash administrative bloat.
* Tax Reform: Fewer taxes. Simpler taxes. Lower taxes. Focus spending on priorities. Reduce spending elsewhere.
* Drugs: End the Drug War—legalize/decriminalize. Fight federal drug laws.
* Protection of Civil Liberties: Recognize right to record police. Reform asset-forfeiture and felon-disenfranchisement laws. Curb police militarization and drone surveillance. 
* Guns: Preserve Second Amendment rights.
* Regulatory Reform: Reduce/eliminate occupational licensure. Replace bureaucratic regulation with market solutions.
* Electoral Reform: Enact term limits, non-partisan gerrymandering, instant-runoff voting.
* Immigration: Support federal immigration reform based on maximizing freedom of movement, i.e., making borders as open as politically feasible.


Thank you for your time, and all you do for liberty.

Sincerely Yours,

        Marc Montoni, Secretary
        Libertarian Party of Virginia
        <> <>

Peaceful Commerce With All Nations * Noninterventionism * Repeal Prohibition * End Government Intrusion In The Bedroom * Repeal All Gun Laws * Taxpayer Bailout: Repeal The Income Tax * Sound, Free-market Money & Abolish The Fed * End Corporate & Individual Welfare * Abolish The IRS * Privatize Transportation Infrastructure * Free-market Emergency Services * Minimally-regulated Migration * Transfer Government Schools To The Private Sector * Eliminate Regulation * VOTE LIBERTARIAN * 800-ELECT-US or

If big government works, why do its advocates need to defend it? 

Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate in Virginia declares

Attorney and software engineer Richard Sarvis will seek the Libertarian Party of Virginia nomination at their state convention in late April.

Laura Delhomme with 2012 Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson

Sarvis joins fellow northern Virginia Libertarians attorney Lindsey Bolton and IT manager Laura Delhomme, who are both running for Delegate from Arlington districts.

 Lindsey Bolton with Ron Paul

Sarvis ran for State Senate in 2011 and told the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner about his campaign. He noted that he thinks of himself as a libertarian and participates in the activities of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia.

His libertarian philosophy is reflected in his answer when asked about his favorite economist. Without pausing, he named Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian Nobel laureate who taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago.

“Hayek is someone who really influenced my thinking,” Sarvis explained: “How to think about problems that face national economies and how public policy can influence it in many unintended ways,”

Hayek, Smith, Sumner

While a lot of people, such as talk-show host Glenn Beck, focus on Hayek’s 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, Sarvis said he “was more influenced by his ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society,’ which was probably the seminal paper that won him the Nobel Prize, and also [volume] one of Law, Legislation, and Liberty, where he talks about rules and order.”

In addition to Hayek, Sarvis cites Adam Smith as an influence in his economic thinking.

“In philosophy, they say, there’s Plato and all else are footnotes,” he quipped. “I think that can be said more truly of Adam Smith than of Plato.”

Among contemporary economists, Sarvis pointed to Bentley University professor Scott Sumner, who blogs at As Americans have focused on the financial crisis and the recession, he said, “Sumner has been the most persuasive in what exactly is going on [with regard to the] monetary policy mistakes of the Fed. We really are in many ways repeating some of the mistakes of the depression.”

Ballot Access

Virginia Libertarians must collect over 10,000 valid signatures to put a statewide candidate on the ballot.  Last year a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the LP made it possible for non-Virginia residents to circulate petitions, and libertarians from DC, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and elsewhere are needed to help collect signatures.

Jordon Bloom on Virginia gubernatorial race

Everything You Need to Know About the Virginia Governor’s Race

Even if he was in the right, to many observers of Virginia politics Ken Cuccinelli’s lawsuit against Obamacare had the whiff of a publicity stunt. It wasn’t so much that his case was spurious (a district court upheld its legitimacy, though he wasn’t able to take his case to the Supreme Court), but that it was one more link in a chain of quixotic, politically-charged crusades.

Read the rest at The American Conservative.