We Are 1776: Interview with Libertarian Candidate for Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Published on weare1776.org on May 17th, 2013. The interviewer was Michael Gray. 

By Michael Gray, Contributor, We Are 1776

I recently had the pleasure of conducting an online interview with Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Virginia. I found his ideas insightful and refreshing in comparison to the Republican and Democratic agendas with which Virginians have become familiar.

Question: Could you speak [about] your plan on collecting 10,000 signatures to be on the voting ballot? Is there a way for average citizens to become involved in the effort?

Sarvis: More volunteers are always welcome. The deadline is less than a month away, so time is of the essence, and even a small number of signatures collected from friends, family, and neighbors will help. Anyone interested in helping out with the signatures, or with anything else over the next six months, should contact the campaign by email at info@robertsarvis.com. People can also donate to the campaign at http://www.RobertSarvis.com, or by sending a check to Sarvis for Governor 2013, PO Box 224, Annandale, VA 22003.

We’re making good progress and are optimistic about satisfying the requirements of 10,000 state-wide signatures and 400 signatures per district. But it’s never a sure thing until you get the confirmation from the Board of Elections.

I would like to point out that last year, the signature requirement for Presidential primary races was lowered from 10,000 to 5,000, but the requirement for state-level races was not reduced commensurately. The only reason for not reducing the requirement for state-level races is to protect the Democrats and Republicans from competition from third-party candidates. This is an abuse of power that should be ended. If 5,000 signatures are sufficient for ballot access in a Presidential race, it should be enough in a state-level race, too.

Question: What do you consider to be high-priority issues for your campaign?

Sarvis: School choice Parents know best what the specific educational needs of their children are. So I want to put parents in control of the money spent on educating their children. I want to empower both parents and teachers to seize the initiative in providing every child with the best education possible. I want to free entrepreneurial educators and service-providers from the shackles of the current system, so they can innovate and prepare students for the future. In pursuing these goals, there should be no partisanship, no shibboleths, no sacred cows, and no closed minds.

Tax Relief, Jobs, and Economic Growth

I want to reduce government-created impediments to business-creation and job-creation, free up entrepreneurial people to increase economic growth and drive innovation, make the economy more competitive by removing regulations that merely protect market incumbents. I also want to attract businesses and individuals from other states, not with the taxpayer-funded handouts preferred by Democrats and Republicans, but with honest leadership, equal opportunity, a fair administration of justice, a simple tax system with low tax rates, limits on spending growth, education and transportation systems built to last, and no special treatment for anyone. Let’s let everyone know Virginia is open minded and open for business.

An End to the Drug War 

Ending the drug war isn’t about drugs. It’s about expanding freedom and restoring civil liberties. It’s about reducing gun violence, gang violence, and organized crime. It’s about keeping private citizens and law-enforcement officers safe, and fostering trust between them. It’s about keeping young people out of the criminal justice system, getting addicts the help they need, and reversing the breakdown of families and communities. It’s about restoring the federal-state balance of power, saving money for taxpayers, and a whole lot more. We need to reform our state laws immediately and put pressure on the federal government to end the drug war nationally.

Question: On your website, www.RobertSarvis.com, you mention marriage equality as an issue. If elected, would you amend the VA constitution to establish marriage equality?

Sarvis: Yes, I support a repeal of the constitutional ban, and I support full legal recognition of same-sex marriages. I am the only candidate in the race whose marriage was once illegal in Virginia, who has never had to “evolve” on the issue of marriage equality, and who will actively support it as Governor. Amending the state constitution is a lengthy, multiyear process, but I look forward to a Virginia that lives up to the famous tagline, “Virginia is for Lovers.”

Question: Are there any current regulations in VA that you feel stifle the free market? As Governor, would you make efforts to remove these regulations?

Sarvis: Yes, there are MANY. There are a bunch of different taxes in Virginia that raise the cost of doing business; we should end most of them and make the tax system simple and broad-based with low rates. There are too many targeted deductions & credits that benefit particular interest groups or pet projects; they should all be eliminated and rates lowered to compensate. There are too many wasteful bureaucracies that have written licensure, accreditation, and other kinds of regulations that serve no purpose other than to protect industry incumbents from competition; we should eliminate or streamline many of these and reconsider the wisdom of these regulatory schemes entirely.

To read the full interview, please go to the following link: 



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