Ben Domenech: Is Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Sarvis a Libertarian-In-Name-Only?

Still from a Robert Sarvis campaign ad

OCTOBER 25, 2013 By

The final debate in Virginia last night between Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli didn’t feature Robert Sarvis, the libertarian candidate who has frequently brushed double digits in polling. George Will does his best to make up for this, writing that Cuccinelli is far from the best choice for Virginia, and effectively endorsing Sarvis.

Hours before Gallup reported record nationwide support — 60 percent — for a third party to leaven politics, Sarvis was declared ineligible for the final debate for gubernatorial candidates because he fell a tad short of a 10 percent average in recent polls. None of this disturbed his leisurely enjoyment of a tuna-burger lunch before sauntering off in search of free media, about the only kind he can afford… “Like you, I can’t vote for Ken Cuccinelli’s narrow-minded social agenda. I want a Virginia that’s open-minded and welcoming to all. And like you, I don’t want Terry McAuliffe’s cronyism either, where government picks winners and losers.

He joins Jennifer Rubin in gushing over the candidate without really getting into any of Sarvis’s policy positions.

While I certainly wish the debate had included Sarvis – it certainly seems justified given the polling, even if it turns out that his support is a reflection of soft “none of the above” frustrations – there’s simply no way I can be as accepting of his viewpoint as Will is, for a number of reasons. While I’m closer to Sarvis’s viewpoint than Cuccinelli’s on marriage, marijuana, and I am sure other policy issues as well, there have been a number of concerning red flags about Sarvis’s positions.

Read the full article here 

16 thoughts on “Ben Domenech: Is Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Sarvis a Libertarian-In-Name-Only?

  1. Steve M

    Ben Domenech states

    But the fundamental reason I can’t personally vote for Sarvis is his position on abortion – not that he’s simply pro-choice, but that he appears to take the most radical positions in favor of it in a way that makes no sense to me. This includes repeatedly stressing that as governor, he will attempt to roll back recently passed safety regulations on Virginia abortion clinics. Here’s his campaign website: “The law requiring otherwise legal abortion clinics, but not other outpatient clinics creating a similar level of health risk, to be regulated as hospitals is simply an attempt to regulate abortion clinics out of existence. Misusing public health law for such an ulterior purpose is an abuse of the rule of law.”

    where as I find Sarvis’s position entirely reasonable and in line with the Libertarian Platform position of “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

  2. Jed Ziggler (@JedZiggler)

    I’m personally a pro-life libertarian, I realize that good people disagree on this issue & don’t hold it against a particular candidate. I don’t think Sarvis is a rigid libertarian, but he meets all my criteria for what an acceptable candidate is, and he’s certainly the best candidate in the race.

  3. DSZ

    This is kind of old news now. But anyway, the author of this piece once was paid $36, 000 to promote the Malaysian regime in his writings, has a background that suggests he may be an agent of Cuccinelli, and just flat out lies in this piece about what Sarvis said to Chuck Todd in the Daily Rundown, Sarvis’ position on taxes, and his position on mileage taxation. The abortion part is the only part where he makes a bit of a point. I’ll have more on this later, on my phone atm.

  4. Jeremy C. Young

    Domenech isn’t a Libertarian! He was one of the founders of, among other things. You guys might as well trust me to tell you who’s a “true Libertarian” as trust Domenech. (Admittedly, I have on occasion argued that Wayne Allyn Root wasn’t a “true Libertarian,” but that was in a spirit of friendship to Libertarianism, not — as seems likely in Domenech’s case — as a cynical hit job for the Republican candidate.)

  5. wredlich

    Is it me or does anyone else find this odd? The Cuccinelli GOP campaign is now touting his libertarian credentials while attacking Sarvis as not really libertarian.

    This is like Bizzarro world

  6. johnO

    Does Sarvis want to “force” the taxpayer to pay for abortions? If he does he’s closer to the D’s. I thought the LP’s platform was opposed of the state “forcing” taxpayer/individual from either paying for abortion and/or “forcing” birth.

  7. DSZ

    The latest article pretty much covered what I was going to say (and is in the comments of Domenech’s article), only with more civil language than I probably was going to use!

  8. Bondurant

    I am listening to Tom Woods interviewing Ron Paul. He was asked why he was supporting Cuccinelli over “the Libertarian candidate” (his name was not even mentioned for some reason) and Dr. Paul stated he thought it over, pondered the risk of promoting the lesser of two evils and then said he was swayed by trusted sources and strong LP leaning folks claiming Sarvis wasn’t a good candidate. I think it’s really about building a potential ally for Rand in 2016. Interview here:

  9. Andy

    Bondurant said: “pondered the risk of promoting the lesser of two evils and then said he was swayed by trusted sources and strong LP leaning folks claiming Sarvis wasn’t a good candidate. I think it’s really about building a potential ally for Rand in 2016. Interview here:”

    I think that it is a combination of that, plus being swayed by trusted sources.

    I can understand the angle of wanting to build support for Rand Paul running for the GOP Presidential nomination, but still, even if Sarvis does have flaws (which is debatable), I still would not have endorsed Cucinnelli.

  10. George Phillies - LP Wins Again

    Paul regularly emphasizes that he is a conservative, not a libertarian, so it should not be surprising that he endorses the Republican candidate for Governor. For real fun, get him asked if he supports the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, who si elected separately.

  11. David Hendrix

    I am a Gaston County NC business owner running as an independent in the 2016 presidential election. No I’m not crazy, I’m tired of Big Government wasteful spending, partisan politics, federal and state involvement in business’ and the federal Government not listening to the citizens of the US. I know that you are the NC Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, but thought since I lived here I would touch base with you. I would appreciate any support you could afford a middle class, Independent! We started our campaign the first of October, and have been steadily gaining a following via Social Media, we have a long way to go, but I as well as my staff are very determined.

    You can view my website along with My Radio Interview with Keith Larson from 1110 WBT Radio, and the Article about my family in the Gazette. This weekend, a interview will air from the time that I sent talking with News 14 Carolina.

    Like us on Facebook as well to follow our progress!!

    David Hendrix
    Hendrix for President

  12. paulie

    “The Cuccinelli GOP campaign is now touting his libertarian credentials”

    I can just see it now…

    “Vote Cuccinelli…he is more libertarian than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, all the NK Kims and Pol Pot – put together!”

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