Wes Benedict, the longtime Texas Libertarian Party man and current executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, who founded the Libertarian Booster PAC, responds in a statement today to accusations floating around the right-wing world that his PAC only supported Robert Sarvis's LP campaign for governor of Virginia as a tool of moneyed Democratic Party interests, specifically donor Joe Liemandt (who had also given six figures to the Obama campaign in 2012).
I realize that, no matter what I say, paranoid right-wingers will think I'm a sneaky operative trying to help Democrats beat Republicans. This message is for the rational people out there.
I founded the Texas-based Libertarian Booster PAC in late 2011. Its purpose was to recruit and assist Libertarian Party candidates for public office. You can read more about it here.
In 2012, the PAC focused solely on non-federal races in Texas. With satisfactory accomplishments, and no partisan election happening in Texas in 2013, I looked to expand to other states where permitted by law. Virginia was one of two states with a gubernatorial election in 2013 plus state legislative elections, so it was an obvious choice.
Back at the end of 2008, a man contacted me expressing interest in the Libertarian Party. It turned out he was a successful high-tech entrepreneur. One of his comments was along the lines of, "What could the Libertarian Party do if it had a million dollars?" Naturally, I contact this man whenever I think I have a good idea that needs funding.
I've raised $300,000 from this donor for the Libertarian Booster PAC. He has provided very little in the way of instruction or advice regarding use of the money....
It was my idea, and my decision, to have the Libertarian Booster PAC help recruit Libertarian Party candidates in 2013 in Virginia. I even advertised about it in February.
According to The Blaze, "[Rush] Limbaugh said the Democrats enlisted a 'fake Libertarian candidate' who was 'bought and paid for by an Obama bundler.'" That's an outright lie, and Limbaugh should retract his claim.
My strategies and tactics have never been secret. They are common strategies in the Libertarian Party, and they are the same strategies promoted at the founding of the Libertarian Party. I try to publicize them any way I can. I've even written a book about them and included a chapter about PACs.
I want Libertarians to win elections. But I also want them to run for office even when they're unlikely to win. Why? To get the public to discuss and consider libertarian principles...
The total amount the Libertarian Booster PAC gave to Sarvis' campaign was barely over $11 thousand, by the way. Sarvis freely discussed the PAC's role in helping him get on the ballot in my October interview with him, hardly a good idea if that was the key to revealing he was some sort of Democratic plant all along.
Benedict points out that:
If I wanted to hurt the Republican in Virginia, I would have supported a right-wing candidate who sounded like a Tea Partier — who only talked about cutting welfare, Obamacare, and how bad Democrats are. I would never have helped someone like Robert Sarvis, who talked a lot about social issues that appeal to liberal voters. As it turned out, polls show that if Sarvis weren't in the race, McAuliffe would probably have won by a slightly bigger margin.
I'll be writing more extensively about the Sarvis campaign and its meaning for libertarianism and Libertarianism in American politics moving forward here next week.