Robert Sarvis

Virginia Governor's Election Today: Mother Jones Attacks Dem McAuliffe, and Reason Roundup on Libertarian Sarvis


Even if Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins today's Virginia governor's race, the generally Democrat-friendly Mother Jones will be disappointed. Reporter Stephanie Mencimer has covered him since the 1990s and she is:

dumbfounded that he (according to the polls) is poised to become the next governor of Virginia.

Ron Bailey

Allow me to explain. McAuliffe represents an unseemly slice of Washington. His primary role in politics for the past two decades or more has been raising money—most notably, for the Clintons. He cooked up the idea of essentially renting out the Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration as a fundraising vehicle, and he smashed all previous presidential fundraising records in the process. When McAuliffe was the Dems' top fundraiser, a campaign finance scandal besieged the Clinton White House. Coincidence? No. McAuliffe was all about pushing the envelope when it came to the political money-chase.

That alone might not be enough to render him a distasteful political candidate. What's different about McAuliffe is his brazen mixing of his campaign fundraising activity and attempts to enrich himself personally. Many of McAuliffe's business deals have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not because he possesses a wealth of business skill. That tangled history has linked him to a long list of unsavory characters. 

The rest of the story details many of those specific unsavory associations.

In other Virginia race news, revisit various Reason pieces examining surprisingly high-polling Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, including hopes that he can cause permanent breaks in Virginia's crummily choiceless party system from Ronald Bailey and Skip Oliva, Nick Gillespie's stirring defense of Sarvis from accusations of allegedly stealing votes from a somehow worthwhile Republican, my interview with Sarvis from last month, and Scott Shackford on polls indicating that if he's "stealing" votes from anyone, it's McAuliffe, not GOPer Ken Cuccinelli.

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  1. New York City is about to elect a communist mayor by a landslide. Nothing that happens today in Virginia or anywhere else can surprise me.

    1. David Dinkins?

    2. So will deBlasio make Bloomberg look good?

      1. I think he will. This is going to be a disaster.

      2. If he manages not to be an authoritarian asshole!

      3. I keep saying that NY elects freaks like Giuliani and Bloomberg because the other guy is always so much worse. Well now we are about to see just how much worse the other guy is. And if he trots out that kid of his with the giant afro one more time I am going to throw my television out the window.

        1. ^^THIS!

          1. I wear a big sterling mjollnir just for when someone decides to discuss religion.
            “Thor doesn’t exist? Oh, so you are an atheist!”

  2. Oh good, we’ll get another 100+ comments from Team Red, and John in particular, telling us how little they care about this race. Because something something gays abortions.

    1. Why are you so angry about this? McCulliffe is with you on the culture war. The rest of his views sucks. But he is right on the important stuff isn’t he?

      I am sorry to see him win. But I don’t like his economics and don’t care about the rest. But you in contrast agree with him about some issues you consider important. If he wins, you should be happy. But you are seem pissed off about it.

    2. Hate to say it, but John has something of a point. Most of the reactions to this race from the libertarians on this board have been either pro-forma LPartisan “the Republican should be good on libertarian issues if he wants my support” type replies, even though Cuccinelli has in fact been very credible on fiscal libertarianism and certain other issues in a demonstrable way; arguably more so than Sarvis.

      The other type of reply is “Cuccinelli has antiquated social views, so I won’t vote for him” (e.g., Ed Crane formerly of CATO) which indicates that the person saying this is indeed voting on social issues.

      1. I can’t understand why people like Crane who care deeply about social issues won’t admit that they do. It is like some kind of “well I vote on these issues but do so ironically” kind of thing.

        What is funny is that if the Republicans ever did make it so no one who was pro life or anti- gay marriage could win a R nomination, the SOCONS would go form a third party and Ed Crane would be saying exactly the same things about them, wasting their votes and so forth, that the Republicans are saying about Libertarians.

        1. “well I vote on these issues but do so ironically”

          So you’re saying there is such a thing as Libertarian hipsters?

          1. Of course there are. They are the libertarians who want everything licensed, but “equally.” Just look at the gay marriage discussions.

            1. Or think that the government tracking your every move or reading your car odometer every year is totally okay because it will allow for a more efficient tax system.

              1. Don’t forget zoning, for the greater good.

              2. The government already reads you odometer every other year.

                1. Not in Minnesota.

                2. The government already reads you odometer every other year.

                  Not in Tennessee.

                  1. Not in Minnesota.

                    Not in Tennessee.

                    Anyone get the feeling that if John moved he would have different opinions about these issues??

                    1. Anyone get the feeling that if John moved he would have different opinions about these issues??

                      No. Why would I? I think a mileage tax is a terrible idea and an invasion of privacy. I would never support it.

                      What are you even talking about?

                    2. He’s talking about “johnl” I think.

            2. Hipsters! Cosmotarians! LINOs! Cocktail Partiezzzz!!1!

          2. No. Fucking. Way.

          3. So you’re saying there is such a thing as Libertarian hipsters?

            You mean glibertarians?

      2. Maybe people on these boards just want to vote on intellectual consistency and not have to compromise on economic OR social views.

        Maybe economic and social freedom are just freedom and splitting them into separate issues is how the two party system ratchets up government control over time.

        1. Sure. And no one says they have to compromise. But who says anyone has to compromise with them?

          Both them and the SOCONs can stay pure and meanwhile the Democrats will happily turn the country into Argentina. But we will have gay marriage and tax funded abortions. So there is that.

        2. If a voter has that stringent a requirement for their candidates, it is not clear to me at all why someone would vote for Sarvis instead of just sitting this one out.

          “Oh but Trouser, Sarvis’ compromises with liberty are acceptable while Cuccinelli’s are not!”

          Considering that Sarvis is evidentially weaker than the Cooch on many fiscal issues, this is just another way of saying that you are attaching a higher priority to certain social issues than to those fiscal issues.

          1. That is what makes you suspect people like Ron Bailey. He never explains why Sarvis is so great beyond gays and abortion. Isn’t there anything thing else that makes him better than Cuccinilli?

            1. So being a hard nosed libertarian has, according to Shockton, put the GOP candidate in shooting distance of winning the election.

              You really should stop bitching to us hard nosed “LP” libertarians for being hard nosed.

              1. I am not bitching about them being hard nosed. I am bitching about them being hard nosed about the culture war and then pretending that they really are not culture warriors.

                Beyond that, I don’t care about gays and abortions, so I think they are nuts to be hard nosed about those issues. I frankly wish Bailey and the rest of them and the SOCONS would both have some kind of cage match and settle all their bullshit so maybe people would vote on other issues.

                1. I don’t see too many people here denying that they are culture warriors. I’m definitely a warrior for Liberty. Teams Red and Blue, not so much.

          2. hmm, I guess I have not been convinced that Sarvis is weaker on fiscal issues. I am also not from Virginia, so no worries about my lack of R voting throwing the contest.

            If John is right and Virginia becomes Argentina I will come visit for the steaks, wine, and currency arbitrage.

            1. Virginia has a decent wine industry and is gorgeous. It is a nice place. So of course liberals are going to show up and fuck it up.

          3. “Oh but Trouser, Sarvis’ compromises with liberty are acceptable while Cuccinelli’s are not!”

            Because Sarvis’ compromises allow you to stay in with the cool crowd. Nobody wants to be seen on the same side as those old puritanical socons.

            1. Kind of like how Gary Johnson said all over his website that he intended to save medicare by block granting it to the states. But it was Paul Ryan who was the “save the entitlement” candidate according to Reason.

      3. Let’s not give Cuccinelli a pass on his legal cover for abortion clinic regulations. He let cultural control trump fiscal conservatism.

        1. Uh, what? Cooch opposed those regulations, last I checked.

          1. Cooch opposed those regulations, last I checked.


            Cuccinelli supports the right to life from conception to natural death.[119][120] In November 2008 he was named the Family Foundation of Virginia “Legislator of the Year.”[121] Cuccinelli sponsored a number of bills to discourage abortions, including requiring doctors to anesthetize fetuses undergoing late term abortions,[122] altering the licensing and regulation of abortion clinics,[123] and requiring that a doctor save the fetal tissue when performing an abortion on a woman under age 15, for forensic use.[124] As a state senator, he advanced legislation to make abortion clinics subject to the same health and safety standards as outpatient surgical hospitals.[119] He supported two “personhood” bills that sought to provide human embryos with legal rights.[120]

            There’s nothing more libertarian than regulatory burden.

            1. My mistake, I was thinking of the requirement that women undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion (which Cuccinelli opposed).

              There’s nothing more libertarian than regulatory burden.

              Agree with your sarcasm, I do.

            2. Or specially exempting political sacred cows from the regulatory burden every other medical facility has to comply with.

            3. When did being pro-abortion become a requirement for being a Libertarian?

              Libertarians support laws against murder don’t they? And Cuccinelli considers abortion murder (or something akin to) and so why does he lose Libertarian street cred for supporting laws opposed to it?

            4. And doesn’t Sarvis deserve some pounding for supporting the mileage tax? What Cuccinilli wants to do to abortion, Sarvis wants to do to driving.

              1. John, I am curious. Do you have EZPass? If not, do you get a real big smile on your face and release a cloud of smug when people wiz by you?

                If so, wtf?

            5. Except for the last item (personahood is long-term and aspirational, having little chance of passing in the here and now), all these reforms are moderate and incremental.

              On the merits, can you say that fetuses *shouldn’t* be anesthetized when they’re killed, that abortion clinics should be *less* regulated than outpatient surgery hospitals, or that abortionists *shouldn’t* preserve the dead fetuses of minors for forensic purposes?

              I don’t see a lot of discussion of these points, but opponents seem to repeat the OMG extremism talking points.

              1. Sounds like outpatient surgery hospitals are over regulated in Virginia.

              2. Eh, I will agree with the first and last proposal but increasing regulations on abortion clinics is only legit in the areas where it makes sense to regulate all similar facilities.

                I am a bad libertarian in that I think there are some areas of healthcare that should be regulated, but the legit regulations are far outweighed by the bad ones. Isn’t it preferable to support a lessening of regulations for hospitals to match abortion clinics and work from that point, rather than expanding regulations so that all will be equally miserable?

                1. Sure, unless you believe that abortion is wrong.

          2. No, as AG he issued a legal opinion covering the expansive building regs. He was against the “wanding” I believe.

        2. Oh, RB, you’re so silly. Nobody here would ever do that.

          1. Cuc just doesn’t believe in the magic powers of the birth canal. Some people just don’t get science.

            1. And yet the party that does believe in the magic of the birth canal calls the other party “anti-science”.

        3. I’m pro life, as are a number of libertarians. If you had an abortion because you lacked the means to raise the kid, I’ll respect the decision. If you aborted the kid because you want 2 more years partying, I won’t associate with you.

          I’m not down with legalizing all drugs or prostitution. I guess I’m a libertarian with a small to medium L. If I was in VA, there’s not a chance that voting for a loser who invested on terminally ill people.

          1. I mean invested on the fate of terminally ill people. Is that right?

      4. Name the issues on which Sarvis is bad about. If you mean the mileage tax, understand that it’s meant to replace the gas tax, along with a host of other taxes.

        1. No, fuck you, cut spending.

          1. ^^THIS!!^^

        2. Sarvis wants to expand Medicaid per ObamaCare regulations; Cooch has fought this through his career. He has declared himself “unclear” about where he would cut spending (maybe he’ll finally find all that “waste, fraud, and abuse” those Republicans are always telling me they’ll cut, heh), has stated a hesitation towards cutting taxes (despite VA’s rather poor taxation policies relative to other states), and has been rather blase about campaigning for these issues (the only campaign media on his issues site relates to gay marriage). Vis a vis mileage taxes, it’s possible that Sarvis’ vision of their implementation is as benign as some here have suggested, but the most recent proposal in VA for such taxes involved installing a government GPS in private vehicles. Cuccinelli’s fiscal conservatism is better developed — he has a great tax plan, an excellent school choice plan, and concrete commitments as to programs he would cut.

          Beyond that, I hold a preference for people who have been tested by public office and found consistent. I believe that Sarvis would acquit himself well were he elected, but that belief is weaker than my belief that Cooch has already acquitted himself well on fiscal issues in office.

          I would like a further explanation of Sarvis’ views on Austrian economics. It is possible that he simply means that he supports more Friedmanite economics, but it is a comment that should be elaborated upon.

          1. Sarvis wants to expand Medicaid per ObamaCare regulations;

            WTF? Does anyone ever pay any attention to what Libertarian Party candidates actually believe?

            1. Like I said, lots of replies on here simply assume in LPartisan fashion that you can simply substitute [generic LP candidate] and [generic R candidate], and argue from that position of ignorance.

  3. …is this really a shock to anyone? NOVA set to elect a Washington crook; film at 11.

  4. MacAuliffe is a uniter. When he can get the reason and Mother Jones crowd to agree… Well, you can see how he’s going to be a total scumbag.

    1. If he wins, and I am not convinced he will, it will be fun watching the people of Virginia get a bit of an education about who he is.

      I think Mother Jones is not happy about this because they realize what a disaster he is going to be and thus understand that his winning might not be such a great thing for Democrats nationally.

      1. I’m kind of hoping he brings in the Rodham brothers to pillage Virginia proper.

        1. There is going to be some pillaging. Not sure who will be doing it. But there will be pillaging.

          And remember, he can’t run for a second term. So he is going to go full retard on gun rights, Obamacare and every form of theft imaginable. All he has to worry about is not going to prison. This is the last political office he will ever hold. This is his last big score.

          1. Well, unless Hillary wins in 2016. Then he’s going for Secretary of the Interior where the real graft exists.

            1. Leave the governorship before they can indict him.

              1. I thought he was running in Virginia, not Illinois?

                1. Illinois requires its governors to be felons, Virginia — like Louisiana — simply allows them.

      2. I have no affection for Virginia, so fuck them, let them suffer from electing a bona fide looter and extortionist.

        Maybe in a few years things will be so intolerable mobs of angry Virginians will descend on NoVA to purge it of the bureaucrats and contractors that put people like McAuliffe in power.

        1. The disaster that will be the McAuliffe governorship will stand as kind of a warning to the other states. After he goes back on every promise and engages in every sort of theft imaginable, life will be a bit more difficult for Democrats in places like West Virginia and North Carolina or Tennessee who are claiming that they really are going to be different this time.

          I think Mother Jones gets that and thus are not too happy to see him win.

        2. Well, whoever wins it will be easy to say “I told you so” after the fact. Of course you will never know how things would have turned out had the other guy won.

          1. Unless Cuccinilli manages to convince the SCOTUS to let him ban sodomy or abortion, what exactly is the “I Told you so” going to be?

          2. Well, whoever wins it will be easy to say “I told you so” after the fact.

            Disagree. There’s no scenario in which Cuccinelli establishes a regime that criminalizes sodomy, or even tries it after this controversy. It is worth noting that before this kerfuffle, the Cooch was running a fiscal conservative campaign; after he said something tremendously stupid about sodomy statutes his campaign effectively grounded to a halt.

      3. “I think Mother Jones is not happy about this because they realize what a disaster he is going to be and thus understand that his winning might not be such a great thing for Democrats nationally.”

        Didn’t I tell you exactly that last week?

        The same is true of Cuccinelli BTW. He he by far the “better” candidate between the two of them but his election to govenor of VA would keep social issues front and center in the news cycle for the next 4 years.

        Basically whichever one of them wins will become an albatross around his parties national ambitions for the next 2 elections.

        1. I can see that. And if the Dems don’t own the Virginia legislature, hard to see how McCaulliffe does much more than steal.

          Also, VA is going to be a swing state in 2016. McCauliffe running around stealing and telling people fuck you that is why isn’t going to do the Dem nominee a lot of good.

        2. This is actually quite true. Anyone on here not living (or looking to live in) VA will be well-served by the bad press coming out of a McAuliffe administration.

      4. MoJo is probably convinced McAwful will win, and the election-day editorial is their way of washing their hands of him without risking throwing the election to Cucc. I mean, couldn’t they have run this article earlier?

        1. Of course not. Sort of like the New York Times running the first truthful article about GUITMO it has ever run on election day 2008. That is right. On election day they finally admitted that perhaps GUITMO was not like a gulag, contained some really dangerous people and perhaps might be hard to close.

  5. The Mother Jones article used a lot of words to say McAuliffe is a sociopath — you know, the kind of person who tends to seize political power.

    1. But Cuccinelli wants to ban blowjobs! AlterNet and Salon said so!

  6. Who cares about Virginia, anyway? They went Yankee a long time ago. Besides, “Virginia” is a sissy name for a state. Losers.

    1. This is the internet, pally — the proper spelling is “loosers.”

      1. “Pally”. Ha! I see what you did there.

        I’m not generally a “Grammar Soviet”, but the “loser/looser” thing is one of the mistakes that really gets on my nerves.

        1. You have to tow the lion here.

  7. Besides, “Virginia” is a sissy name for a state. Losers.

    Let’s just tighten that up a bit…..too wordy!

    Besides, “Virginia” is a sissy name for a state. Losers.

    1. There’s no sugarcoating it; Virginia is the destination of choice for people with suboptimal chances for generally agreed upon concepts of success, both materially and socially.

      1. I thought that’s what they made West Virginia for?

        1. They have concepts in West Virginia?

  8. Sadly, I suspect Sarvis will get well short of 10%. My gut tells me he won’t even get 8%. 🙁

    1. I bet you are right. Who is his base? People who want gay marriage and legal abortion but don’t agree with the Dems on economic issues? That is a pretty small group.

      1. Who is his base?

        Dem leaning independents who see the Dem candidate as a scum bag and would never vote for the Republican.

        1. LOL. That is again a pretty small group. And if they would never vote Republican, that means they are not by definition independent.

  9. Many of McAuliffe’s business deals have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not because he possesses a wealth of business skill.

    Well that’s arguably untrue. I mean, a man who successfully raises a shit ton of money clearly has some business skill.

    I’m sure that in McAuliffe’s case, he successfully raised money, became powerful, which begat more business deals.

    Mother Jones can’t just now be discovering that money and power find their way to Washington…

    If there were some way of limiting that… some way of making Washington and elections unattractive to the influence of money… anyone? Beuller? Anyone?

  10. I’m surprised he’s still breathing considering the warchest he took from IBEW’s hide.

    1. But not long after the Country Run loan was finalized, McAuliffe got out of the apartment/shopping-center deal. According to the lawsuit, in June 1992 the pension fund paid McAuliffe $450,000 for a portion of his 50-percent share. Then, in August 1993, the fund paid McAuliffe $2,000,000 for most of the rest of his share ? for a total return of $2.45 million on that original $100 stake.

      In the years that followed, the Country Run project went nowhere; according to the lawsuit, by the end of 1996, lot sales to homebuilders were less than half the number that had been predicted.

      And Mother Jones says McAuliffe has no business sense.

      That shit right there, that’s some fuckin’ genius level maneuvering.

      1. Stealing millions from a pension fund. It amazes me anyone would vote for this clown.

      2. He had a 50% stake! They should’ve Fargo‘d him for just bringing them the deal. What’s your fee, Terry?

        1. Fee? This is my deal, Wade… MY DEAL.

  11. There’s a new movie about Muhammad Ali – and it’s a legal thriller! With Christopher Plummer as Justice John Marshal Harlan! Benjamin Walker as Harlan’s law clerk! Frank Langella as Warren Burger! Danny Glover as Thurgood Marshall!

    (nb – the review is in a liberal Catholic publication, so you’ll get the usual quota of “omg Bush v. Gore was so awful!!1” remarks)…..ight-28056

    1. Wait, this isn’t PM links.

      Link like a butterfly, troll like a bee, sigh…

  12. McAuliffe’s most recent “business” venture is nothing more than a thinly disguised cash-for-visa scam. I have to give him this: he has a a remarkable ability to slither away from the deals at the last minute and avoid prosecution. That’s probably why he and the Clintons get along so well.

  13. Im making over $13k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.last month her pay check was $12712 just working on the laptop for a few hours. This is what I do,——

    1. That’s nothing to what Terry McAuliffe can do.

  14. very disappointed to see that H&R isn’t talking about the case of a bogus candidate being setup by one side to siphon votes off the other. I know Reason thinks that voting is wasted energy or some BS like that but maybe if that is really the case then Reason should simply stop covering elections altogether.

  15. The Libertarian who supports gun control, higher taxes, and more welfare. LOL, all you libertarians care about is abortion and pot. You are not friends of liberty, you are self-indulgent drug addicts mascarading your sexual and drug appetites as a political philosphy.

    1. Hey, I don’t wear mascara.

  16. I wonder if “John” is everyone’s favorite Virginia based screenwriter. bigtimcavanaugh is voting for Cucci, recommending Cucci as a solid fiscal con, complaining about Savris’s reason style road taxes, pointing out that the VA governor really can’t outlaw dancing or esperanto, …

  17. Sarvis is sponsored by Dumbocrats, in particular a major donor from TX.
    Libertarianism is dead until we can remove the corruption.

  18. Sarvis’s signs look like an allergy pill box.

  19. from Drudge at 8:30 pm, 56% of precincts reporting, Cuccinelli up 49-44, McCauliffe needs 58% of the remaining votes

  20. From the Blaze:

    Revealed: Obama Campaign Bundler Helping Fund Libertarian in Tight Va. Gubernatorial Race

    A major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler helped pay for professional petition circulators responsible for getting Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert C. Sarvis on the ballot ? a move that could split conservative votes in a tight race.

    Campaign finance records show the Libertarian Booster PAC has made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign, helping to pay for professional petition circulators who collected signatures necessary to get Sarvis’ name on Tuesday’s statewide ballot.

    Not that this directly reflects badly on Sarvis, but it does make him look like a bit of a tool.

  21. 8:48 pm 68% precincts reporting
    Cuccinelli 47.52 McAuliffe 45.22

    McAuliffe needs 60% of remaining vote, got 54% from precincts in the 45% to 68% sample

    closing, but the window is getting smaller

    1. This site has 80%+ reporting and the margin 0.5%:


  22. My last pay check was 9500 dolr working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is what I do———-

  23. Ron Paul came out (late) against Sarvis.

    It looks like the Libertarian candidate is going to win it for the Dems.

    The Dems are very good at getting totally disparate groups to band together.

    People who say they want freedom don’t seem to do that so well.

  24. Libertarian candidate helps split conservative vote and elect a progressive, nanny state democrat. Nice job!

  25. A big win for Christie, and maybe even a bigger win for Sarvis. He did much better than I thought he would.

    Christie won 45% of the Latino vote? Holy cow, I thought Rand had the GOP nomination all wrapped up. CA, FL, NJ and NY might all for to Christie in the primary.

  26. Sometimes libertarians are self-destructive and, frankly, stupid. Liberaltarians is the epithet, and it’s appropriate whenever you fall for scummy Democrat tricks like this liberal poseur Sarvis.

    So congrats, girls — you just elected the talentless, unqualified, and criminally corrupt Terry McAuliffe as your Governor. Hey, but … abortion! Now Ken Cucinelli won’t abolish contraception.

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