Oct 24 2013

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Sarvis for Virginia Governor

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The Only Real Choice for Virginia...

The Only Real Choice for Virginia…

It is no idle boast to say that without the citizens of Virginia, there might not have been an America.

Patrick Henry fueled the fires of freedom for the ages with his, “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech. Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. James Madison was the father of the Constitution. And of course the indispensable  George Washington was, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Moreover, for 32 of the nation’s first 36 years, the presidency was held by  Virginians.

Citizens of Virginia literally founded and guided our young Republic.

How on earth then can a state with such a proud history have produced, as George Will has said, “the poverty of standard political choices” to compete in this November’s gubernatorial election?

Virginia voters, looking at the two major parties, have the unhappy task of choosing between a candidate who would turn the state into his private social policy laboratory, or the man who  famously rented out the Lincoln bedroom to the highest bidder, and left his wife and new born in the car – on the way home from the hospital – so he could attend a fundraiser.

Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate (and sitting Attorney General) took advantage of the prevailing political contradiction among Virginia’s most conservative activists; that their views were so mainstream within the state GOP that a Party convention – attended by less than 10,000 people – was a better way to nominate a slate of candidates than a state-wide primary. If you consider that Mitt Romney won nearly 2 million votes in Virginia in 2012, you get an idea of the contorted selection process that essentially disenfranchised the vast majority of loyal Republicans in the Commonwealth.

In such a stacked deck, the ambitious and controversially conservative Cuccinelli effectively sidelined the solid and sensible Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, as well as other experienced leaders who, by having worked in the real world of political give and take, could never pass muster when measured by the convention’s ideological purity test.

Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, secured the nomination by simply being the runner-up in the Democratic primary in 2009. There is no experience in his background that augers well for a successful term as governor. For Democrats, McAuliffe is frankly an embarrassment when compared to the last Democratic governor, (now Senator) Mark Warner, whose substance and experience steered the state effectively for four years.

What a pitiful choice for Virginia’s voters.

But there is an alternative –  Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.

Older voters may remember Libertarian candidates from previous election cycles as extreme or overly doctrinaire.

Not Sarvis.

Indeed, in comparison to his competition, Sarvis comes across as the only sensible and serious adult in the room.

Only 37 years old, Sarvis is remarkably well credentialed. He has a mathematics degree from Harvard, earned a law degree from NYU and a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University.  Sarvis also has diverse life/career experience as an entrepreneur and small-business owner, a software engineer and mobile-app developer, a math teacher, and a lawyer.

For Republicans lost in the wilderness this year, Sarvis offers some attractive views. He favors school choice, gun rights and growth-catalyzing tax reform. He is opposed to Obamacare. In an era of increased government surveillance, Sarvis has a  refreshing commitment to limiting the power and scope of Big Brother.

Perhaps most important to Virginia voters, Sarvis is focused on the economy. His website states, “The key to long-lasting job-creation, economic growth, and rising incomes is open and competitive markets that reward value-creation and operate under the rule of law.” This should warm Republican hearts.

On the politically radicalized issue of abortion, Sarvis has essentially called for a truce between the warring parties, and for dialogue. While he does not have a problem with the death penalty in principle, Sarvis is acutely conscious of the state’s power to end a life, and favors practical policies to ensure that no one is wrongfully put to death.

Sarvis also offers libertarian policies that would appeal to a wider range of voters. He favors marriage equality, a reform in long-standing drug laws and a more positive view in the benefits of immigration. For the diversity crowd, Sarvis is himself half Chinese and is married to an African-American woman. He is the embodiment of the kind of diversity that is gradually changing the demographics in Virginia.

Sarvis’s candidacy may not be an ideal fit for every person – indeed he is not a perfect fit for me – but he gets enough of the big things right to be worthy of my vote  and yours.  And for those concerned about a particular core issue should always keep in mind the moderating influence of the state legislature, that will still be made up of Republicans and Democrats.

Invariably state GOPers warn that Republican support for Sarvis will only strengthen McAuliffe. That whatever Cooch’s flaws, it’s time to come home to the Party to prevent the governor’s mansion from turning into a political favors bazaar under McAuliffe.

That argument is stale and unreasonable.

The fact is, the Republican party machinery that engineered a state convention – with less than one precent of Virginia Republicans – to pick candidates lost its right to lecture me about my choice when it trampled my voice in the Party’s section. If Cuccinelli loses, it is the process that delivered the Attorney General to the voters – not my vote – that was the cause.

And Sarvis is more than a protest vote – he is a new, fresh, untainted and credible alternative who happily shines a bright light on the cronyism and dysfunction of the two major parties.

If lightning strikes and Sarvis wins, there will be a huge learning curve and probably more than a few bush league mistakes. But that would be a small price to pay to prevent these major party candidates from moving into Richmond.

On November 5th, vote Sarvis.




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