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The Betrayal of Ken Cuccinelli

Ken Cuccinelli
When the final tally of the votes in Virginia is complete it will show principled limited government constitutional conservative Ken Cuccinelli lost by around 55,000 votes – a slim margin in a three-way race – and that Terry McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli by at least $15 million to get those 55,000 votes.

Together Ken Cuccinelli and alleged libertarian Robert Sarvis garnered 52.1% of the vote, so the reality of last night’s election is that the majority of Virginian’s voted for the candidate they thought would govern Virginia according to conservative principles.

Much has yet to be revealed about where Sarvis got the money to finance his petition drive and it is unclear what role major Democratic donors may have played in advancing Sarvis’s “libertarian-in-name-only” candidacy that split the not-McAuliffe vote to give the Democrat his slim plurality.

What is clear is that Cuccinelli’s ideas weren’t rejected so much as he was drowned in the sea of money that flowed in to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to keep Virginia government growing, taxes rising, to roll back the progress social conservatives have made in the state, and most importantly, to keep cronyism as the governing principle at the Virginia state Capitol building.

Defeating Ken Cuccinelli was the top priority of a motley coalition of secular liberals and self-interested establishment types who want to continue to loot the State treasury for special favors and benefits at the expense of Virginia’s hard-pressed working families.   

Unless you were really paying attention to the Virginia Governor’s race you might not know that Terry McAuliffe received enormous help from national unions, abortion interests, and a California billionaire environmentalist who began his involvement in Virginia politics by spending $400,000 per week on T.V. ads on climate change to defeat Ken Cuccinelli.

That national liberal interest groups would go all in for McAuliffe was a given, and to be expected.

You would think that the involvement of these job killing, and regulation-loving liberal interest groups would have generated a wave of support for Cuccinelli from the Virginia business community and national business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But it turns out that rather than follow the lead of the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political action committee, TechPAC, in endorsing Ken Cuccinelli, the business community at large was MIA in the Cuccinelli – McAuliffe faceoff.

Apparently they concluded – or were convinced – that they could “do business” with McAuliffe and they much preferred keeping the wheeler dealer good ole boy culture of Virginia’s state Capitol intact to having a real live conservative who meant what he said about cutting taxes and regulations in the Governor’s mansion in Richmond.

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling never did endorse Cuccinelli, and was outed as a traitor to the Republican Party when it was revealed he lobbied the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s PAC board to endorse McAuliffe over Cuccinelli.

Similarly, the national leadership of the Republican Party engaged in a summer-long whispering campaign against Ken Cuccinelli that more or less mirrored the Democrat’s charge that Cuccinelli is an “extremist” and the organizations controlled by national Republicans gave only nominal support to Cuccinelli.

Sean Davis, co-founder of and a former adviser to conservative Senator Tom Coburn and Texas Governor Rick Perry, claimed in an election night tweet that the RNC spent more than three times more in the 2009 race in Virginia compared to this year’s Virginia governor’s race. Principled limited government constitutional conservative author and talk show host Mark Levin claims the RNC didn’t even spend $3 million compared to the $9 million spent in 2009.

Only a deeper analysis of the final campaign financial disclosure forms will reveal the truth, but suffice it say the charges by Davis and Levin ring true.

And, if it is true that, at the direction of Chairman Reince Preibus, the Republican National Committee only put $3 million behind Ken Cuccinelli while it supported Virginia's outgoing Republican Governor Bob McDonnell with $9 million in 2009, then that is proof that conservatives are wasting their money giving to the RNC, and it is convincing evidence that the RNC leadership must be replaced if America is ever to be governed according to conservative principles.

The betrayal of Ken Cuccinelli by Bolling and other nominal Republicans, such as political consultant Boyd Marcus, mirrors the betrayal of Barry Goldwater by the Republican establishment and their nominal allies in the business community.

In 1964 the attacks against Goldwater as a scary “extremist” did not start with the Democrats in the general election campaign, they started with the "stop Goldwater" campaign organized by establishment Republicans, such as Michigan Governor George Romney, father of 2013 establishment Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

And the attacks on Goldwater from the Republican establishment didn’t end when he became the official presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Romney and others in the "stop Goldwater" gang never endorsed Barry Goldwater, did nothing to help him and did much to hurt his already uphill campaign.

The conduct of Bolling, many of Virginia’s nominally Republican business community leaders and the national Republican organizations is reflective of the precedent the Republican establishment set in their treatment of Barry Goldwater.

When an establishment Republican – such as Mitt Romney – gains a nomination for office the Republican leadership demands that conservatives close ranks with establishment Republicans and support the nominee, even if that nominee refuses to campaign as a conservative and has an anti-conservative record. However, when a conservative gains a nomination, establishment Republicans are, without consequence, free to criticize the nominee and to do everything they can to undercut the conservative’s campaign.

George Will once wrote that Barry Goldwater didn't lose in 1964, it just took 16 years, until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, to count the votes.

We expect that the same will be said of Ken Cuccinelli and we believe he will be vindicated in the future.

Ken Cuccinelli did not lose last night because he is a principled limited government constitutional conservative. Cuccinelli lost because he was drowned in a sea of money and undercut by a Republican establishment that would rather see a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion than end the good ole boy politics in Richmond and allow a real conservative anywhere near the levers of power that he might use to make good on Republican promises to govern as limited government constitutional conservatives.

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Sarvis is a libertarian

All this business about Sarvis not being a real libertarian is nonsense. It is based on the fact that some Democrat donated money to the campaign (aiming to help McAuliffe), and the smear tactics of some libertarian Republicans working for the Cuccinelli campaign. Robert Sarvis is a Libertarian.

The Libertarian Party nearly always runs a candidate for Governor in Virginia, and they would have done so this year regardless of any outside donors. Reason Magazine asked Sarvis why he was running, and he pointed to the fact that despite a Republican Governor, a large majority in the House of Delegates, and a tie in the Senate (with Bolling [R] as the tie-breaker), we did not get what they promised, but instead got the largest tax increase in VA history. He had run as a Republican against Dick Saslaw, the Democratic minority leader, in 2011, but left the Party over its failure to deliver conservative government. Whether it was Robert Sarvis, or someone else, and whether any outside money came in or not, the Libertarian Party would have run a candidate in this race. Just because a Democrat sees a chance to try to help out his candidate by donating to a third party candidate, it does not mean that the third party candidate is a "plant".

People may not know this, but just as there are Tea Partiers working to reform the Republican Party from within, there are also libertarians who have joined for the same reason. I am one of them. Most of us were active in the Ron Paul campaign, and were following his example of trying to work within the Republican Party to further our views and goals. I discarded the Cuccinelli campaign after the last time he refused to allow Sarvis in the debates. I had put in a lot of work canvassing neighborhoods for C/J/O because I wanted Ken to beat McAuliffe. From the outset, though, I had not intended to give him my own vote. My vote belongs to me (not the Republican Party), and I promised myself after the last time I voted against my conscience for a Republican that I would never do so again in any race where there was a Libertarian option. Robert Sarvis' views are closer to my own, and he ran on a more radical platform than Ken Cuccinelli. The only problem I saw was that Sarvis did not have any political experience, or management experience. These are two traits I'd prefer to see in a candidate for an executive position. Given Ken's extensive political history, his solid record, and his mostly-good-enough policy positions, I even briefly considered breaking my pledge, and switching my vote to Ken. However, there are some lines you just don't cross, and shutting out a valid candidate (whose name is on the ballot) from participating in debates and having his voice heard is one of those lines for me. Also, like many mainstream libertarians, I was excited about the prospect of winning ballot access by getting Sarvis to 10%. If you've never done petition drives to get someone you like on the ballot, you may not understand how much it work is involved, and how much it means to be able to avoid it. There is one more thing I considered in my decision to vote for Sarvis, but I'll get to that later.

A big part of the reason that people are saying Sarvis wasn't a real libertarian, and was therefore just a Democrat spoiler, was the smear campaign mounted by some of my co-infiltrators in the Republican Party. While I expect dirty play from Republicans against Democrats (and vice versa), I was a bit taken aback to see these tactics used by libertarians (in the Party) against other libertarians (backing Sarvis). There was a whole lot of cherry-picking quotes, and distorting the record coming from my friends. Because I knew Sarvis was not going to win, and because my vote was based on other factors that didn't have anything to do with Sarvis himself, I had not read the issues page on his website. After a particularly damning email from my colleagues, I went and read the positions that Robert Sarvis staked out on the issues, fully expecting to see that he was a weak candidate, with serious flaws, and a lot of un-libertarian views. What I found, though, was a well-thought-out, bold, common-sense appeal to all Virginians of all political stripes.

Even if you only looked at his take on Job Creation and Economic Growth, it is clear that his proposals were far stronger and more radical than Ken's. Likewise for Sarvis on School Choice, and education reform. Their views are similar, but Mr. Sarvis really nailed it, and framed the issue in a way that was much more bold than his rival. On abortion, he realized that the issue is way too contentious for more involvement from Richmond, so he was ok to leave abortion legal. While I feel very strongly that abortion is murder, I think the issue is too toxic right now to deal with. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Sarvis' position on marriage is more in line with the left's approach, but plenty of libertarians are "liberal" on social issues. The true libertarian approach is to get the government out of the marriage licensing practice altogether. My friends liked to pick at him on Health Care issues also. I believe he did an excellent job with this issue. He avoided the temptation to call for ending all medical welfare, and all government regulation of doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and health insurers. Instead, he took a much more mainstream conservative approach to addressing the problem of the high cost of medical care, and health insurance. But my colleagues managed to charge that he was in favor of Obamacare.

The strategy was too create enough doubt and negativity about Sarvis to peel away votes, and get libertarians to opt for Cuccinelli instead. I believe they may have actually succeeded to some extent, since the actual percentage of the vote for Sarvis was lower than what he had been polling at earlier. Also, it is likely that a certain number of Democrats caved in and voted for McAuliffe, despite their reservations about him. According to the exit polls, around a third of Sarvis voters would have otherwise voted for McAuliffe, while only half that number would have otherwise voted for Cuccinelli. This means that about half of the Sarvis voters would have simply abstained from voting had he not been an option.

In addition to the other reasons I cited for my decision, I hoped to use this election to show Democrats and Republicans that a growing number of people are dissatisfied with the perennial "choice" between [R] and [D]. Further, I intend to use the result last week as a catalyst for pursuing electoral reform. Our system doesn't accommodate third parties. The problem is NOT third parties; it's the electoral system. If we ever hope to defeat business-as-usual politics, and the encroachment of progressivism, we have to address the problem at its root. The establishment Republican Party is determined to keep conservatives and Tea Partiers out of power, and to keep their objectives from being reached. The Democratic Party is determined to push the progressive agenda of big government, higher taxes, and more debt. Given the Republican Party's inability or unwillingness to fight against it, the system must be reformed to allow third and fourth party participation. The current method of selecting the one candidate you prefer most makes this practically impossible because of the spoiler effect. If you vote for a minor party candidate, you sacrifice the ability to choose between the Republican and the Democrat. Switching to a runoff or instant runoff voting method eliminates the spoiler effect, allowing voters to voice their true preferences without losing the opportunity to help determine the eventual winner. These methods have been tried and tested, and are used both abroad, and in various local elections domestically. They are simple, effective, and do not cost much more to implement than the old way. The only reason we don't already have a better system is because the Two Parties are more than happy to keep things the way they are.

More choices equals better representation, and makes government more responsive and accountable to the people.

The Sarvis votes confirms

The Sarvis votes confirms that most voters do not look at the candidate's record but mindlessly vote party. Sarvis had money funneled to his campaign by the DEMOCRATIC party to serve as a spoiler against Cuccinelli. As a long time LIBERTARIAN, I am appalled that such reprehensible tactics are used to promote a socialistic agenda. Please, if you cannot take the time to look at a candidate's past record on issues, you should NOT vote, as you are only harming the party you think represents you. Sarvis is NOT a real LIBERTARIAN and should not have received votes from LIBERTARIANS.

Sarvis is a legit Libertarian

It doesnt matter if some lefties tried to funnel some money into his campaign. He was still a Libertarian because he ran with an L behind his name. Unlike all the lip service 'libertarians' among the Republican party who have Rs behind their names. Real Libertarians register as Libertarians. They aren't just conservatives trying to rebrand themselves after George W Bush's failures.

Donating to the RNC

I stopped donating to the RNC and other "establishment" Republican organizations and candidates years ago. Now I channel all donations solely to candidates endorsed by Mark Levin, Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz, Richard Viguerie, or other "rock ribbed conservatives." My only hope is that more constitutional conservatives will challenge moderate and RINO Republicrats in the coming primaries. What's the point of electing RINO's and moderates if they vote with the Democrats, destroying the "Republican Brand." On another note, what about the possibility of Cuccinelli running for Mark Warner's seat in 2014?

The Governors election

First let me thank this site and Mr. Viguerie for his never ending support for the good guys. I have known of Mr. Viguerie for many years and know that he is a principled man who truely cares about our state and the country.

I feel we (Libertarians, TEA Party and Conservatives) need to be very vigilent when it comes to third party candidates. Based on what is coming out about Mr. Sarvis (I won't discount that he might have been used) we need to vet these people MUCH EARLIER in the contest. Possibly had the Libertarians understood what was going on, that they were being manipulated and that Ken Cuccinelli is considered one of the most Libertarian guys out there...they might have changed their vote? Possibly not as many might have just been a "pox on both" vote. The first clue for the Libertarians should have been Ron Paul's support for Ken! We all need to look at our votes...What we now have, thanks to those votes, is SO MUCH WORSE than they could possibly imagine. Terry McAuliffe has a lot of problem with the truth and has no principles except lining his own pockets and helping his quest for higher office (blackmail Hillary for a VP slot?). I am just happy that our House of Delegates can stop most of what Terry wants to may be the only thing that will save us. We can only hope that Terry moves on to higher aspirations soon and we can be rid of him. I would love to see Ken run against Warner for Senate. Warner will be hard to beat as he is so middle of the road and never rocks the boat that hardly any one will care if he wins again...We need men like Ken just hope he doesn't give up on us.


I agree with much of this article, and Sarvis may be a 'libertarian draw the votes from conservatives' as innuendo-ed, but if not, it would be like comparing Ron Paul's votes to Mitt Romney's epic failure.Those votes were owned by Ron Paul. They belonged to him. Blaming Sarvis for anything is a bad math decision. Those votes did not go to either of the frontrunners, and I doubt that things would change much if he was not there. I can see where a race could go in this direction in Virginia, MARYLAND, and New jersey because of close approximation to the capital's interests regardless of so called party lines. I also question the voting process. If Florida has perfected vote fraud long ago, then why could this not be implemented everywhere by now. Then there's this abortion thing. Here is a simple rule to get you elected. Stay away from abortion! Say something vague like we are working on that, and I have some strong feelings about that, in the same sentence, and then say" did someone just faint? Clear a space. Is there a doctor, or anyone in the medical profession in the auditorium? Here, I have some bottled water in my Florida State Seminoles bag. Please pass this along till it gets there.(sound of clapping, crowd completely forgets about abortion)

You're a conservative, not a libertarian

Would you let Ayn Rand get an abortion if she wanted to? No? Then you are not a libertarian.

The Libertarians are not a branch of the Republican party. They are not part of the right wing. They are in the middle, and their own thing.

For you, a conservative Republican, to think you can dictate to the REAL libertarians what their view should be is way mistaken.

Ron Paul Endorsed Cuccinelli, NOT Sarvis

I'd just like to point out that Ron AND Rand Paul both endorsed Ken Cuccinelli, NOT the fake "Libertarian" candidate Robert Sarvis. It's very possible that your Paul blame is misplaced. Ron Paul was quoted as saying that voters would be "INSANE" to vote for Sarvis and that Cuccinelli was far more libertarian-minded.

Ron and Rand Paul are conservatives, not libertarians

Sarvis was a legit Libertarian because he actually ran with an L behind his name. People who run with an R behind their name are conservatives, not libertarians. Its not up to the Libertarians to fight the Dems or Repubs battles for them.

Sink Or Swim, TEA Party

Did you get the message from the GOP Establishment last night?

An Establishment Republican as Governor of New Jersey.

An Establishment Republican as Congressman from Alabama.

And one of the Clintons' inner circle as Governor of Virginia.

The TEA Party was shut out last night. The Establishment Republicans want you gone. They are at war with you. Surely you've known this for some time, but here it is now for all of us to see. The GOP Establishment wants to keep their position and keep their power. You have become a real threat to them.

Expect more of the same in 2014.

He went on FoxNews believing

He went on FoxNews believing he was on Friendly territory. He was not. TEA Party are on their own.


We may not have a choice about a 3d Independent Party. If we want to be governed honorably by conservative Principles, we can no longer expect that from the GOPe.


I disagreed with the Third Party idea until I saw Jeb and Karl and Mitch display their malevolent tactics against conservatives. Now, I say, bring it! I'm in.

Lack of Unity Ruins Elections

When the establishment failed to fully support Ken, they were allowing McAuliffe to steal the victory from a man who had honorably served as both our state senator and attorney general and that was a complete disgrace. When a proven conservative is running, we have an obligation to support him 100% and anything less is a betrayal of what we claim to represent. Hannity suggested that if our elected Republicans fail to at least fight to repeal the socialized medicine bill, then we need a new party to which conservatives may move for a new beginning in strength with potential to win to the preservation of the American way of life. The problem is, who is to say that for not dealing with the issue as members of the GOP the same insanity will not happen all over again under a different label? Conservatives in the party of life, Lincoln and Reagan need to work for unity toward having the strength to overcome the darts from the DNC and start winning again lest we end up in the ash heap of history, may God forbid such a fate, yet we do have a stewardship over this party which is currently being decimated by the establishment.


Ken Cuccinelli is a true conservative, a man of real achievement and one who speaks out for Americans across the country, to have the RNC and the leadership of the R's Party act as though he does not exist will be to their detriment.

This AM I wrote to McConnell a questionable Republican and informed him that should I not hear from him or the RNC within a week, my contributions will go elsewhere as will my real Republican membership and I will register as a independent conservative. I am finally fed up with this ignorance from the RINO contingent and it is time for them to go pound salt and beg for forgiveness, if a conservative party is formed, most likely I will be a part of it...



Don wait on McConnell

Make the switch now - send to Matt Bevin who is running aganst McConnell. Send money to Freedom Works or the Senate Conservative Fund or SarahPac. #DefundtheGOP is my rallying cry and I write in on all solicitations I get from the RNC or GOP and return to them in their postage paid envelopes. I reply to all emails from them telling I am done with them and intend on encouraging everyone I meet to do the same.....

Until we take our money and time away from the RNC GOP they won't learn.

Don, Agree 100%

Don, Agree 100%