–Ron Paul on Monday, calling anyone who votes for Sarvis, “insane”
Yesterday, Virginia saw fit to elect Terry McAuliffe to be its next governor…but not by much. The margin for victory ended up being slim. How much of it was affected by Robert Sarvis?
Austin, Texas, software billionaire Joe Liemandt is the Libertarian Booster PAC’s major benefactor. He’s also a top bundler for President Barack Obama.
Donations linked to Liemandt’s company, Trilogy, also has split its political giving between libertarian third-party efforts and liberal Democrats. During the 2012 election cycle, Trilogy poured $100,000 into another libertarian group — Libertarian Action Super PAC — while simultaneously making generous contributions to the Democratic National Committee ($92,400), the Democratic Party of Ohio ($12,453) and Barack Obama ($10,000), as well as more than $25,000 for Democrat Party organizations in Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.
The Liemandts have some other friends in common with the Obamas. The couple and some friends flew to New York to have dinner with Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Warren Buffet in October 2011.
On Sunday, the Danville Register & Bee, a Virginia newspaper owned by Berkshire Hathaway, announced that, for the first time in its history, it would back a Libertarian for public office. It endorsed Sarvis, a political neophyte, saying he “offers a real alternative this year, a break from the two-party paradigm that has not served us well.”
FA readers who have followed some of my comments for the last few election cycles already know my derision toward those who throw in for third party candidates (how does losing elections equate to “standing on principle”?). Some arguments against voting third parties in American politics are given by Michael Medved:
In close elections, a third party candidate can siphon off votes that would otherwise have gone to the one-of-two candidates who most closely is aligned to the third party voters’ dream choice.
This may or may not be the case in yesterday’s Virginia’s election. And any voter influence might actually have been siphoned off from McAuliffe as much as from Cuccinelli (should not come as a suprise to those who have been pointing out Sarvis’ non-Libertarian/conservative credentials).
What is interesting to examine about the candidates and the election results is not so much the question of third party poisoning, but on the question of whether or not Sarvis’ candidacy was all a Democratic ploy to siphon off votes from Cuccinelli.
Something that no one else seems to be connecting, is the relationship between Liemandt and Sarvis, which MataHarley did some light research on. She points out that Sarvis- who’s Libertarian cardinal sin is advocating for GPS/black boxes in cars to track mileage – has been working in the software engineering and development business since 2008, including start up for the Google mobile app, Wertago. Liemandt, as Jessup reported, is a software billionaire whose company Trilogy just happens to provide software products for the automotive industry.
It’s quite possible that Liemandt is one of those “true believers” fed up with both parties who sees it as principled to cast his vote for a candidate who has no chance at all of winning (note that he’s also donated to the Libertarian National Committee).
It’s also quite possible that his motivation in contributing a large bundle of cash to Sarvis’ campaign had nothing at all to do with being a “Democratic ploy” nor Sarvis a “Democratic Party plant”, but in simple, good ol’ fashion, capitalist self-interest, with Liemandt interested in electing to office a politician who can help influence policy-making that will benefit his business company.
Hat tip: MataHarley