Libertarian Booster PAC is suspending most activity due to other priorities, but may occasionally take action. The PAC is not accepting additional contributions online at this time. The PAC may become more active again in the future. A big thank you to all our supporters and candidates.
From the Libertarian Party:
November 7, 2013
With Libertarian Sarvis — mission accomplished
In the wake of Republican Ken Cuccinelli's defeat in the race for Virginia Governor, speculation is running rampant in right-wing media that Libertarian Robert Sarvis was a Democratic plant designed to help Terry McAuliffe.
See the article by Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal, and others like it at The Blaze, Breitbart, and this from Rush Limbaugh.
Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Wes Benedict issued the following statement:
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. The one strong suggestion he made was that we should try to build the Libertarian Party by recruiting Hispanics. He thought Democrats were taking Hispanics for granted, and Republicans were often hostile, and perhaps a massive wave of Hispanics could be convinced to join the Libertarian Party since we have a pro-immigration platform.
His suggestion, which I liked, did influence my decision to include a "Liberty for Latinos" issues plank in Texas.
Most political experts would probably say that recruiting Hispanics into the Libertarian Party would hurt Democrats rather than Republicans, since Hispanics lean more Democratic than Republican. So I'm skeptical that this donor is trying to use me to hurt Republicans.
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.
Our liberties will not be secure until Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians are all fighting over the best ways to implement libertarian principles.
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.
My hope with the Robert Sarvis campaign was for the election to be close between the Democrat and Republican, with the Libertarian getting more votes than in previous elections, and lots of press to follow. Imagine my excitement when the results came in with Sarvis getting 6.5 percent (eight times the previous record in Virginia for a Libertarian for governor), and a narrow spread between the Republican and Democrat.
With Robert Sarvis's outstanding campaign for governor, mission accomplished.
From the LP: Wes Benedict returns as executive director for national LP; Carla Howell becomes political director
From the Libertarian Party:
Wes Benedict, formerly from Texas, has returned to the national LP headquarters to resume his previous position as executive director for the Libertarian National Committee. His focus is on fundraising, LNC project oversight, and general management.
Carla Howell, who served as executive director from December 2011 through July 2013, assumed the position of political director, in which she will focus on recruiting, coaching and supporting candidates, political strategy, media interviews, and party communications.
“Wes Benedict is a highly qualified and welcome addition to the LP headquarters,” Howell said. “He’s focused on results.”
Benedict said, “It’s great to be back, but I also remember how overwhelming this job can be. I’m grateful to have Carla taking care of so many of the key political tasks.”
Wes Benedict served as executive director from July 2009 to December 2011 under former party chairmen Bill Redpath and Mark Hinkle, and now serves under chair Geoffrey J. Neale.
Benedict previously served as executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas, where he made it one of the best-performing state Libertarian Party affiliates. He recruited a record 173 LP candidates for office in Texas for the November 2008 elections.
While away from the national office, Benedict has been busy promoting Libertarian affiliates and candidates.
He founded the Libertarian Action Super PAC (LASPAC) in 2012 to promote the Libertarian Party nominee for president, and provided promotional materials and advertisements for the Gary Johnson for President campaign.
He also founded the Texas-based Libertarian Booster PAC, which recruits and assists Libertarian Party candidates for non-federal office. In 2013, the PAC recruited and supported candidates and ballot drives in Virginia, Alabama, and North Dakota.
During his hiatus, Benedict wrote the book Introduction to the Libertarian Party: For Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and Everyone Else, which describes the structure, history, and activities of the LP, and offers suggestions for becoming a valuable activist. Living in Louisiana, he also served as chair of the Parish Executive Committee of the East Baton Rouge Libertarian Party.
Benedict holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Texas. He has owned a small business, has served as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and was a manufacturing engineer for 3M Company.
Fox 5 (DC area) covers Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for Virginia governor.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch covers the Virginia governor candidates' reactions to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The Republican candidate supports the Virginia ban on same-sex marriage. The Democratic candidate "said he would not make repealing [the ban] a legislative priority."
Libertarian Robert Sarvis, on the other hand, "promised to lead the fight to recognize same-sex marriage in Virginia and said his campaign's theme is: 'Open-minded and Open for Business.'"
Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Bart Hinkle writes today about Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for Virginia governor.
Hinkle says about Sarvis, "He is, to put it mildly, smart –- having earned degrees in math from Harvard and Cambridge, then a law degree from NYU, then a master's in economics from GMU. He is a native Virginian. Half-Asian, with an African-American wife, he is bulletproof on diversity grounds. He is wonkish: As a fellow at GMU's Mercatus Center, he co-authored, among other things, a paper on America's historical experience with fiscal stimuli. And he is a technological innovator: He was a winner of Google's 2008 Android Developer challenge for mobile apps."
Leesburg Today covers Patrick Hagerty's entry into the Virginia race for House of Delegates, District 33.
Hagerty will face a Democrat and a Republican in the November 2013 election.
Hagerty comments, "The government is too big and has too much control. They try to micromanage everything and it’s counter productive.”
Jonathan Parrish is the Libertarian nominee for Virginia House of Delegates, District 23. The election will be on November 5, 2013.
District 23 is in the Lynchburg area.
Jonathan Parrish has an active Facebook campaign page: go there, read about him, and give him a Like!
Ballot Access News reports that Libertarian Robert Sarvis, running for Virginia Governor this November, turned in almost 18,000 signatures for ballot access.
It's hard to run for statewide office in Virginia. To be allowed on the ballot, candidates are required to get 10,000 petition signatures. (Sarvis collected nearly 18,000, but many will be invalidated for various reasons.)
It's so hard, the article notes that Sarvis "will be only the fourth minor party nominee to get on the Virginia ballot [for governor] in the last 40 years."
In 40 years, only four alternatives to the Democrapublican monopoly. Wow.
The El Paso Times carries a story on the "Merry Christmas" bill passed by the Texas Legislature this year.
According to the article, "The governor on Thursday plans to sign into law a bipartisan bill removing any legal risks of saying 'Merry Christmas' in Texas public schools."
Score one for the pro-religion faction. Unfortunately, this battle will never end. Since most parents don't have the option of sending their children to private schools that match their religious views, they end up fighting each other over control of public schools.
There's only one path to peace, as Libertarians have pointed out for many years: separation of school and state.