The Corner

Libertarian Candidate in Va. Gubernatorial Contest Bankrolled by Obama Bundler

Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian-party candidate for Virginia’s governorship, received backing from a major Obama campaign bundler.

As The Blaze reports, campaign-finance records show that the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’s campaign came from the Libertarian Booster PAC, the largest benefactor of which is Joe Liemandt, an Austin, Texas–based software billionaire who has “bundled” donations for President Obama. Liemandt contributed $150,000 this past January to the PAC, according to election filings posted by the Virginia Public Access Project. Back in March 2012, Liemandt was one of three dozen Obama bundlers invited to a state dinner honoring British Prime Minister David Cameron.

As Charlie Cooke reported for NRO, Sarvis’s positions are not quite what one would expect of a libertarian candidate — he supports the expansion of Medicaid in the state, for instance. He maintains that he is “very libertarian” and has only moderated his message to win converts.

The PAC spent money on campaign materials, yard signs, and professional petition circulators to collect the signatures necessary to get the candidate’s name on the statewide ballot, all told, amounting to $10,000. Liemandt and his company, Trilogy, have split donations between Democrats and libertarian groups, but their funds have mostly gone to the former. In 2012, Trilogy gave $100,000 to Libertarian Action Super PAC and $92,000 to the Democratic National Committee. State Democratic parties in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin received several thousand dollars apiece, and President Obama received $10,000.

Sarvis is currently polling at close to 10 percent of the vote, and is considered by some to be one of the stumbling blocks for Republican Ken Cuccinelli. In an interview with Breitbart, Wes Benedict, Libertarian Booster PAC’s co-founder and president, said he had “no problem” if the perception turns out to be that Sarvis helped cause a Cuccinelli loss, but said he didn’t believe that was the intent.

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