So here we are — last week of an interminable campaign season that looks to sap our very wills to live.
This week? The Washington Post kicks off with the headline that could only be born of stale Cheetos and 3am hangovers: Libertarian Sarvis injects freshness into Virginia governor’s race forum.
I kid you not… that’s a headline.
Anyone weary of the campaign same-old, same-old — Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) saying, “I’m the only candidate in the race who won’t need on-the-job training,” or Democrat Terry McAuliffe declaring, “We’ve got sequestration here for the year” — could enjoy these new nuggets Saturday from little-known candidate Robert Sarvis: Quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Advocating an end to the war on drugs. Discussing abortion as a “metaphysical” disagreement. And saying flatly that contracting policies that favor minority-owned businesses violate “the rule of law.”
It was a revelation to even the most dedicated politics-watchers because Sarvis, who has been polling around 10 percent, has been shut out of every debate. He has participated in some forums with McAuliffe and Cuccinelli, but they were small ones that brought out the candidates sequentially, not together. On Saturday, Sarvis was allowed to take the stage with his major-party competition at a forum sponsored by Radio One and 8News, Richmond’s ABC television affiliate.
“He seems genuine, and I like that he doesn’t appear to be backed by big money,” said Felicia Kalber, 43, who came to the event inclined to vote for Sarvis and left convinced that she would. Kalber, who does accounting work, picked up a Sarvis pin and put it on before leaving.
For starters, any candidate bold enough to quote Solzhenitsyn deserves your attention. That’s just damn cool.
Next, for your borderline racist attack-by-drive-by-media headline of the week, we have this little gem courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch entitled: E. W. Jackson has history of financial woes
While running a Christian radio station in Boston in the 1980s, a small business Jackson had founded for this purpose accumulated nine state and federal tax liens within 10 years. A personal tax lien also was filed against him.
Jackson’s financial trouble resulted in a personal bankruptcy in 1993. Three years later, his wife also filed for bankruptcy.
In Chesapeake, where the couple has resided since 1998, the city’s treasurer’s office sued Jackson twice for failing to pay taxes in 2012. The Virginia State Corporation Commission shut down one of his nonprofit organizations that same year after it had failed to pay state fees.
Jackson did not want to be interviewed for this story and did not respond to detailed questions in writing. But in a statement submitted by his campaign, he called the tax issues related to his radio broadcasting company “a 10-year battle with the federal government” over unpaid taxes and licensing fees due to the Federal Communications Commission — a fight that he says he ultimately won.
Perhaps next time, the RTD editors should just label their anti-Jackson in kind contributions to the Northam campaign “Black Man Can’t Pay His Bills” and be done with it… because that was a sleazy, underhanded article directed at Jackson and unworthy of the time it took to write.
Of course, up in Loudoun County, no mention of this in the RTD (or anywhere else for that matter):
Yes, ladies and gentlemen… that’s E.W. Jackson in whiteface. Draw conclusions as you may.
Meanwhile, the RCP polling average this morning? McAuliffe by 9.2 points. Strip away Sarvis, and McAuliffe is very close 50%. Even if undecideds break 2:1 in favor of presumed challenger Cuccinelli, this race is McAuliffe 53-47 Cuccinelli. Should it break 1:1, we’re looking at a McAuliffe 55-45 Cuccinelli race.
Add in Sarvis, and should his numbers hold… the likelihood that McAuliffe will break 50% is questionable at this rate, but it could very well be that McAuliffe comes in near 50%, while Cuccinelli comes in somewhere near 40% and Sarvis breaks the plane at 10%, with undecideds hovering at 7% as of Monday morning.
Four scenarios unfold:
(1) McAuliffe wins with a majority, Sarvis is over 10%. At this rate, expect a migration to the Libertarian Party in Virginia, which will then enter into convulsions as to what “libertarianism” really means. Is the LPVA ready for disaffected conservatives, Tea Partiers, and so forth? This I do not know… but it will be interesting to watch. Meanwhile, the RPV Advance becomes a far more interesting place being forced to placate both a libertarian right and a disaffected but rejuvenated moderate center. Should the moderates decide to “take back” the Republican Party of Virginia via State Central Committee, watch out… don’t expect open warfare, but something of a much more Byzantine and conniving skullduggery…
(2) McAuliffe wins with a majority, Sarvis does not break 10%. Same as before, only the libertarians stay within the ranks of the RPV making the moderates job a lot harder. This, frankly, is the most likely scenario… though it is not outside the boundaries of probability that Sarvis will break the 10% threshold.
(3) McAuliffe wins with a plurality, Sarvis breaks 10%. Should this happen, expect the exodus to the LPVA to be much more intense. This scenario would be the worst-case option for the center-right, as the recriminations over who-cost-whom-what would be rather intense (as a coalition would have mathematically ensured victory).
(4) McAuliffe wins with a plurality, Sarvis does not break 10%. Same as #2, only much more bitter towards the disaffected libertarians. Both the moderate and conservative wings will have to be extraordinarily careful in how they treat the liberty movement at this point and all three major factions: (1) the Tea Party, which offers the most danger to the RPV should they leave en masse, (2) the Ron Paul movement, which offers the most benefit to the RPV should they remain in the fold, and (3) disaffected lowercase-l libertarians should either major faction outside or any minor faction inside the liberty movement attempt to drag them along or speak with their voice.
Of course, there’s always (5) Cuccinelli rides in on a T-Rex waving a Virginia flag and smiting all enemies with thunderbolts from his fingertips.
Pew, pew, pew! And did we mention the Mace of 1000 Truths?
…but that is highly doubtful at this rate, unless McAuliffe decides to do something disgustingly stupid that rises above Bob McDonnell’s Giftgate on the Scandal-o-meter. As this has not happened… nor is it likely to happ– LIBERIAN SHIPPING SCANDAL!!! — ahem… nor is it likely to happen in the near future with only a we– GLOBAL CROSSING OMG!!! — um… what the heck, is this like campaign Tourette’s Syndro– RRR POLL SHOWS CUCCINELLI BY 50!!!! — well… you all get the point I’m trying to make here, right?
Enjoy your Monday!