Categorized | News, Opinion


I got this email from a group called Virginians for Life and Liberty:

Robert Sarvis has recently broken with Libertarians on key issues*

Recent interviews with Chuck Todd and reveal:

Sarvis FAVORS higher taxes, including

  • higher gas taxes and
  • a new “miles-driven” tax and
  • opposing any tax cuts, including the Cuccinelli Tax Cut Plan 

Sarvis FAVORS expanding Obamacare 

  • Through massive Medicaid expansion in VA
  • Adding 400,000 new permanent enrollees to this social program
  • Price-tag to taxpayers: $3B per year.

Robert Sarvis:  “I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere.”

* See

Robert Sarvis:  self-described “moderate” (Oct 26 forum) 

SARVIS:  not very Libertarian at all

Cuccinelli is the only choice for Liberty-minded voters

That’s why Robert Dean and other Libertarian leaders are backing Ken Cuccinelli for Governor Nov 5th

Authorized by Russ Moulton.  Not authorized or paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

I was going to ignore it – similar, almost identical items showed up on RedState, JHPolitics, and several other sites.

But this is too much.  Let’s start with Austrian economics:

First, Sarvis writes for GMU’s Mercatus Center.  Here’s his bio:

Robert is a native of Northern Virginia and a lifelong believer in freedom, free markets, and the rule of law.  He holds degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge and a JD from NYU School of Law.  During law school, he co-founded a libertarian and classical liberal law journal, the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, dedicating the first issue to Friedrich Hayek, and he has been outspoken in arguing against government regulation of the tech industry.  Robert has worked as a software developer, a lawyer, and a tech entrepreneur, and his research interests span a wide range of topics relating to law, economics, and public policy.

And here’s Sarvis praising Frederich von Hayek in his 2011 GOP campaign for state senate:

His libertarian philosophy is reflected in his answer when asked about his favorite economist. Without pausing, he named Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian Nobel laureate who taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago.

“Hayek is someone who really influenced my thinking,” Sarvis explained: “How to think about problems that face national economies and how public policy can influence it in many unintended ways,”

Want more:

While a lot of people, such as talk-show host Glenn Beck, focus on Hayek’s 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, Sarvis said he “was more influenced by his ‘The Use of Knowledge in Society,’ which was probably the seminal paper that won him the Nobel Prize, and also [volume] one of Law, Legislation, and Liberty, where he talks about rules and order.”

In addition to Hayek, Sarvis cites Adam Smith as an influence in his economic thinking.

“In philosophy, they say, there’s Plato and all else are footnotes,” he quipped. “I think that can be said more truly of Adam Smith than of Plato.”

Adam Smith could be what Sarvis was thinking when he was talking about mainstream economics.  How about more:  Go here for a book review on a series of essays on economics (I need it – all I recall from economics 101 was the pretty brunette I say next to all quarter!) by Sarvis.

I certainly agree that Sarvis mentioned the mileage tax but only as one idea among many – he did not call for it.  And Sarvis did not call for the Medicaid expansion but rather reforms and decentralization of the health care system.  It is a distortion of his views.

Check out this from his issues page on taxes:

Second, we need to simplify and streamline the tax system so that revenue raising is transparent and least burdensome to individuals, families, and businesses alike. I propose:

  • Eliminating the Car Tax, which is unpopular;
  • Eliminating the BPOL, Machine & Tools, Merchant Capital and other business taxes that hide the cost of taxation, burden employers, and reduce business activity;
  • Eliminating, or dramatically reducing, the income tax, which reduces employment and lowers take-home pay;
  • Moving to a uniform consumption tax on all final retail sales of goods and services.
  • Reforming property taxes by excluding, or lowering the rate applied to, improvements to land;
  • Prefering, where possible, user fees to general taxes.

People might disagree with Sarvis on some aspects of tax reform but it is not accurate to say he is for raising taxes.

I am seeing this is so many places that I wonder:  Is this a smear campaign and who is behind it?




About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

16 Responses to “IS THERE a SMEAR CAMPAIGN against ROBERT SARVIS?”

  1. Joshua says:

    Yes, I would say that is it a smear campaign and the email does say who is behind it, Russ Moulton.

  2. Ellie Lockwood says:

    NOT a smear tactic at all! It’s a solid attempt to finally vet a candidate who, until now, has had only the information he wanted us to know easily acquired. Voters need the whole story on a candidate and this information is entirely pertinent!!!

  3. Gene Lefty says:

    Of course there is a smear campaign against not only Mr. Sarvis, but anyone who dares run against a Republican corporate puppet.

    I mean gee, why do you think I feel the way I do. The R’s have nothing to run on except the hate radio smear campaign that is against life itself.

    Hate radio is the real leader of the Republican Party, along with Corporate Cash. Take either one away, what do you have left? Smear Campaigns?

    Republicans have no ideas of their, that way they cannot be criticized. Hard do to anything wrong if you do not do anything.

  4. Joe says:

    Russ is from the fascist wing of the Republican Party and is trying to scare people. His forte is exclusion and he has a history:,430014

  5. name says:

    Any decent economist knows that Adam Smith is the Isaac Newton of economics. Anyone who does not consider Smith’s ideas as fundamental and vital is completely oblivious to economic policy and should not have any political power.

  6. Josh McCullough says:

    Smear tactic? Appears to be so since all of these points are either false or taken out of context (and thereby also false). Sad how scared the other campaigns are getting now that Sarvis support is rising!

  7. Jeff Armstrong says:

    No surprise here folks, move along now.

  8. Ellie Lockwood says:

    So what was it I read recently where Sarvis ‘lost’ or ‘never received’ a routine questionnaire forwarded to all candidates by a Liberty Group? I’m actually a fan of all these questionnaires..gets down to the nitty gritty on all sorts of issues. Have you asked him about this lapse? If not, please do and let us know if his response.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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