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My OPEN LETTER to Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark

Now let’s meddle in LP politics:  Since the election is over and no one can accuse me of pro-Libertarian bias (not the worse bias to have) or to influence the election (one of my readers has already rightly said I do not influence elections!) in 2017, I can now draft this open letter:

An Open Letter to Libertarian Party Chairman Nicholas Sarwark:

Dear Nicholas:

First, let me say how much I respect and admire you.  Former public defender (in Colorado), now part of the operation in Arizona for a family car business, and elected twice the Chairman of the Libertarian Party.  We’ve communicated and I am not prominent but I have been treated by you and other libertarians as if I am.  I appreciate it.

I know you will listen and ponder this matter as coming from a friend of liberty and the LP.  I am not a member of any political party; helps keep my blogging somewhat honest and multi-partisan.  I can endorse any candidate I want.

What could have happened in 2017 could have been:

Say about 9 pm EST election night, talking head after talking head are again marvelling…

So-and-so at the DNN or the CSSR network would be saying:

Another remarkable election story – from Virginia this time – the wonderfully funded Libertarian candidate for Governor – compared to prior elections – libertarians made thousands of small contributions to lift IP attorney Hyra out of obscurity – he raised millions of dollars.  Now Hyra is on the verge of actually doing something no Libertarian has ever done:  Win a statewide election.  With 89% of the vote, Hyra has 40% of the vote with GOP nominee Ed Gillespie at 33% and Democrat Ralph Northam at 25%…

But alas…2017 in Virginia was another wasted opportunity for the LP.  It is no disrespect to Cliff Hyra that he only garnered 1.2%; it is not due to his ideas.  I think there was an issue on the office to run for but Cliff took the chance, ran statewide (while his wife had a baby!  Few spouses would have been okay with that!) and got ideas out.  I can have nothing but respect for that.  Almost a little bit of temptation to envy.

I had suggested (even at the Virginia LP convention) that the office to run for was Lieutenant Governor.  Governor and AG would be hotly contested races this time.  But maybe not so in 2021.  Herring will probably run for governor in 2021.  Adams might run again but I think his future (if he wants it) is the state supreme court or federal district/appellate court.

That brings me to this news story:

Ballot Access News reported that Libertarian Party registration in the 32 states (Virginia is not one of them) where persons register by party is now over 500,000.  That’s right – one half million LPers throughout the nation.  The third largest party in the nation.

Democratic 44,706,349 (40.30%)
Republican 32,807,417 (29.57%)
independent & misc. 30,818,334 (27.78%)
Libertarian 511,277 (.46%)
Green 258,683 (.23%)
Constitution 97,893 (.09%)
Working Families 52,748 (.05%)
Reform 5,204 (.00+%)
other parties 1,684,317 (1.52%)

Twice the Greens!  Five times the Constitution Party.

There is now no excuse.  I am making a political observation.  There is no excuse.  If each of those 500,000 libertarians had given Cliff Hyra just $25.00 his campaign would have – not one million dollars – not even five million dollars – but a cool $12,500,000.00!

Suppose there was a legal movement (There is a state PAC that is to help Libertarian and friends of liberty candidates) that says let’s get $25.00 from each registered libertarian – now understand these persons are not voters leaning toward the LP or voters calling themselves a “libertarian” but voters who have gone to a registrar or sent in a registration form and said – “I’m affiliating formally with the Libertarian Party!”  Just $25.00 I am saying.

What does $25.00 buy? I priced a 12 pack of Budweiser beer online and it is about $12.00.  (I am not condoning the purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages.)  And a Chick-fil-A sweet tea gallon is just over $5.00 with tax.

So could every person in USA, in the states where voters register by party (Virginia is thankfully not one of them), who has formally affiliated with the LP gave up TWO twelve packs of beer or five gallons of sweet tea at CFA and sent it to Cliff Hyra’s campaign and what would be the result?

The result would be $12.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

Can you imagine the headlines if Hyra had raised even FIVE MILLION DOLLARS?


Libertarian Hopeful Raises COOL FIVE MILLION Dollars!

Is Hyra NOW a Contendar!

Hyra would be on every national talk show (again in some cases) and would surely have money for a credible campaign – if he uses the money well.  Should get the ten percent needed for ballot access.  Might actually win.  And money draws other money into the race.  People will say – check that out – I’ll give a hundred!  Or a thousand.  Only need a few thousand such donors and there is another million.  PACs would get in the race because they could make a difference.

People gave a cool million (in spite of campaign finance limits) to Dr. Larry Lessig for a wacky but serious campaign for President in 2016 to talk issues.  (I think with the duest respect for Dr. Lessig, he should not have withdrawn but used the Ron Paul guerrilla campaign to get his ideas out.  A million will buy some serious airtime say in Iowa and NH where his campaign could have made a difference but I digress.  Mighty tarantula, back on focus!)

I know about and just saw the money bomb 2018 and I would say that is a great start.  Let’s start with 25 dollars.

Only 25 dollars.  What if libertarians rallied around their off-year elections and increased their electoral exposure?  Might change US political history.

One more thing:  I am an evangelical follower of Christ and most of the churches I am familiar with talk about tithing – donating ten percent to the church.  Fierce discussions about is it sinful not to tithe and should you tithe on net or gross but that is not relevant here.  But it would be useful for libertarians to consider a serious commitment:  A one percent of either net or gross income donation to the LP or a PAC helping libertarian candidates as a political version of the tithe.  It would be helpful to a lot of candidates.

Well, there’s another wasted election cycle down the drain.  Maybe there’s always 2019 when Virginia has the entire legislature up for election.  12.5 million smackers would encourage solid candidates to run, especially in uncontested elections and maybe a surprise on election day.  We saw what underfunded hopefuls with passion and a passionate following can do Tuesday.  And 2021, when the big three are up again.  Remember, LG is the sleeper position.  $12 million ought to win that one for the right LP hopeful.


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)

2 Responses to “My OPEN LETTER to Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark”

  1. John Carey says:

    I don’t regret voting for Cliff Hyra, but I was slightly surprised that he didn’t even reach 3% of the vote. That being said, I wasn’t under the illusion that he could reach 10%, or that he would do better than Rob Sarvis did four years ago.

    There just has to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Libertarian Party….


  1. […] a certain blogger would be drafted by either the GOP or the LP to run for AG or for LG, as I have recommended several times the LP should run their best candidate for Lieutenant […]

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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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