Answers from Rob Sarvis, the Libertarian Candidate for VA Governor

Helen Shibut

Just a couple weeks ago, after a spirited debate from party members, the Libertarian Party of Virginia nominated Rob Sarvis as its gubernatorial candidate. Prior to the special nominating convention, I got in touch with Mr. Sarvis, and he agreed to answer a few questions for this blog. If you like what he says, you can go to his website (http://www.robertsarvis.com) and find out more about helping collect signatures so he can get on the ballot. Below are my questions with his responses-- enjoy!

How would your past political experience inform your decisions as governor?

1) There are a lot of people out there yearning for the option to vote for someone who is reasonable, who knows how to find real solutions to the problems we face, who isn't looking for wedge issues to divide the electorate, who isn't in bed with big business or other vested interests looking for special treatment, who respects people's freedoms and individual rights and will protect their civil rights and civil liberties, who simply wants good, evidence-based public policy. The two major parties in Virginia today aren't interested in putting up candidates that fit that description. I am the only candidate who can represent all Virginians and seek out common ground between legislators in both parties on the basis of reason rather than ideology.

2) There are many ways in which the electoral system protects incumbents and the two major parties, and that should change. I would like to see some reforms, including the adoption of term limits in both houses of the legislature, a reduction in the number of ballot signatures needed for statewide races, and more.

3) Virginia voters generally identify three priorities: the economy, education, and transportation. Republicans and Democrats pay lip service to all three, but are totally unserious about enacting real solutions. My focus will be solely on enacting real solutions.
Transportation has been a hot button issue in Virginia for years. How do you propose to find long term and cost effective solutions to the congestion problems in Northern Virginia and the rest of the state?
The recent bill shows Republicans and Democrats cannot be trusted to control spending and keep taxes from rising. Every Virginia voter knows transportation should be a major priority, but Democrats and Republicans are totally incapable of shifting spending from lesser priorities to meet our transportation needs. The recent bill perpetuates a system of politicized and bureaucratic decision-making, inefficiency, and waste. We should have continued moving toward a system where the costs of construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure are paid by those who use it. Government should be agnostic as to technology and form of transportation; instead, we get ideological pre-commitments, legislative fiat on inflexible funding ratios that make no economic sense, regional cross-subsidies driven by political power, etc.
How do you think Virginia could implement more elements of school choice, so that all students have a fair shot at a good education?
I'm a huge huge fan of school choice and markets in education. DC's former Democratic mayor Adrian Fenty recently said that his party is on the wrong side of education reform. He is right, Democrat's are unforgivably obtuse on this, but the Republicans in Virginia are not proposing any bold, serious solutions, either. I will do so, based on the principle that parents should have greater control over the money being spent on their children, because they have the greatest interest in and knowledge about their children's development. There are many different ways to maximize choice and foster markets in education, and I am open-minded about them all. Education tax credits, vouchers, universal charter schools, parental triggers, school-choice matching algorithms, etc., etc. There is no shortage of ideas, only a shortage of political will and courage. I am probably the only candidate who actually spends time personally looking at studies on school choice and what works and what doesn't. Education is a huge priority for me, and I don't believe in half-measures on this issue. Providing an education is in the state constitution, and we should take it seriously enough to challenge all the defenders of the status quo, with all its administrative bloat, ineffectiveness, stasis, and waste.


  1. Anonymous7/6/13 14:10

    I like your blog, but what gives? No updates in over a month? Are ya'll just done for the summer, or is this blog over?

    1. Anonymous27/6/13 19:41

      We just added a new post. :-)