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An Open Letter to David Koch

17 Jun
Among other things, one can offer support to more than one candidate….

Mr. David H. Koch
Executive Vice President
Koch Industries
New York, NY 10065-8051

Dear Mr. Koch:

My name is John Vaught LaBeaume. I am the campaign manager for Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian nominee for Governor of Virginia.

Last night, we read of the fundraiser you hosted for Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for Governor. Robert, a long-time admirer of your commitment to and support for libertarian ideas, asked me to address this letter to you. I count myself as an admirer of your efforts, as well, since I first became active in libertarian politics as a teenager in the 1980s.

We wanted to reach out to you and express our view that Robert Sarvis is the candidate in this race that is more closely in line with your libertarian principles than is Mr. Cuccinelli.

Robert Sarvis is the only candidate in the race for Governor of Virginia who can advocate effectively for personal and economic freedom. He is a lifelong libertarian, attended the Koch Summer Fellows program after college, and recently completed a Mercatus graduate fellowship and a master’s degree in economics.

Robert has experience as an entrepreneur and small-business owner, a software engineer and mobile-app developer, a math teacher, and a lawyer, and his run for governor is based on the vision of a Virginia that is “Open-Minded and Open for Business.”

We remember—and applaud—your libertarian position in favor of same-sex marriage freedom. Robert Sarvis is the only candidate for Governor of Virginia actively advocating for full recognition of same-sex marriages. He believes it’s the right thing to do—a view he has always held, but one that is no doubt strengthened by the fact that his own marriage was once illegal in Virginia.

Recognizing same-sex marriages is also the prudent thing to do. Business and investor communities are turned off by regressive social policies. Being a holdout against positive social change hampers Virginia, putting it at a competitive disadvantage in attracting forward-thinking people and businesses. Mr. Cuccinelli remains obdurate on the issue, behind the times and in conflict with the business community.

In the same vein, welcoming immigrants with open arms is both the right policy and prudent policy. Robert Sarvis is the son of an immigrant and favors free movement of people. As Virginia Attorney General, Mr. Cuccinelli filed an amicus brief supporting Arizona’s anti-immigrant S.B. 1070 law, sending a signal that says “You’re not welcome!” to Virginia’s many foreign-born business owners and entrepreneurs. He is now adopting the corrosive rhetoric of what constitutes a “true” Virginian, and we object. In contrast, we share your belief that immigration is good for markets and good for America.

Finally, living near Washington, D.C., we have had the opportunity to visit and learn from the Smithsonian’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. Mr. Cuccinelli has headlined events for a group dedicated to “promoting creationism” and “refuting Darwinian evolution.” For voters in Northern Virginia’s creative capitalist tech community, this association with “Flat Earth” notions is a deal-breaker.

Robert Sarvis, in contrast, grew up on a science-based education. He went to Virginia’s top-ranked science and technology magnet school; spent summers attending math and science camps, including the Center for Excellence in Education’s Research Science Institute; and placed fourth in the most prestigious nationwide high school science competition, the Westinghouse (now Intel) Science Talent Search.

In 1980, when you ran for Vice-President, your LP ticket with Ed Clark staked out bold positions on personal freedom. Those positions were cutting-edge at the time, but thanks to campaigns like yours, they are now widely shared, especially in the parts of Virginia that are growing in wealth and population.

Politico’s Jonathan Martin has described this election as “ground zero” for politics in 2013. Given the Old Dominion’s proximity to national media outlets in Washington, D.C., what happens in Virginia will be telegraphed nationwide.

Unscrupulous opponents of free market ideas are salivating at the chance to tie market capitalism with Mr. Cuccinelli’s unenlightened social views. It’s an argument that would strike voters as counterintuitive on its face, if not for the clear record and policy views of Mr. Cuccinelli.

Robert is running, in part, because he couldn’t stand by and let potentially irreparable damage to the future viability of free market ideas be inflicted by association with Ken Cuccinelli’s intolerant and divisive views on gay marriage, immigration, and other issues.

Instead of class wars and culture wars, we are running a campaign of inclusiveness and open-mindedness, a campaign for both personal and economic freedom, a campaign for a Virginia that is “Open-Minded and Open for Business.” Robert Sarvis is the only option for the multitude of Virginia voters looking for a candidate who combines social tolerance with open markets.

If you or your staff would like to discuss our campaign, please do not hesitate 
to contact us.

Thank you for your continuing support for libertarian ideas.

John Vaught LaBeaume
Manager, Robert Sarvis for Governor 2013

Robert Sarvis
Libertarian Nominee for Governor of Virginia