When the final tally of the votes in Virginia is complete it will show principled limited government constitutional conservative Ken Cuccinelli lost by around 55,000 votes – a slim margin in a three-way race – and that Terry McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli by at least $15 million to get those 55,000 votes.
Together Ken Cuccinelli and alleged libertarian Robert Sarvis garnered 52.1% of the vote, so the reality of last night’s election is that the majority of Virginian’s voted for the candidate they thought would govern Virginia according to conservative principles.
Much has yet to be revealed about where Sarvis got the money to finance his petition drive and it is unclear what role major Democratic donors may have played in advancing Sarvis’s “libertarian-in-name-only” candidacy that split the not-McAuliffe vote to give the Democrat his slim plurality.
What is clear is that Cuccinelli’s ideas weren’t rejected so much as he was drowned in the sea of money that flowed in to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to keep Virginia government growing, taxes rising, to roll back the progress social conservatives have made in the state, and most importantly, to keep cronyism as the governing principle at the Virginia state Capitol building.
Defeating Ken Cuccinelli was the top priority of a motley coalition of secular liberals and self-interested establishment types who want to continue to loot the State treasury for special favors and benefits at the expense of Virginia’s hard-pressed working families.
Unless you were really paying attention to the Virginia Governor’s race you might not know that Terry McAuliffe received enormous help from national unions, abortion interests, and a California billionaire environmentalist who began his involvement in Virginia politics by spending $400,000 per week on T.V. ads on climate change to defeat Ken Cuccinelli.
That national liberal interest groups would go all in for McAuliffe was a given, and to be expected.
You would think that the involvement of these job killing, and regulation-loving liberal interest groups would have generated a wave of support for Cuccinelli from the Virginia business community and national business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
But it turns out that rather than follow the lead of the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political action committee, TechPAC, in endorsing Ken Cuccinelli, the business community at large was MIA in the Cuccinelli – McAuliffe faceoff.
Apparently they concluded – or were convinced – that they could “do business” with McAuliffe and they much preferred keeping the wheeler dealer good ole boy culture of Virginia’s state Capitol intact to having a real live conservative who meant what he said about cutting taxes and regulations in the Governor’s mansion in Richmond.
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling never did endorse Cuccinelli, and was outed as a traitor to the Republican Party when it was revealed he lobbied the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s PAC board to endorse McAuliffe over Cuccinelli.
Similarly, the national leadership of the Republican Party engaged in a summer-long whispering campaign against Ken Cuccinelli that more or less mirrored the Democrat’s charge that Cuccinelli is an “extremist” and the organizations controlled by national Republicans gave only nominal support to Cuccinelli.
Sean Davis, co-founder of thefederalist.com and a former adviser to conservative Senator Tom Coburn and Texas Governor Rick Perry, claimed in an election night tweet that the RNC spent more than three times more in the 2009 race in Virginia compared to this year’s Virginia governor’s race. Principled limited government constitutional conservative author and talk show host Mark Levin claims the RNC didn’t even spend $3 million compared to the $9 million spent in 2009.
Only a deeper analysis of the final campaign financial disclosure forms will reveal the truth, but suffice it say the charges by Davis and Levin ring true.
And, if it is true that, at the direction of Chairman Reince Preibus, the Republican National Committee only put $3 million behind Ken Cuccinelli while it supported Virginia's outgoing Republican Governor Bob McDonnell with $9 million in 2009, then that is proof that conservatives are wasting their money giving to the RNC, and it is convincing evidence that the RNC leadership must be replaced if America is ever to be governed according to conservative principles.
The betrayal of Ken Cuccinelli by Bolling and other nominal Republicans, such as political consultant Boyd Marcus, mirrors the betrayal of Barry Goldwater by the Republican establishment and their nominal allies in the business community.
In 1964 the attacks against Goldwater as a scary “extremist” did not start with the Democrats in the general election campaign, they started with the "stop Goldwater" campaign organized by establishment Republicans, such as Michigan Governor George Romney, father of 2013 establishment Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
And the attacks on Goldwater from the Republican establishment didn’t end when he became the official presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Romney and others in the "stop Goldwater" gang never endorsed Barry Goldwater, did nothing to help him and did much to hurt his already uphill campaign.
The conduct of Bolling, many of Virginia’s nominally Republican business community leaders and the national Republican organizations is reflective of the precedent the Republican establishment set in their treatment of Barry Goldwater.
When an establishment Republican – such as Mitt Romney – gains a nomination for office the Republican leadership demands that conservatives close ranks with establishment Republicans and support the nominee, even if that nominee refuses to campaign as a conservative and has an anti-conservative record. However, when a conservative gains a nomination, establishment Republicans are, without consequence, free to criticize the nominee and to do everything they can to undercut the conservative’s campaign.
George Will once wrote that Barry Goldwater didn't lose in 1964, it just took 16 years, until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, to count the votes.
We expect that the same will be said of Ken Cuccinelli and we believe he will be vindicated in the future.
Ken Cuccinelli did not lose last night because he is a principled limited government constitutional conservative. Cuccinelli lost because he was drowned in a sea of money and undercut by a Republican establishment that would rather see a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion than end the good ole boy politics in Richmond and allow a real conservative anywhere near the levers of power that he might use to make good on Republican promises to govern as limited government constitutional conservatives.