Dirty Tricks in Virginia Governor’s Race

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe took the race for Virginia’s governorship on Tuesday night, with the help of liberal Republicans and some Democratic sleight of hand.

The Republican Party did little to help Ken Cuccinelli, apparently. Despite the GOP spending $3 million in the race, Cuccinelli lost to McAuliffe, 46 to 47.3 percent with 90 percent of the districts counted.

In 2009, the GOP had spent $9 million on the Virginia governor’s race and won by about 17 points.

Conservative radio host Mark Levin angrily denounced “RINO mouthpieces” for working to undermine Cuccinelli and the Tea Party by driving away GOP contributors. In a tweet, he also questioned whether the GOP even spent $3 million as they claimed, calling it a “phony number.”

Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis siphoned off votes that otherwise likely would have gone to Cuccinelli, grabbing more than 6 percent of the ballots cast.

The Libertarian Booster PAC made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign, $11,454 that paid for petition circulators who got his name on the ballot.

The Libertarian Booster PAC’s major benefactor is Texas software billionaire Joe Liemandt, who is a top campaign bundler for President Obama. The Libertarian Booster PAC lists Liemandt, who kicked in $150,000, and two California contributors as the only donors.

In March 2012, Liemandt was one of about three dozen of Obama’s biggest campaign bundlers invited to a state dinner. Liemandt has been a contributor to Libertarian campaigns before, but most of his efforts have focused on aiding Democrats.