|Robert Sarvis in Charlottesville|
Last night, I saw the Purple PAC ad for Sarvis during the 11 o'clock news on WVIR-TV NBC29 in Charlottesville.
Writing on Virginia Politics on Demand, I said:
In July, the Center for Public Integrity reported on the formation of a new, libertarian political action committee that aims to support libertarian (and Libertarian) candidates around the country:The only major difference in the text that I reported from what ended up in the TV commercial is that it no longer lists Brad Smith as treasurer in the disclaimer. Instead, it somewhat mysteriously features a photograph of Joey Coon on top of the disclaimer, without naming him.
A super PAC quietly formed this spring by a prominent libertarian has rushed to a quick fundraising start thanks to a small network of wealthy, like-minded donors.
Purple PAC, a super PAC led by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Brad Smith and Cato Institute founder Ed Crane, raised $575,000 from the time the group launched in early May through the end of June, new FEC filings show....
Smith, who currently serves as the chairman of the anti-campaign finance regulation group Center for Competitive Politics, said Purple PAC plans to make independent expenditures promoting “freedom-oriented” candidates who are fiscally conservative and socially moderate.
These are viewpoints Smith says a large number of voters hold, although they have little influence in Washington.
“Swing voters don’t feel that either of the major parties is representing them,” Smith said, adding the group intends to focus much of its resources on battleground states, as its name suggests.
Now Virginia Politics on Demand has learned that Purple PAC is independently planning to purchase air time on radio (and perhaps television) in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis, the nominee of the Libertarian Party.
The proposed script of the ad reads in part:
Virginia, we have a rational choice for Governor.
Why choose between an ethically challenged, socially intolerant conservative and an ethically challenged, big government liberal?
Robert Sarvis, entrepreneur, libertarian.
Social tolerance and lower taxes: Virginia's future.
Send a message on November 5 and vote Sarvis for Governor.
(Paid for by the Purple PAC, Brad Smith, Treasurer.)
The Purple PAC's address of record is in Falls Church, Virginia, so it should come as no surprise that its first major expenditure should come on behalf of a candidate in the Commonwealth.
VPOD reached out to the Sarvis campaign, which had no knowledge of the potential Purple PAC ad buy.
If I find the Purple PAC ad on YouTube, I will post it here in an update.
UPDATE: Purple PAC has put out a press release about the pro-Sarvis spot. It says, in part:
"Both the Republican and Democratic candidates are right about each other," said Ed Crane, President of the Purple PAC. "Ken Cuccinelli is a socially intolerant, hard-right conservative with little respect for civil liberties. Terry McAuliffe is a big government liberal with little respect for economic liberties. Both have been engulfed in scandal. Fortunately, Robert Sarvis offers an alternative, an agenda grounded in free markets and social tolerance."The news release notes that the commercial can be seen on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/77629652. It has not yet shown up on YouTube -- where, I'll assert, more people would see it than they would on Vimeo.
He added that Virginia voters need to send a message to both political parties. "Pollster John Zogby has found that 59 percent of voters surveyed answered 'yes' to the question 'Would you define yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal?'" said Crane. "It's time that the two major parties made room for those voters - a majority of the electorate - or risk losing them altogether."
UPDATE 2: Purple PAC has added an embeddable version of its Robert Sarvis TV ad to its own YouTube channel. (It's also the only video, so far, on that YouTube channel.) Here it is: