Libertarian Party Leader Calls Allegation That Va. Candidate Was a Dem Plant an 'Outright Lie'

The Libertarian Party's national director fought back this afternoon against allegations that Robert Sarvis was a Democratic plant intended to help Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race.

"I realize that, no matter what I say, paranoid right-wingers will think I'm a sneaky operative trying to help Democrats beat Republicans. This message is for the rational people out there," Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Wes Benedict said in a statement.

The statement included links to stories in right-of-center outlets that pointed to a bundler for President Obama helping pay for the petition circulators that got Sarvis enough signatures to get on the Virginia ballot.

The expenditure was financed by the Libertarian Booster PAC, founded by Benedict in 2011.

"In 2012, the PAC focused solely on non-federal races in Texas. With satisfactory accomplishments, and no partisan election happening in Texas in 2013, I looked to expand to other states where permitted by law. Virginia was one of two states with a gubernatorial election in 2013 plus state legislative elections, so it was an obvious choice," he continued.

"Back at the end of 2008, a man contacted me expressing interest in the Libertarian Party. It turned out he was a successful high-tech entrepreneur. One of his comments was along the lines of, 'What could the Libertarian Party do if it had a million dollars?' Naturally, I contact this man whenever I think I have a good idea that needs funding."

He seemed to be alluding to Austin-based software billionaire and Obama bundler Joe Liemandt.

"I've raised $300,000 from this donor for the Libertarian Booster PAC. He has provided very little in the way of instruction or advice regarding use of the money. The one strong suggestion he made was that we should try to build the Libertarian Party by recruiting Hispanics. He thought Democrats were taking Hispanics for granted, and Republicans were often hostile, and perhaps a massive wave of Hispanics could be convinced to join the Libertarian Party since we have a pro-immigration platform," Benedict continued, adding that the suggestion influenced the inclusion of a "Liberty for Latinos" plank in Texas.

"Most political experts would probably say that recruiting Hispanics into the Libertarian Party would hurt Democrats rather than Republicans, since Hispanics lean more Democratic than Republican. So I'm skeptical that this donor is trying to use me to hurt Republicans," the director said. "It was my idea, and my decision, to have the Libertarian Booster PAC help recruit Libertarian Party candidates in 2013 in Virginia."