I Think I Made a Big Mistake…

Hey folks, I don’t often strongly advocate for a candidate on here… but this situation is a little different. For months I’ve seen Arin Sime listed on the Libertarian Party’s website as a candidate for Virginia State Senate in November of 2007.

And all that time I largely ignored him because I assumed he was running the same old Libertarian legislative campaign and would wind up getting the expected 3-5% of the vote.

I think I may have made a big mistake. This blog exists for a variety of reasons, and one of them is to highlight candidates like Arin who are going above and beyond what’s normally expected from a third party candidate.

So first off I want to say that I plan on covering the final month of Mr. Sime’s campaign as much as I can. A couple of weeks ago it was reported that the incumbent Republican had $85,000 on hand after winning a tough primary battle. The Sime campaign has raised $35,000 total and had about $7,000 on hand at that time. The Democrat in the race had raised only $11,000 and had spent all but $2,000 of that.

I don’t want to create any false hopes by saying that Sime is in a position to win. It’s a possibility, but certainly a long-shot at the current time. Still… they’ve done a lot with limited resources and an infusion of cash and national attention on this race could really shake things up.

That is, if the following things happen…

1. Libertarian Bloggers should take a look at Sime’s campaign. Consider plugging him and reminding your readers (a.k.a. potential donors) that there is a Libertarian who could really use their money for good outreach and campaign activities in the next month.

2. The National Libertarian Party should, if they are legally able, send out an email to their entire donor-base and highlight Arin Sime’s campaign. That could bring thousands of dollars in and really jumpstart things for the final push. The sooner this is done the better! Money raised a month before the election is much more valuable to a campaign than money raised the week before the election.

3. Ron Paul supporters should spread the word about Arin’s campaign to their various blogs, message boards, and meet-up groups. Congressman Paul is raising thousands of dollars every hour on the Internet… those donors could also make a HUGE difference in Sime’s race. Paul donors that have already given the maximum to his Presidential campaign can still give to Sime.

Something else that’s worth noting: According to Sime’s website, Virginia allows donations of any size. There are no campaign contribution limits! And those donations may come from individuals or corporations in any state. Wealthy libertarians who may have been limited to sending Ron Paul $2,300 can send Arin Sime a check for $10,000 if they want to. I wouldn’t expect that it will happen, but those loose campaign finance laws are pretty interesting.

If Libertarian “netroots” are activated to create a steady flood of campaign cash into this race there’s no telling how well Sime could do. He’s a great candidate with an established and active campaign already in place. I’m just sorry that it took me this long to notice him.

To make a donation to Arin Sime for State Senate, click here right now!

26 Responses to “I Think I Made a Big Mistake…”

  1. Donald Raymond Lake Says:

    I THINK I MADE A BIG MISTAKE

    Only a Post Office Box for a United States Postal Service address.
    As a ‘good’ Libertarian, he could have at least used a PMB
    [Private Mail Box address], instead of the socialist USPS!

    And the lack of a physical street address, hmmmm.
    Kinda like con artistes and gripters!

    Called each and every listed telephone number.
    Not one live human being.

    Email addy? Let’s see if it ‘bounces’!

  2. Austin Cassidy Says:

    You have to be kidding me, right?

  3. Old Republic Federalism Says:

    His wife is pretty cute!

  4. timothy west Says:

    actually, the USPS is 100% supported by the sale of stamps and mail related services…. in other words…. USER FEES.

    1. Do not receive tax dollars for operations. We are a self-supporting agency, using the revenue from the sale of postage and products to pay expenses.

    It is one of the least socialistic government depts. It would have taken 5 minutes for Mr. Lake to find this out. But libertarians often base opinions on “truths” that are in fact, not supported by any historical evidence at all, or only supported out of context.

  5. [email protected] Says:

    Good luck to Arin, who seems to be running a very well-done campaign.

    BUT

    Ron Paul supporters be interested in supporting Sime? Most Ron Paul supporters are:

    a) Republicans supporting a Republican candidate; or
    b) Democrats supporting a Republican candidate; or
    c) Libertarians supporting a Republican candidate; or
    d) Constitution Party supporters supporting a Republican candidate; or
    e) Independents and assorted small-party people supporting a Republican candidate.

    How does willingness to (temporarily or permanently) become a Republican to support a candidate running against the Libertarian Party’s (eventual) candidate imply a willingness to do exactly the opposite (support a Libertarian running against a Republican incumbent)?

    I mean, sure, I’d welcome those people back from the dark side. But what makes you think they’re interested in changing their evil ways?

    Tom Knapp

  6. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I think there are quite a lot of Libertarian donors that are giving their money to Ron Paul instead of Libertarian candidates at the moment.

    There are also a lot of politically uninvolved people that have become engaged in the process through the Ron Paul campaign. They’re helping to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into that campaign and might be swayed into supporting a likable local candidate who shares many of the same views as Dr. Paul.

    Aside from that, I hope that the national party steps up and focuses some attention and resources on this race.

  7. Derrick Says:

    Arin Sime is a well-spoken, credible, non-blue candidate running a fantastic campaign. That anyone would take the focus off of that and rant about him using a PO Box… This is what drives people like me away from the LP. For the love of Zeus, can we please try living in the real world?

  8. [email protected] Says:

    Austin,

    You write:

    “I think there are quite a lot of Libertarian donors that are giving their money to Ron Paul instead of Libertarian candidates at the moment.”

    You’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, many Libertarians spend a lot of time racing down dead-end “shortcuts” like Ron Paul Road and Tom McClintock Boulevard. I just don’t see what in that phenomenon indicates that the reverse would be true.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  9. Austin Cassidy Says:

    But in this instance, $5,000 of extra fundraising might move the race another point or two in his favor. Maybe even a bit more. In order for Ron Paul to gain a point in national polls he needs to raise $5 million!

    I’m not saying there would be any great rush to give Sime money… but a couple of donors giving him a few hundred dollars each would make a difference in this race.

    I would bet the national LP could raise him $10,000 if they employed their email list for the task.

    Ron Paul is running as a Republican because the LP can’t give him the base he needs to be taken seriously. That’s not going to change on the national level any time soon. But the LP can give someone in a State House or State Senate race the resources they need to win.

    There are donors out there… and Sime is a damn good candidate. The problem with these situations is that if Sime doesn’t get support from his party, how could people expect him to mount another campaign as a Libertarian in the future?

  10. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Arin Sime sounds like a great candidate.

    Also, I don’t see a problem for him re: people voting for Ron Paul.

    The reason I love our movement so much is that we are individualists and hard to herd. It’s nearly impossible to get all of us on the same page—I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think someone might vote for Ron Paul® or a Libertarian candidate then vote on the same ballot for Arin Sime (L) over a Republican candidate. I would prefer a vote for a Libertarian presidential candidate, but I could see some libertarians voting L and R on the same ballot. I wouldn’t do it this cycle, but some might, and that’s their right.

    It’s individualism to it’s core, and thats what makes us interesting and great.

  11. Trent Hill Says:

    Arin Sime could well be elected—if he gets an infusion of cash.

  12. [email protected] Says:

    Austin,

    OK, touche. I agree that some persons who are inclined to support Ron Paul might also be inclined to support Arin Sime. I also agree that even marginal amounts of new cash might make a big difference in his race … and that him doing well would be good for the LP and for liberty.

    But, you raise a new question when you write:

    “Ron Paul is running as a Republican because the LP can’t give him the base he needs to be taken seriously.”

    I’ve been looking for a quote from Ron Paul offering this as the reason he is running for president as a Republican. Could you point me to such a quote? I tend to think of 10-term Republican congresscritters who seek the Republican presidential nomination as, um, Republicans, even if they’ve flirted with other parties. It’s not just Paul. I thought of Phil Gramm as a Republican when he ran for his multiple terms as a Republican congresscritter and sought the GOP nomination, too, even though he had once been a Democrat.

    Tom Knapp

  13. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Well… he ran as a Libertarian in 1988 and got essentially no respect from the media and was unable to raise enough money to be competitive. If things had gone differently… do you think he would have returned to the GOP?

  14. G.E. Smith Says:

    I agree with everything Austin has said in this post. We should all get behind Arin Sime!

  15. [email protected] Says:

    Austin,

    No, if things had gone differently, he wouldn’t have returned to the GOP. But they didn’t go differently, and he did return to the GOP. If a ten-term Republican congresscritter on his sixth consecutive term as a Republican congresscritters isn’t “really” a Republican, I’d like to know who the hell is.

  16. rj Says:

    ““I think there are quite a lot of Libertarian donors that are giving their money to Ron Paul instead of Libertarian candidates at the moment.”

    You’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, many Libertarians spend a lot of time racing down dead-end “shortcuts” like Ron Paul Road and Tom McClintock Boulevard. I just don’t see what in that phenomenon indicates that the reverse would be true.”

    As opposed to the dead-ends like Badnarik running for Congress?

    A party of perpetual failure has made me entirely cynical. You act as if us not giving money to these people that act as welfare leeches and show little results is a bad thing. (And for those candidates out there that receive money and do nothing campaigning, you’re no better than some lazy boy at home that does not work and receives welfare from taxes.)

    I will support all local Libertarian candidacies in my area, all zero of them. Very hard for me to support anything outside my area. Paul is at least acting as a figurehead for the Libertarian Movement, so I consider my $100 in that case money well spent, cause it tells the rest of the country what our views are and hopefully draws more toward it.

  17. rj Says:

    I should qualify my statement by saying good luck to Mr. Sime, and I’ll review his site to see if he’s worth my money.

  18. Wes Benedict Says:

    I think Arin Sime is running a fantastic campaign and I wish him the best.

    According to the State of Virginia, the Libertarian Party has run very few candidates for office in recent years.

    http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Election_Information/Election_Results/Index.html

    It will be instructive to see how high a percentage Mr. Sime receives in this election in a state that has not had a lot of low-budget candidates as compared to states that do run lots of low-budget candidates. In Texas, we have run lots of low-budget candidates and despite their low budgets it’s a heck of a lot of work to run these candidates. If concentrating on one or two strong candidates shows promise, that could change my view on strategies.

    Austin Cassidy, do you think Mr. Sime will break 5%?

    I hope he does.

  19. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Well I think he’ll probably break 5% and I think there’s actually a chance he could break 10%. We’ll just have to see how things shake out over the next month.

  20. George Whitfield Says:

    I am a Ron Paul supporter who has contributed to Arin Sime and Steve Kubby. I am a Libertarian Party member who has contributed to Ron Paul. I support the advocate for freedom who has the best opportunity to advance our cause in a given contest. I am flexible but persistent. Thanks Austin for highlighting Arin Sime’s great campaign.

  21. Bill Wood Says:

    Arin Sime is a very, very good guy and we in Virginia are proud and happy that he is on “our” side.

    We also have another Candidate running for State Senate:

    “Wm. Donald Tabor Jr., DDS of Chesapeake has qualified for the November 6, 2007, ballot for the 14th Senate District in Virginia. Tabor is Vice Chairman of the Tidewater Libertarian Party affiliate, the 4th Congressional District representative to the Virginia Libertarian Party State Central Committee and a dentist in practice in Norfolk and Hampton, VA.

    The 14th District seat is currently held by Republican Harry Blevins, a “moderate” who supported the very unpopular Hampton Roads Regional Transportation Authority, and is regarded as vulnerable in the conservative district straddling portions of the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

    There is no Democrat on the ballot.”

    I think Dr. Tabor will do very well in this two person race. Please check out his website taborvasenate.com

  22. G.E. Smith Says:

    I think Arin Sime has a much better chance of doing extremely well than is being acknowledged—and I’m the guy who is always poo-pooing pie-in-the-sky third-party “hopefuls.”

    The State Senate districts are very small (at least compared to Michigan). In 2003, there were only 13,833 votes. It was a two-way race between the Republican and an Independent—the Independent got 30.8% of the vote.

    In order for Sime to get 5%, he would only need around 700 votes. If you look at his pictures, it looks like he has around 100 visible supporters/volunteers. That’s going to translate into a lot more than 700 votes.

    The 30% independent vote is interesting because it shows that there are at least 30% of people who aren’t straight-ticket voters. In Michigan, straight-ticket kills third parties. I don’t know if the independent was a conservative or a liberal, and that would be significant. If the district is very conservative, and the independent was a conservative, then Sime has a legitimate longshot of winning this f’ing race. Regardless, I would be shocked if he tallied less than 10% of the vote—that’s only 1,383 votes! Assuming the Democrat is good for at least 25% of the vote, Sime only needs about 5,200 votes to secure victory.

  23. G.E. Smith Says:

    Whoops. I was looking at the State House districts, not State Senate. The Senate districts are about 3 times the size. I still think Sime can do very well, though.

  24. Arin Sime Says:

    I appreciate all the kind words about my campaign from Austin and others in these comments. Thank you!

    Regarding how many votes I need to win: My best guess is 13,000. About 39,000 people in my district voted in the congressional elections last year. Turnout should be lower, but I’ll still guess on the high side and say it will be 36,000 (this is no more than an educated guess however, so treat it as such). My best chance to win this race is a tight three way race, so that would imply I need 13,000 votes.

    However, it could be significantly less. The Republican primary this spring was between a much more libertarian Republican running against the Republican incumbent who has voted for numerous tax increases and supports more “tax reform” in the future. About 13,000 votes were cast in that race and the incumbent only won by 800. Because we have open primaries in Virginia, it is widely speculated in this district that Democrats voted in the primary and essentially pushed the incumbent to victory because they like his tax stances. There is a lot of circumstancial evidence to this effect.

    That primary got more attention than this race has however, because many people assume that the Democrat has little chance of winning (true IMHO), and that I won’t win unless I could split the Republican vote in half. There certainly remain a lot of dissatified Republicans who are unhappy with the primary results, and a lot of Democrats who may not vote for the incumbent in the general election, and so it is possible that I could win.

    Admittedly, I am a longshot but I think the results of this race are very unpredictable. There are not very many challenged or exciting races going on in the district as a whole, so I know a lot of people from the other campaigns are worried how they will motivate their base to get to the polls. Turnout will probably determine a lot about this race, as well as how much effort and money the incumbent puts into it. Honestly, I would not be surprised to get anywhere from the typical third-party 2% all the way to a 34% victory. There are so many variables at play, and a distinct lack of polling data, that it’s hard to predict results.

    We are very actively targeting those voters who will most likely to vote for small government, and hoping for good things. I appreciate everyone’s support in this. I’m not the type of candidate to promise you specific results, because I think libertarians who predict victory or high vote totals end up eating their words and hurting donors too often.

    All I can promise you is that I will work very hard to make the most of all opportunities that come our way, and that I believe we have positioned ourselves well should things break our way. Your donations are being spent in outreach at this point, and so I hope you will feel they are well spent.

  25. Last Free Voice » Blog Archive » Arin Sime: Libertarian with a real chance Says:

    [...] Austin Cassidy of ThirdPartyWatch.com recently posted an article urging libertarian activists and Ron Paul supporters to get behind Libertarian candidate for Virginia state senate, Arin Sime. Sime has run the kind of campaigns Libertarians say they want to see — he’s been very visible in the community, he’s maintained an active campaign schedule, he’s produced a quality TV ad, and he has raised a lot of money — $35,000 to date, with $7,000 on hand, according to TPW [...]

  26. disinter Says:

    Thanks Austin. Sime is a candidate that Libertarians across the nation should have rallied behind many months ago. Instead, they spread their thin resources across a bunch of candidates for offices that simply cannot be won with a party of this size. However, this one seat could be won easily if they would just pull their heads out of their asses - which won’t happen.