Is Arin Sime the Anti-Badnarik?

I know this is going to drum up some controversy, so let me start off with this disclaimer. The comments on this post will not become an extended debate of the handling of the Badnarik campaign. That is in the past, and I am using it for comparison here because (in my opinion) their lack of success may have frightened off Libertarian donors from giving to campaigns for a while. If this becomes a debate about Michael Badnarik, I will close the comments down on this post.

With that said, let me back up the sensational headline with some explanation. In March of 2006 I suggested that Michael Badnarik was an unelectable candidate for a variety of reasons. Mainly that he lacked the experience and community ties to win over voters. He was an unmarried man in his 50’s, a transplant into the District, and had virtually no experience or community ties at the local level. His support was mostly coming from outside the District, through Libertarians he met while running for President. They raised $400,000 by collecting checks from California to Maine, they dressed up in crazy “V for Vendetta” Halloween costumes, and ultimately they got 4% of the vote. Even if that money had been spent effectively, it still wouldn’t have saved him because he was just not electable.

Arin Sime is electable. He probably won’t win, but he is electable. And his campaign is actually doing a very good job with their limited resources.

First, a bit about the man himself. Sime has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and he owns a local software engineering firm. He’s a Virginia native and has lived in the area he’s seeking to represent for about 15 years. He has a beautiful wife and two handsome young sons. He is a member of the Crozet United Methodist Church.

Sime is an Eagle Scout and has served as an Assistant Scout Master to two Scout troops. He’s a member of the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council and served on the Buildings, Roads, and Grounds committee (2002-2003) of Lake Monticello. He’s also a member of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and participates with the Non-Profit Council and the Government Affairs Committee.

He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, camping, soccer, and backpacking.

In short… Sime is a well-rounded small businessman with an attractive family and significant ties to his community. He is the kind of candidate that third parties desperately need more of.

The Sime for Senate campaign has done a lot of things right so far. The $28,000 that they’ve spent has clearly gone to good use. They have an army of local volunteers and some very nice looking campaign materials.

As I stated yesterday, this is a campaign that is worth donating to. Anyone with bitter feelings about how the Badnarik for Congress campaign spent their money need only take five minutes to look through Sime’s photo galleries at all the volunteer events and media coverage that he’s received so far.

He might be able to win but it’s obviously a long-shot right now. If the Libertarian “netroots” that have helped Ron Paul raise $1 million in a week can help Arin Sime raise $50,000 in the next month… this race could become very competitive.

But if he doesn’t win he still might be able to at least beat the Democrat. And frankly even if that doesn’t happen he probably will still break into double-digits. No matter what… this is money and time well spent because it changes the perception that some people have about Libertarians as being either inactive ballot fillers or non-serious fringe candidates. No one who lives in Sime’s part of Virginia will be able to deny the fact that he’s running a serious, well-funded, and credible campaign for State Senate. And he’s running as a Libertarian. That happens less often than you’d think.

If you’re a Libertarian donor and you’re financially able to, please step up to the plate with your support. Sime has already proven over the last year and a half that he can do a lot with very little money. He’s earned the opportunity to show what he can do with some more national backing.

18 Responses to “Is Arin Sime the Anti-Badnarik?”

  1. G.E. Smith Says:


  2. Robert Milnes Says:

    Agreed. OMG. Did I just agree with G.E. Smith & Austin Cassidy?

  3. Trent Hill Says:

    And Trent Hill.


  4. matt Says:

    I’d disagree just to be contrary, but Austin makes a good point.

  5. Eric Sundwall Says:

    Sime has the general support of the LNC and doesn’t owe it 8500 dollars.

  6. unnamed Says:

    Does Badnarik owe the LNC money?

  7. Freelancer Says:

    Here, here, Austin. Well said.

  8. Ghoststrider Says:

    Can you donate money to a candidate if you don’t live in the same district or state?

  9. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Yep. In this case you can donate as much as you want… there are no contribution limits on this race.

  10. Austin Cassidy Says:

    See the interview we did with Arin for details…

  11. Carl Says:

    I have been saying for years that LP big donors should focus on Virginia legislative races, since 1. there is no campaign limit and 2. they are on odd numbered years.

    Then again, in all humility, in this same essay (first run around 2002) I suggested that running a former presidential candidate down-ticket was also a good strategy for focusing resources. The first try of that strategy didn’t work out so well. But I was talking state house, not U.S. Congress, so I am partly off the hook…

    Reminder folks, it takes time to make media buys! The election is this November. Donate soon if you are going to donate!

  12. Allen Hacker Says:

    Unnamed: Yes, and No.

    The Badnarik campaign owes the LNC $2500, not $8500. The number is different because of a renegotiation following a determination that some of the services billed for did not occur.

    The situation is amicable.


  13. (required) Says:


    The renegotiation was not due to the services not having occurred. It was because you offered $2500 and they wanted t close the matter, seeing no prospects of collecting the remaining money. Incidentally, I should mention that you put the LNC dead last on the list of people to be paid past due bills and ignored the wishes of donors who gave you money after the campaign was over specifically to settle the debt to the LNC.

    I agree with Austin that Sime is doing everything right which your campaign did wrong. I haven’t checked how old Sime is, but if he is constitutionally qualified, maybe there should be an attempt to draft him for President once this campaign is over, and then he can likely win the next legislative race if he does not win this one, or maybe position himself for a competitive race for US House (Carl’s idea is a good one, even if badnarik was a really bad test case). Sime sounds better to me than the current crop of LP candidates, which is the weakest field I can remember in the history of the party. He probably won’t want to take the time out traveling around the country with all his community involvement, though.

    Carl, since we have you here: are you planning to start a new party or not? I read one piece of yours from 9/5 which indicated you would, but another letter from the same day said you were joining the Republicans?

  14. Carl Says:

    (required): I have at least temporarily joined the Republicans in order to support Ron Paul. Should Ron win, I might stay Republican. Should he lose, I intend to take a break from intense politics before launching a new party. ‘Tis no small undertaking, not to be done on the heels of burnout.

  15. Allen Hacker Says:


    I normally don’t reply to anonymous posters; if you won’t say who you are (even if some people already know), then your credibility is automatically supect. Further, I wish to respect Austin’s request at the opeing of this topic, so this will be my last reply to this thread.

    You are incorrect on all three of the points you assert. What we understood ourselves to be buying was not delivered; LNC can not be paid until a correct invoice is received; not one contributor restricted his/her contribution to paying the LNC, so the money that came in was used to pay whatever was valid and payable at the time received, including continuing hard operating costs.

    I am at the CLC in Reno-Sarks NV right now, and have had several conversations with LNC members and staff. It has become clear to me that there have been some communication failures that probably put some or most LNC members out of the loop on the negotiations, but these were not mine, unless we included my not getting that “It would be good if you could come to our next meeting and discuss this,” was intended to be a direct invitation. Sorry, it didn’t sound like one, and this campaign had bankrupted me temporarily, so I didn’t go.

    There are way too many experts with way to much inaccurate or missing information behind their pronouncements in this matter. I ask that anyone not directly involved in a discussion with me refrain from assuming that s/he knows everything that transpired. There have been a lot of lies told, some even from elsewhere inside the campaign, and only embarrassment can follow any misguided reliance or jumping to conclusions.

    Otherwise, Austin and Tom are fine in being concerned about the effects of B4C on current and future races. Although, that effect may change drastically as public understanding changes.

    I thank you all for your restraint in the meanwhile.


  16. go go gadget dick Says:


    I thought you could make millions of dollars if you weren’t working on the campaign? What happened to all your secret billion dollar corporate consulting clients?

    And how’s the campaign book coming? I’ve been eagerly waiting for it.

  17. Wes Benedict Says:

    At the July 21st LNC meeting in Pittsburgh, LNC member and former Congressman Bob Barr I believe made a comment that we have spent time at every LNC meeting discussing the Badnarik debt and that we need to move on.

    I made a phone call to Allen Hacker to discuss the situation. Allen explained to me some of the specifics about the Portland convention where the National LP had not delivered all of the services associated with the agreements from the Badnarik campaign to contribute thousands of dollars towards the expense of the convention.

    On the other hand, the Badnarik campaign’s participation in the convention did help pay for significant amounts of the convention and had they not participated at all, the convention would have probably experienced even greater losses than the tens of thousands it lost. I explained this to some LNC members privately and that’s probably partly why the LNC decided to proceed with a deal as described elsewhere.

    I also mentioned how other past LP presidential candidates, all of whom had made considerable sacrifices to run for office, subsequently were demonized for this or that and that we shouldn’t dwell on every past mistake, but learn from the experience and move on, hopefully in a way that keeps our past candidates supportive of the Libertarian Party in the future.

    Very few campaigns go exactly as planned. I am not an apologist for the Badnarik campaigns. I was one of only 3 or 4 Texans who voted for Aaron Russo or Nolan instead of Badnarik for President in Atlanta, despite considering Badnarik to be a personal friend and one heck of a libertarian warrior from my hometown of Austin, TX.

    I recognize lots went wrong with the Badnarik for Congress campaign, but I have to give Allen and Badnarik credit for doing their best and putting their hearts, souls, and reputations on the line for a monumental challenge.

    I wish Arin Sime the best. I respect his forthrightness about his chances of winning while also providing us with a hopeful scenario for victory. I already consider Sime’s campaign a success regardless of the ultimate outcome of his election.

    Austin Cassidy has made his predictions about the campaign, and we’ll be able to judge Austin’s wisdom at the appropriate time. At the risk of offending everyone I was just praising and defending, I expect Arin Sime to be the Anti-Austin Cassidy.

  18. unnamed Says:

    What does that mean? You mean that sime will do bad and prove Austin wrong? Why are you rooting against a Libertarian candidate?

Leave a Reply