McAuliffe, Cuccinelli Virginia Gubernatorial Race Reveals a System Rigged Against Voters
The Virginia governor’s race is prompting discussion of the influence of money in politics, the spoiling effect of third-party candidates, and the ruinous factionalism within the major parties.
Houston, TX USA – The Virginia governor’s race is prompting discussion of the influence of money in politics, the spoiling effect of third-parties, and the ruinous factionalism within the major parties.
Longtime Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe won in large part because he outspent the Republican nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, by some $15 million.
But there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
In the final election tally, third-party Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis received over 6.5% of the vote—double the margin Cuccinelli would have needed to win against McAuliffe.
In the days before the election, it was widely reported that Sarvis had received critical campaign contributions from the Libertarian Booster super PAC. The super PAC’s main contributor is Joseph Liemandt, who was a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama.
“This election is case study in how our electoral process is rigged against ordinary voters. This kind of backdoor manipulation—whether it takes the form of gerrymandering or campaign finance—prevents voters from effectively expressing their wishes,” says Carl Jarvis, author of the forthcoming book The United States of Dysfunction.
Jarvis notes that the influence of money in U.S. politics has grown over the last century. While the influence of money has grown, its impact has become difficult to detect, as demonstrated by the Virginia gubernatorial race.
“The time for us to have a discussion about these issues is now, before the presidential nominating race heats up. The issues of money and questionable influence will be front and center in 2016,” says Jarvis.
Carl Jarvis is the author of the forthcoming book The United States of Dysfunction. The book looks at the history of U.S. political institutions, including how our political process became such a mess and what can be done about it. Visit carljjarvis.com to learn more.
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