By Bill Gelineau
For someone who is not a professional politician, the last two years have been quite a ride. When Gov. Gary Johnson qualified the Libertarian Party as a “major party” in the 2016 Presidential race (by earning at least 5 percent of the presidential vote), it became clear to me that this was an opportunity not to be lost.
I have served twice as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. But, it was a big unknown the enormous hurdles needed to face the D’s and R’s on the ballot. First there was the signature requirement (so high that an independent candidate convinced a judge to lower it).
Having won my primary in August, I expected most of the media to provide something close to equal coverage. Since we haven’t had a third major party run for governor since 1970, I thought the novelty alone would suffice. Wow! Was I wrong. Even the taxpayers give the D’s and R’s money for their campaigns (most of them do not know this).
Despite it all – I’ve found the genuine goodness of most Michigan voters darned refreshing (the Democratic nominee has a brand on the expletive) and with an amazing interest in our policy positions. We’ve worked hard to discuss the issues voters care about at www.ComeTogetherMichigan.org. We’ve highlighted things we believe matter like prison reform and tax assessment foreclosures that they may not have considered.
- I’ve made the case that we’re wasting a lot of money on prisons. Many academics agree with me – that our prison population (about 30 percent higher per capita than other Midwest states) is a drag on our budget.
- Perhaps more than anyone, I’ve argued that programs like Pure Michigan are inappropriate investments in profitable corporations that taxpayers should not fund.
- Nobody has talked about our service personnel as much as our campaign. From the need to invest in qualified ombudsman through the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs – to my argument that deployment of the National Guard without Congressional Approval is unconstitutional. I would take my role as Commander-in-Chief of the Guard with the sanguinity it deserves.
Michigan has a choice.
Full Commentary by Bill Gelineau @ The Bridge https://www.bridgemi.com/guest-commentary/bill-gelineau-michigan-has-choice-why-not-libertarian