It’s not a slogan – but rather a promise to change the political tone in Michigan.
Like what has happened in so much of our public life, too often our elections are about personalities, and perceived “sides” of our political divide.
As a candidate for Governor of Michigan, I hope to inspire conversations about solutions. Many of our problems are not Right/Left, or Conservative/Liberal. In fact, one of the most important aspects of my campaign is to explain the concepts and ideas behind the Libertarian movement. Whatever happened to good old-fashion debate? And respect for competitive ideas? And civility? I will do my best to be a candidate of decency and solutions.
I don’t pretend to be the best champion for the Libertarian ideal. In fact, I hope you’ll evaluate what those ideas might mean to you. And the best way to do that is to read it for yourself. You can do that at MichiganLP.org . But, I will advocate for common sense and use FACTS instead of merely spouting the Party line.
Here is the immediate challenge. The Libertarian candidate for President in 2016, Gary Johnson, received enough votes to allow the Libertarian Party to be considered a “major party” for the first time. This really is quite an achievement – one equaled only a few times since our new Constitution was adopted in 1963. And each time (the last being the Reform Party in 1996), two years later that Party was unable to maintain their status.
The two older parties don’t like competition. Maintaining status as a major party is not easy – and that’s why we will be THE FIRST to accomplish that feat this year.
We need your help. The first step for a major party candidate to become qualified for the ballot for Governor is that they must obtain 15,000 signatures. But, there are all kinds of special rules about who and where. Not a big deal for the two old parties, since their nominee will receive over $1 million taxpayer dollars. They buy the signatures they need.
We’re going to do it differently. With organization and the help of our citizens, we hope to be the first “3rd party” to qualify for the ballot a year ahead of time.
Why should we succeed when so many have failed? First and foremost, the public has come to see how many programs and proposals are just a mess right now. From our schools to our roads – from our increasing stressed environment to an overcrowded and dilapidated prison system – Michigan is falling behind.
Let’s follow Gary Johnson’s simple formula. First, we should recognize a few truths:
1. Government tries to do too much.
2. Many of the things we do now are outdated and need reform.
3. Small businesses and entrepreneurs drive growth in our State and we make it harder than needed for these job creators to succeed.
With your help, we will join the conversation. This petition drive will ensure an independent voice – not beholden to either Party or their lobbyists. Help me take another step toward giving Michigan a competitive 3rd voice.
Let’s Come Together Michigan / #MichiganLibertyRising
For our families – For our friends – For the Future ……………
It’s time we revisit the idea of Death with Dignity.
Many years ago, this issue was rightly brought into view by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who courageously fought for the right of individuals to pass from this life on their own terms. I believe, as do Libertarians generally, that each competent adult individual has an absolute right to decide when and how to die. Like so many other issues, interest groups and some media have distorted the realities. Oregon has quietly had a law since 1997.
I hope people take time to read this report and decide for themselves.
Michigan has a spending cap? Most voters don’t know that — but, taxpayer advocate Richard Headlee’s landmark amendment to the Michigan Constitution (Article IX, Section 26) – sets a limit of 9.49% of personal income as the absolute spending limit on our State Government.
The problem is that recent acceleration in spending could make government expansion a key problem down the road.
My “Gelineau Plan” has three key parts:
“Drop the Cap” from the current 9.49% to 8.55% – a 10% reduction. —- Since state spending is now hovering around 8.1% – this is not a radical proposal. But, it is an important proposal to ensure state spending does not revert to the problems we had in the past.
Eliminate the Michigan Strategic Fund.
Legalize marijuana use.
Drop the Cap. Reducing the limit of spending to 8.55% is a necessary first step to tell investors, taxpayers, and the legislature that we don’t want to return to being a high-spending state. With focus on the proper priorities, we can repair our infrastructure, make needed repairs and make needed investments without blowing the budget wide open. This little-known aspect of our budget exists due to the efforts of the late Dick Headlee, who in 1978 spearheaded an effort to ensure that Michigan got off the gravy-boat tax & spend ride it had been on.
The problem is that the limit turns out to still give lots of room for political shenanigans. I hope to bring this issue to light for the legislature to put on the ballot. And, until that occurs, I’ll use the veto pen to help motivate the legislature to see the wisdom of Mr. Headlee’s vision.
Eliminating the Michigan Strategic Fund. This agency wields enormous power within Michigan government. Deciding on tax abatement, distribution of grant funds, loans to developing businesses. This “autonomous agency” operates under the framework of the DTED – but, enormous outlays continue to spend precious taxpayer money on businesses.
Businesses should not be subsidized by the taxpayer. Profitable businesses don’t need and should not get taxpayer subsidy. So-called future businesses should develop their own markets without taxpayer subsidy. Along these lines, we should work to eliminate the Michigan Economic Development Corporation – which manages our state image agency, known for PURE Michigan (a nice sounding name)….it’s mostly PURE B.S.. This is a nice subsidy for the business community – handing out advertising contracts that promote tourism and such. In my view, the business that want customers to buy their products or visit their region should organize together to pay this expense. Most of what this agency does is not the province of government and should be eliminated.
Legalize marijuana use. It’s time we dispense with the failed war on cannabis. Too many of our citizens, especially young people, have had their lives affected by a marijuana conviction. And yet, the marketplace continues to thrive. Let’s get rid of the mindless and expensive prohibition mentality that says we can control all forms of human behavior. I believe that responsible use of marijuana should be treated just like responsible use of alcohol. The logic of this the “King in his castle” theory of law. Adults should be left alone in their own homes, as invited friends homes, or businesses that allow this activity. The State has no interest in preventing the free exercise of this activity.
You can read more on marijuana on my Issue’s Page: Marijuana Policy
April 22, 2018
Bill Gelineau for Governor
There are few items of governance that stir emotions more than discussions of the environment. For some folks, it’s easy to have an intellectual exercise about the ideal rules of how people impact the environment. For others, regulation can be at the core of their ability to make a living or to simply survive.
My purpose here is to offer a clear set of ideas that I would recommend to the legislature and work to build a consensus to pass them. As with other matters, the Governor can express disdain over business as usual with the use of the veto pen. Only on things that a large majority of the legislature is willing to confront will they overcome a veto. So, my goal would be to work with fair-minded legislators who care about clean air and clean water. And to stand in serious opposition to those who disregard those priorities.
Many people perceive Libertarians as masters of cut-cut-cut. However, most understand that pollution and other types of environmental degradation are, essentially, a property rights matter.
It should be understood that it is not my goal to be the “Libertarian Governor”. If given the opportunity to represent my Party, I would use those philosophies as a guide to behavior – and not a set of chains. I pledge to work with others who are currently in other political parties that share the goal of solving problems.
This proposal is not designed to solve all environmental issues – nor am I attempting, without additional counsel, to analyze all the interlocking connections and requirements as laid out in the Environmental Protection Act. However, this is set out as the broad vision of concerns and attempts to address several large issues which have affected our state in the past few years.
The four specific cases and proposals here are involving water quality issues. Our air, food supply, and other areas of our environment are deserving of discussion. But, I’ve made water quality a primary point in the campaign.
The broad areas that I will address in this proposal are covered in three areas;
What role does the State play in ensuring an appropriate environment for all of our people? This includes how the State organizes its relationship with political subdivisions – leadership responsibilities, financial controls, and a long-term plan for sustainability.
How do we organize tax and fee policies to ensure the resources needed to meet the goals laid out? And what moral guideposts matter here to justify such things?
Responsibility and regulation of corporate activity. This is not to say that I’m not concerned about actions of individuals. But, most pollution and other environmental impacts are the result of economic activity in the process of transport or manufacture of products and the consequential risks.
I accept as a premise that economic activity – which broadly has created wealth, opportunity, and the best standard of living in the history of mankind – is generally good. All efforts to regulate should have a balance of impact and responsibilities.
These three ideas really could each be expanded into extensive discussion. But, to aid in explaining how they work together, here are several specific proposals.
My tax and regulation policy on this is as follows. And yes, a Libertarian used the “T” word.
Assuming they meet the guidelines for approval, companies should not be summarily prevented from building or maintaining facilities. However, I believe it is appropriate for the Governor to appoint a commission of interested parties to determine what places, if any, would be designated by the legislature as permanently “out of bounds”. It’s not clear to me that even the Straits would be so designated.
Ultimately, when dealing with major environmental disasters, it comes down to this:
How do we prevent them?
How do we insure that the party causing the problem pays for it?
What do we do when no liable party can be identified?
These are hard issues that challenge not only politicians, but companies, employees, and ultimately the environment itself.
Proposal 1 – Develop a solid list of substances and their risk category
Rather than get bogged down in too much detail, our state should adopt accepted standards of risk for substance contamination. Most of these already exist via EPA standards.
Within current law, the DEQ will identify and categorize risks for use in application of the IFT shown in Proposal 2.
Proposal 2 – Broad application of the Industrial Facilities Tax
Under this proposal, the existing IFT would be utilized to ensure that any company involved in the use, transport, or manufacture of products which contain designated substances would be subject (with very limited exceptions) to the new application of this assessment.
I will submit legislation which would provide for assessments for companies which would be calculated under different possible categories.
Companies in which the value of the designated substances are a significant percentage of their gross sales. (for example, a company that moves oil across the state)
Companies who use small quantities of toxic substances as essential components of their otherwise non-designated products.
Companies in Category A may be assessed some range – perhaps 0.25 to 0.40 % of Gross Sales.
Companies in Category B may be assessed in a range. 2% to 3% of the wholesale cost of the product.
These are not designed to be specific numbers, but rather to point out that the modest number of companies affected could manage this process without inordinate impact.
The last few years have been very generous to business in Michigan. Both State and Federal tax policy has provided enormous breaks – many of which I support as good for economic freedom and opportunity. However, these assessments are not to be seen as taxes – but, rather as user fees needed to ensure that the public is not given the bill for the misuse or accident of the companies involved.
The ultimate goal of this fund is to ensure the necessary resources are available to clean up problems for which no company can be held liable. To often, because companies become insolvent or problems are detected long after a company no longer exists, serious problems go without funding. The IFT Environmental Rehabilitation Fund will be sequestered for these unique purposes.
Proposal 3 – Raise the level of limited liability of any company handling these substances.
I will submit to the legislature a plan to raise the liability limits for companies handling these dangerous products. In doing so, we will require a level of insurance coverage commensurate with the risk activity.
Appropriate mandated insurance liability will result in business handling these toxic substances being pushed by the marketplace to enact best practices for safe handling and maintenance of facilities – thus, reducing the risk of any disaster in the first place.
This is not a new idea. Libertarians have long debated the value (or problems) with limited liability. On balance, society has decided that unlimited liability is unwise and counter-productive. But, thresholds which are too low allow bad actors to escape responsibility.
The entire purpose here is to do two things. 1) Make it less likely that companies involved in serious environmental problems do not simply declare bankruptcy and walk away; and 2) put appropriate insured resources in place to cover the costs of cleanup.
Proposal 4 – Immediately legalize industrial hemp and related products.
Michigan continues to lose out on enormous economic opportunities due to the inability of entrepreneurs to develop hemp as a crop. Many of our largest manufacturers are using imported hemp as a substitute for plastic. Our agricultural sector could benefit from renewed opportunities to compete for this work. Further, hemp as a crop-rotational can help with erosion control and revitalization of soil components. Canadian farms exported almost $150 million in hemp products in 2016. This is a product whose time has come.
The miniscule research projects now permitted in the Dept. of Agriculture will not provide the basis for a competitive hemp industry. It’s time to get the State out of the way and resume our place as a innovative agricultural engine.
Isn’t it time we stop running our State on fear?
We want to do everything reasonable to ensure that companies operating in our state follow accepted practices to PREVENT most environmental problems.
Raising the limit of liability and mandating appropriate insurance as part of our regulatory regimen will help insure that companies will prevent problems from occurring. And, when environmental disaster inevitably occurs, companies held liable will have the resources (insurance) to make the public whole.
Undoubtedly, we’re going to have problems whose cleanup is the responsibility of companies long out of business. The environmental fund recreated by the new IFT will make sure those resources exist to clean up damaged areas.
Lastly, I’d like to explain my vision of how this plan will help solve several problems now being discussed around our state.
Most politicians are unwilling to say out loud in any specific way what to do with these problems. Here are four specific situations and how some these proposals will help.
Line 5 – the Enbridge Corp oil line through the Strait of Mackinac.
There is no more “clear and present danger” to our environment than a possible oil spill in this sensitive area. Information regarding the condition of the Line has changed even in recent weeks – so, I want to explain my proposal more generally.
It may be the case that an Environmental Impact Board might recommend that the Straits simply not allow new underwater facilities. We should be open to the discussion. But, at minimum, we should require Enbridge to engage the best practices to prevent any problems from occurring AND make sure they have the means to make it right should something happen.
PFAS and other “super toxins”.
Some would have you believe that the science on this is incomplete or inconclusive. BUNK. There is no question that there are serious toxins already in our environment that need clean-up.
This plan will work affirmatively to help prevent any new substances being introduced into the environment. Companies will be required to comply with reasonable and yet effective regulation via the insurance market to do all those things which needed to avoid higher premiums. The private market will effectively require better action much the way Underwriter’s Laboratories did for electricity.
The Western Lake Erie Algae Bloom – Agricultural Run-Off
Agriculture is one of the bedrock industries of our state. Even automobiles pale in comparison to the historic, cultural, and sheer volume of value that all levels of this industry create. From forestry to poultry – and from fruit trees to urban farms. We in Michigan grow a lot of stuff. And we do it well.
But, there are serious problems that our legislature has ignored. We do not have checks in place to ensure that drinking water is secure. The Western Lake Erie algae blooms have become an annual occurrence. Pesticides; Animal Waste; Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) – all contribute to water quality issues – in many parts of our state.
Each of these problems would (with designated exceptions) be subject to the Enhanced IFT.
One of the standard for exception might be a family farm with revenue below a certain target in which the animals per acre is below a density. (which is not a license for ignoring current rules preventing flushing waste down the local drain)
The point is that we need to stop pretending that these serious problems will go away.
Flint Water Crisis
The problems in Flint are the by-product of many other problems that have developed over time. This is not a simple problem – but, here are a few solutions that can help prevent new occurrence
Massive municipal water systems. Let’s not fool ourselves – size matters. Large, overgrown systems which become financial dependencies of our cities and counties lead to all kinds of problems. Let’s do this:
Repeal mandatory hook up rules. Home ownership costs are driven by excessive mandate – and individuals do not have the power to manage their ownership in a municipal water system. Let’s encourage private water system ownership. Lake Bella Vista (Rockford area) is a shining example of how private water systems can work.
Cost assessment. Like so many other public sector jobs – people working for these systems should be paid on scale with similar skills in the private sector. Many private systems provide service at a fraction of the price.
Sustainable Infrastructure. Like it or not, some of these aging systems will need to be replaced.
The State can provide planning assistance in organizing financing to get Flint and other cities’ systems up to grade. Ultimately, the citizens of Flint must make choices about priorities – as do every other community in Michigan.
It’s unfortunate to see an “us versus them” mentality among some of people – blaming residents for the malfeasance of the water managers is unacceptable. And it disappoints me to see folks whose local system is working fine not recognize that the individual water user in Flint did not manage their water system any more than they manage theirs.
Let’s find ways to work together toward a solution.
Seeing the whole problem.
Real leaders know that the problems in Flint are repeated on a smaller scale in many parts of Michigan. Learning all the aspects of risk will take a lot more work. I pledge to continue working with others to find practical, workable solutions.
Some of our ideas will be heavily influenced by Libertarian thought, which emphasizes efficient, market-based solutions. These may take years to implement. But, we should rely on fact-based judgment and not rigid philosophy.
Some of these ideas will no doubt send the Libertarian purists into a froth. That’s ok, too. Our goal is to work in a positive direction and find solutions. Hopefully, in time, we prove our worth by engagement and good ideas.
In our Environmental “One” release on Earth Day – 2018, we tackled how to approach some of the issues involving Michigan’s groundwater. As Governor, I promise to understand the balanced demands of a modern economy that includes industrial production, the need for employment, and an uncompromised protection of the health of Michigan citizens.
I’m not running for Governor to be King. Simply a partner with our legislature and others to make rapid and significant improvements to the health and well-being of our State. And this can be done without massive tax increases and the destruction of our economic base. But, only if we stop wasting money – and LOTS of it.
So, the items discussed here ONLY make sense if we have the courage, the focus, and most of all the common sense to make changes in our spending habits.
In this position paper, I’m outlining a plan to provide a new energy future for Michigan. One that protects the environment in substantial and unique ways. It seeks to produce game-changing effects to improve the health of our citizens, open employment opportunities, and all without creating havoc within the business community. I believe we can reach the consensus that MOST residents of our State will support – without a radical shutdown of business activities nor turning a blind eye to the degradation and despoiling of our most precious resources. Please consider the following.
I support commercial viable clean energy initiatives.
This is an important area of contrast with my primary opponent. Mr. Tatar has called for a stoppage of the so-called Smart Meters used by utility companies to measure energy usage. If interested in his argumentation, please check out his website. For me, it’s all bunk.
The American Cancer Society has said that there is no credible evidence that Smart-Meters are the cause of cancer or any idiopathic disorder. Nonetheless, I support the general purpose of the Analog Meter Choice Bill (HB 4220) as fundamental to allowing freedom of choice.
Along with that, the PSC should set alternative rates for such analog devices consistent with the additional costs such devices may impose on service agencies.
Too often, in the run to provide choice, Libertarians have allowed urban legend and conspiratorial thinking to become part of their political mantra.
Our environment MUST be managed using science, and not negative speculation and myth – often generated by businesses seeking to avoid responsibilities. Others try to pretend that climate change is not real. I’m not one of those people.
My BOLD plan to exceed and dwarf the current Renewable Portfolio Standard will be accomplished by the following.
Modification of Act 295 of 2008 to expand authorization for a Feed-In Tariff – reviewed and approved by the PSC and not to exceed 10% of real cost. Unlike the German model, which used much larger cost tariffs, I support a business deduction model in which residential producers can write off and amortize investment like any business.
While my opponent opposes Smart Meters – I would like to see expanded use of 2nd Generation Smart Meters, which are essential to make the FIT work. This will not only help us reach for 30% RPS by 2025, but also will create thousands of good-paying jobs.
The authorization of private-funding corporation specifically to manage longer-term asset attachment for businesses and homeowners hoping to become producers.
The FIT is a key component in European renewable success – which vastly outstrips the pace of American conversion to renewable energy sources.
One of the key reasons to support the FIT is new economic opportunity
An important part of the FIT is the jobs / financial incentives it creates. A FIT-based energy network empowers literally thousands of producers to become independent of the power company – and thus opportunity to cut costs. This is VITAL to bringing rural Michigan into the culture of renewable energy.
Windfarms have provided modest financial benefit to farmers. A substantial commitment to expansive use of solar, wind, and in a lesser extent – hydro capabilities – will induce the industrial financing and locating of production facilities needed to serve millions of potential power producers. It’s key to get the agricultural community on board. I can do that.
The sale, installation, repair and management of an enormous renewable grid will create thousands of good paying jobs.
The key is to create broad consensus across both urban and rural areas and ensure that opportunities are market-based. Market domination by DTE and CEC will mean only a slow change and likely to lose public support. We need to unleash the small entrepreneur as was done in Germany.
The election of a Libertarian – free from the interest group politics that have come to dominate Lansing, will SHOCK not only the State, but the Nation.
The world is changing. We have to use common sense and market-base opportunities to protect our environment. Are electric cars the answer?
I’m not yet convinced that electric vehicles are likely to create significant opportunities to reduce emissions. It’s a capacity / price issue that the marketplace does not support. Tax incentives or other manipulations for automobiles is the wrong approach.
However, electrified mass-transit vehicles and intra-urban modules may be the best tool to take a bite out of not only emissions, but urban congestion. To achieve this and meet market-based prices points, we need to have an “all of the above” strategy.
Rapid implementation of the FIT. (key to increasing production) – We can’t manage the future load expectations to increase ELV unless we expand capacity. Coal plant retirement makes this more vital.
Natural gas conversion of urban fleets: Busses, trash trucks, county plow vehicles, ect.. NG vs. Oil based CO2/mile is a tremendous trade-out that environmentally conscious people should endorse. The Good should not be the enemy of the Perfect.
Hemp-based ethanol production – including the increasing promising indoor multi-level platforms.
Development of electric / renewable only urban turnpikes for point-to-point commuting. We should develop preferential toll-roads.
Electrified mass-transit corridors to reduce urban drive-miles.