Candidate Condemns Legislation and Legislators

“Election law is written by incumbent politicians, and sometimes they act as if elections would run so much more smoothly if the law kept anyone from running against incumbents,” says one politician.

Libertarian candidate and office-holder Frank Gilbert is criticizing Act 1471 of 2013 and the legislators who passed it.

According to Gilbert, the new law prohibits him and others from doing what he did in 2012 – run for two positions in the same election. He ran a distant third for the District 13 state senate seat, but was elected Constable of Dekalb Township in Grant County.

Act 1471 says, “A person shall not run for election for more than one (1) state, county, or municipal office if the elections are to be held on the same date.”

Gilbert believes the legislation was written to keep him from seeking reelection and at the same time campaigning for another statewide or district race. “When I ran for the state senate in ’12, it was an effort to get the Libertarian Party and its message of limited government before more voters,” he said. “This year I intended to try to keep my constable position and at the same time run for a larger office to expose more voters to the Libertarian message,” he concluded.

Gilbert is seeking the Libertarian nomination for Governor, but said that he would have run for state representative if he lost that nomination.

“Dozens of elective positions across the state are unfilled and scores of incumbents face no opposition,” Gilbert said, “so claims that they are trying to keep from cluttering the ballot are absurd.” Likewise, he rejects the notion that Act 1471 will save money for the state.

“Some legislators claim that special elections might be required if someone won two positions in the same election,” said Gilbert. “I would be happy to pay for a special election in Dekalb Township if I’m elected Governor. Again, some politicians act as if elections are messy and expensive and we ought to just do away with all elections and let them handle it for us,” he concluded.

According to Gilbert there were other instances where legislators used their power to further their own agendas rather than work for the citizens.

“They have a sneaky attempt to extend their term limits hidden in the so-called ethics amendment they have put on the ballot this year,” he said. “They also changed the procedures for Libertarians, independents and minor party candidates to get on the ballot. In effect everyone but Dempublicans and Republicrats have to show their cards before the old parties have their primaries. All these changes are designed to protect themselves from competition and irate voters.”

Gilbert said he expects legal challenges to at least one of the laws and believes this kind of self-serving legislation should be an issue in upcoming elections. He certainly plans to make it an issue.