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E-M:/ Write-In Candidate for Governor, Finally!

Enviro-Mich message from harvey@ic.net (Craig Harvey)

(FYI - Laingsburg is between Lansing & Flint)


CONTACT: Terry Link  517-651-2005


   A Laingsburg area resident, Terry Link, 48 of Victor Township,
has filed with the Secretary of State's office this week as a
write-in candidate for governor. Mr. Link, a librarian at
Michigan State University, is frustrated with the choices
presented for governor by the two mainstream parties. "The
partisanship from Lansing to Washington is absolutely repugnant,
and both of our candidates are guilty of reveling in it," states
Link. More and more of our citizenry are defaulting on their
right to vote simply because we offer such limited and often
miserable choices. 

   New state election rules, require write-in candidates to file
an affidavit with the Secretary of State's office if the write-in
ballots are to be counted. "I have been waiting for others better
suited than I to step forward and lead the challenge to the
current two party system that has become less and less reflective
of the standards we expect and more and more corrupted by power
and money." Link hopes this last minute candidacy will give
citizens a chance to vote for "None of the Above" while fostering
a dialogue in communities across the state that might lead to
more viable candidates representing a wider array of positions on
the important issues facing us as we move into a new century. 

   Link is not expecting victory. "This effort is not about me,"
claims Link, "rather it is a protest against the corruption and
control of the two party system over how we choose our leaders
and representatives. However, if all citizens do is cast a vote
and wait until the next election cycle to grumble about our
choices, this exercise will have been a failure. We need good
citizens to start talking in their communities about how to
change the system that leads us to these limited and miserable
choices all too often."




   I am tired of hearing so many of my fellow citizens grumbling
about our political choices. I have been waiting for others
better suited than I to step forward and lead the challenge to
the two-party system that has become less and less reflective of
the standards and principles we expect and more and more
corrupted by power and money.

   Our country has grown from a small republic of a few million
stretched along the Atlantic Seaboard, to a vast continent of
more than 260,000,000 diverse people. How can we expect the
resulting diversity of opinion and views to be represented or
reflected by a two-party system? The world cannot simply be
reduced to black and white, Democrat and Republican. These two
parties show no real distinct identity any longer. Platforms when
they are drafted mean little to the candidates. Surely there are
those that run under the labels of any party that have strong
identity and integrity, and who have managed to reject the
corrupting influence of power and money, but they are rare. The
growing partisanship in politics from Lansing to Washington is
absolutely repugnant, and both of our official candidates for
governor are guilty of reveling in it.

   I will not vote for either, and there are no third party
choices this time for which I or others might lodge a protest
vote. So I will vote for myself rather than not vote. But a
single act of protest is not a movement for change unless it
reaches out to others. I have filed with the Secretary of State
to be an official "write-in" candidate so that others who wish to
protest this sad political situation can have their votes
tallied, for new state election rules no longer count write-in
votes unless one files with the Secretary of State. I do not hold
some special gift, or knowledge, or insight; but I repudiate
politics as practiced by these two parties that have dominated
this country for far too long.

   Many people will stay home because of the lack of choices. I
refuse to give up my right to vote, but I also will not vote for
someone I can't believe in. I put my name forward only as a
vehicle for others to join the refrain "None of the Above".
Perhaps by this minuscule step more people will come forward from
their armchairs to change politics from argument to dialogue, to
where diverse views will be given a respectful hearing, and to
where humility will reign in place of arrogance.

   I don't have a planned platform as I wasn't planning to run,
but someone asked me the other day what are the important issues
for me. I would have to say they are education and the
environment. This is not to belittle other issues that need our
attention, like adequate health care or the growing disparity
between the rich and the poor. Rather I see these as areas I know
more than a little about, in which I have invested my own energy
and ideas at the local level, and which hold the promise of
providing preventative measures that will ultimately reduce many
of our other problems.

   This last minute effort is indeed a protest, but if it does
not foster some hope for change, if it does not help awaken and
redirect the frustrations of many of our citizens towards working
together for positive changes in our communities, then it will be
a failure. I urge all of the folks in communities across Michigan
who are frustrated or alienated from how government works, to get
out of the armchairs and talk with their neighbors about how
we're going to change the way we govern ourselves. The journey of
a thousand miles begins with a single step. May this meager step
help us begin that journey.

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