By Scotty Boman, Editor
Lansing, MI – The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) had their Annual meeting on June 21st in Lansing. It was supposed to include 5-minute speeches from each of the primary election candidates for Governor. There are three parties in the primary, but candidates from only two parties were invited to speak at the forum. Libertarians Bill Gelineau and John Tatar were shut out.
In the days leading up to the event, news reports and website confirmation showed that the SBAM planned an event on June 21, in which “the 7 candidates for Governor” would be given an opportunity to present to the conference, and Libertarians had not been invited.
The Michigan Libertarian contacted SBAM President Robert Fowler and asked why they chose to exclude the candidates of only one of the three parties who are in the primaries. He said that he didn’t see Libertarians as viable, even though each Libertarian had collected more signatures than some of the invited candidates. He said the Libertarian candidates would be briefly introduced if they were there.
John Tatar already had a busy schedule of other appearances, but Bill Gelineau attended as a guest.
When it became clear that the SBAM wasn’t going to let him speak, Gelineau made a last minute decision to buy tickets for himself and his team. He also ran a Facebook live broadcast from the event and snagged a quick interview with Tim Skubick.
In addition to getting introduced and hearing a couple of “let him speak” shouts to the podium, Gelineau said his team distributed about 400 pieces of literature and he shook every hand he could.
Gelineau said, “I met with each of the 7 R’s and D’s in casual conversation. The only one of whom that wasn’t pleasant was Gretchen Whitmer, who simply said ‘I know who you are’ in a nasty voice.” He went on to say, “Many of the folks we talked to at the tables came up to me as they were leaving to shake my hand, offer some encouragement, and let me know they’re going to push the SBAM to include me in their general election vetting.”
Prior to the event, Libertarians made phone calls in protest. They made an impression. According to Gelineau, the key admin assistant said, “We get group calls all the time…and lots of folks are nasty. The LP callers were the most polite we’ve ever seen.”
Lansing, MI – Libertarian John Tatar was one of only five primary candidates for governor to speak at a June 20th gun rally; the other four were Republicans. The event, held at the Michigan Capitol, was called the “Second Amendment March” and was organized by Freedom Firearms co-owner Joel Fulton of Battle Creek.
Tatar team member Ernie Speck commented on a Facebook photo, “My friend retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Tatar speaking at the Second Amendment March rally state at the Michigan Capitol Lansing. John is a candidate of Governor for the state of Michigan. John is a statesman, and by the reaction of the crowd his speech was the best received by those attending.”
Tatar said, “We made quite a stir. By the way, the only one who spoke with any length of speech was Colbeck. Schuette made an appearance. The others said a few words.”