Prepare to Vote: Libertarian Candidate for Governor Bill Gelineau Joins Detroit Today

“We don’t need to raise taxes. What we do need to do is set better priorities.”

Pat Batcheller

In two weeks, Libertarians will have their first primary ever in Michigan.

Gary Johnson’s campaign in 2016 — and the dissatisfaction with the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates — helped Libertarians capture more than five percent of the total votes cast in the election. In Michigan, that means a party can hold a primary two years later.

The last time a third party held a primary in Michigan was in 1998, two years after Ross Perot’s Reform Party did well enough to get ballot access.

With this opportunity, a third party could emerge to give Americans and Michiganders more choice at the ballot box.

The two Libertarian candidates for governor include Bill Gelineau, a Grand Rapids businessman and two-time chairman of the Michigan Libertarian Party, and John Tatar, a retired teacher and carpenter. 

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Bill Gelineau on his platform and leadership style.



“I don’t believe any of the Democrats or Republicans have an honest plan to fix the roads.”

Gelineau’s Plan to fix the roads including issuing bonds to provide adequate resources for fixing the roads and using $750 million from the annual Michigan Department of Corrections budget. With Gelineau’s prediction that voters will legalize marijuana, the corrections department won’t need that money.


“When the voters approve recreational marijuana, I have said that I would immediately put together a board to provide clemency to anyone in the system who has not committed a violent crime.”


“I am ashamed of some of the ways that our schools have decayed. One of the priorities that I feel is important is we need to restore the level of counselors. When I went to school here in Michigan, we had about three times as many counselors per student.”

“We’ve got a teenage suicide crisis. We’ve got drug problems and we’ve got more pressures than ever for kids to make choices and to be identified when they’ve got those stresses. And I think counselors is one of things that we can do to make a difference.”


“Governments should not be funding to promote business. You know, big business is always the benefactor of these kinds of charades the government does. And small business don’t really benefit from it.

“We should never ever be expecting a single mother in any of our cities, who is struggling to put food on the table and to get to her job, to subsidize businesses that make money. If they can’t make money by doing the kinds of things that other businesses do, Pure Michigan shouldn’t be subsidizing them.”

mental health

“Particularly when we talk about the prison system and the number of people that are in the prison system that need mental health services and this is just indicative again of priorities. And so when I talk about pushing away from crony capitalism and the subsidies for corporations, it’s really talking about the fact that mental health and schools are some of things that the public has decided are important.”

environmental issues

“There’s a little-known tax out there called the industrial facilities tax that I would apply more broadly to companies that handle toxic substances. So we can go after some of the problems that we have created when you look at Line 5, when you look at some of the algae blooms, lots of really important issues that take time to understand and discuss.

“The Industrial Facilities Tax is an existing tax that can be applied appropriately at a very low level. We really need to go after the 7,000 chemicals and toxic sites that there are in Michigan. And I don’t hear the other parties talking about that at all.”

leadership style

“I’m different from my opponent in that I use Libertarian views to inform me. They do not control me. I don’t see that we need to make radical changes until we show people that we’ve earned it.”

“I am what’s called a public square libertarian, which means there’s a difference between what you do as a king in your castle and what you do in the public square. And as Jefferson said, the only purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens.”

To hear more from Gelineau on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.


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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.