Editors note: Voters in the 3rd Congressional District have a choice beyond the Republican or Democratic candidate. Today, the Herald looks at three non-major party candidates.
By Joe Hanel
Herald Denver Bureau
Gregory Gilman thinks the best thing Congress could do is read and write.
Gilman is the Libertarian candidate for the 3rd Congressional District. It is the first political race for the electrical engineer turned farmer.
I think the biggest problem we have is probably Congress itself, Gilman said. I think Congress is probably a failed institution, and we need to work on rebuilding it.
He endorses Downsize D.C., a group with Libertarian links that is promoting four bills to reform Congress. The bills would:
b Require members of Congress to write their own bills, and forbid executive branch employees from writing bills.
b Require all bills to be read out loud before each chamber of Congress. Every member would have to sign a sworn affidavit that he or she read the bill before voting.
b Limit bills to one subject.
b Require Congress to point to the specific part of the Constitution that gives the authority to pass a bill. This bill is called the Enumerated Powers Act, and it has the support of Republican candidate Scott Tipton, as well.
Gilman is campaigning actively across the Western Slope, and he is pitching the Libertarian Party as an alternative to both major parties.
It stands for economic freedom, which is typically right, and also personal freedom, which is typically left, Gilman said.
The Libertarians are Colorados third-largest party, with more than 13,000 registered voters. Still, they are far outnumbered by Democrats and Republicans, with more than 1 million voters each. Unaffiliated voters also number more than 1 million.
Although he feels his message fits well with the tea party movement, it hasnt always been easy to get support or get invited to debates and forums.
It really fractures the conservative side of the equation because you get into the spoiler role, Gilman said.
Gilman was born in Greeley and got a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He completed a fellowship at Stanford University and worked as an engineer and manager his whole career.
He moved to Custer County in 2007, where he is following a family tradition of farming.
His website is www.gilman2010.com.