Candidate Tanton

By Rick Oltman
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 30, Number 1 (Fall 2019)
Issue theme: "John Tanton: His Life and Legacy (1934-2019)"

In September 1999, Dr. Tanton announced that he was exploring the possibility of running for the U.S. Senate in Michigan.* Shortly after his announcement, we were both in Washington, D.C., and I asked him a crucial question.

I had by that time run two candidate campaigns and a ballot initiative campaign in California. I had been to more than one campaign school where I learned the first question to ask a candidate. And knowing the intense, hateful treatment he would most certainly have to endure, I asked Dr. Tanton, “Are you sure to want to put you and your family through this?”

He replied, with that reassuring smile and calm, matter-of-fact tone, “Well, I think the country is worth it, don’t you?”

Dr. Tanton has also said, “Limiting immigration, and hence population growth, is our duty if we care to pass our national estate on to our successors in livable condition.”

I think this is the type of thoughtful, mature, and patriotic analysis that all Americans should apply to every bit of our national behavior, especially and particularly that of our immigration policy, don’t you?

* In the event, Mark Forton, a U.S. Army and 35-year automotive industry veteran, ran as the U.S. Senate candidate for the Michigan Reform Party. Mass-immigration enthusiast, Sen. Spencer Abraham (R), lost his bid for re-election to the Senate in 2000.

About the author

Rick Oltman, a frequent contributor to The Social Contract, has worked for immigration reform for almost twenty years. He has lobbied in Washington, D.C., and in dozens of state capitals for secure borders and immigration enforcement. He has been featured on the PBS News Hour, MSNBC Reports, CNN, Lou Dobbs, Anderson Cooper 360, and the FOX Business Channel and FOX News Channel. In 1994 Rick was Chairman of the YES ON 187-SAVE OUR STATE campaign supporting Proposition 187. In 2004 Rick worked with Arizona activists to qualify Proposition 200, Arizona’s state initiative that required proof of citizenship when voting or applying for public benefits. Prop 200 won with 57 percent of the vote.

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