From the May 2001 Idaho Observer:

Mayoral candidate made lawyers in public office platform issue

MIAMI CITY, Fla. -- In April, 1999, former Dade County Commissioner Mike Calhoun, 74, came out of retirement to run for Mayor of Miami Beach. “I am running for Miami Beach mayor on a one-plank platform: To enforce the Florida Constitution requiring a separation of powers.

Calhoun is one of the founding members of a group that has been instrumental in building a national movement calling for the removal of all lawyers from public service positions in the legislative and executive branches of government.

Though as much as 50 percent of people who hold public office are lawyers, 99.7 percent of the population are non-lawyers.

“We must enforce the separation of powers principle, which James Madison made the cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution,” said Calhoun.

Calhoun believes that the people of this nation must work together to rid our nation of what is tantamount to a lawyer monopoly that has infiltrated all three branches of government.

Calhoun, who was running against incumbent mayor/lawyer Neisen Kasdin, did not win the election, but in the process he was able to dramatically raise public awareness of the issue -- which was the primary intent of his candidacy.

To further the challenge, he took advantage of his candidacy to publicly request that Kasdin and lawyer candidate for Dade county commissioner Martin Shapiro withdraw their bid for public office. Calhoun based his request on separation of powers provisions in the Florida State Constitution.

Dade County Attorney Ron Duvall claimed that Calhoun's claims were frivolous. Duvall stated that he saw no basis to support Calhoun's position that for lawyers to hold public office is a violation of the Florida Constitution.

Calhoun commented that he does not think that the county attorney should be the person authorized to decide the issue -- for reasons that are obvious.

For different reasons several Floridians began campaigning to remove lawyers from non-judicial public offices. The campaign, which has been under way since 1986, is beginning to reach critical mass as discussion of the issue has returned to the Florida Legislature. According to Constitutional Guardian researcher Robert Bertrand, the Florida legislature illegally relinquished its regulatory authority of lawyers to the state Supreme Court in 1949.

Persons who wish to run for public office, even if they have no hope of winning, are encouraged to adopt the “it is illegal for lawyers to hold public office” platform. It is a magnificent way to use the high-profile nature of a political campaign to make people aware that the high cost of everything; the drafting of thousands of laws that become millions of codes, statutes, regulations, ordinances and taxes; and the adversarial relationships between many groups of Americans are the result of lawyers being allowed to gain control of all three branches of government.

See page 14 for information on how to proceed with such a campaign.

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