Candidate argues gold, silver the only legal tender in state
GOP primary - Gordon Leitch tried to get the other candidates for governor removed from the ballot
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
http://www.oregonlive.com/metro/oregoni ... xml&coll=7
SALEM -- Gordon Leitch, Republican candidate for governor, surprised state elections workers when he paid his $100 filing fee in gold, handing over five gleaming $20 Double Eagles.
His candidacy was rejected, however, when elections officials were unable to deposit the money in a bank.
"There was just too big a discrepancy" between the cost of the filing fee and the actual value of the gold coins, said Fred Neal, campaign finance manager for the state Elections Division. The state gave back the gold coins.
That was in December. Earlier this month, Leitch was back at the division office, this time with 100 silver dollars to pay his filing fee, plus two other bags containing a total of 1,000 silver dollars to cover the cost of a statement in the Voters' Pamphlet.
Both times, Leitch brought along a photographer with a video camera.
"I've got a record of it," he told The Oregonian. He said he believes gold and silver is the only legal monetary system.
The state accepted the silver dollars, even though they were worth close to $9,000. It took three people to carry the coins to the bank, Neal said.
Leitch is now an official candidate for governor, one of eight running on the Republican ticket in the May 16 primary.
But the story doesn't end there.
Leitch filed a lawsuit, demanding all other candidates for governor be removed from the ballot because only he paid with "legal" tender. He lost. On March 17, a Salem circuit judge threw out the lawsuit as frivolous and ordered Leitch to cover the cost of the state's attorneys' fees.
Leitch, a former U.S. Navy ophthalmologist who lives in Dundee, according to his campaign Web site, now plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court. He said the state and federal constitutions prohibit the use of paper money, a charge the state rejects.
If he's elected governor, he said, he'll help make Oregon the first state to return to a real gold standard in its monetary system.
"I would do what I could to protect the wealth of the people of Oregon," Leitch said. "We'd be the only political outfit in the world dealing in gold."
Harry Esteve: 503-221-8226; email@example.com
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