So you’ve decided to sign the U.S. Term Limits (USTL) Pledge. Congrats! Term limits is the most popular issue in America (82% support) and is sure to give your campaign a big boost. Due to IRS and FEC rules, it is your campaign’s responsibility to organize, host and pay for a term limits signing event. This includes travel and lodging expenses incurred by the USTL representative.
What you’ll need:
- The candidate’s signed USTL pledge scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance.
- A venue in your state’s largest media market (hotel breakout rooms work well)
- A room that can accommodate 10-15 reporters
- Backdrop banner with campaign logo
- Blown up copy of exact copy of USTL Pledge
- Easel for large pledge to be placed on
- Sharpies for signing
- A USTL representative
- The candidate
- Choose a date between Monday and Thursday for your event, either late morning or early afternoon.
- Two days before event, send out statewide media advisory billing it as a “big and special announcement” by the campaign. Spell out event location and time clearly for reporters. No spoilers – no mentioning term limits!
- As reporters enter the room, hand them a press release announcing your candidate has signed the USTL pledge, along with positive term limits quotes from the candidate and from USTL (we will work with you in advance on this release). If opponent is a career politician and/or against term limits, release should also feature quotes questioning that person’s record.
- Here’s the sequence we recommend once the event starts:
- Candidate speaks on term limits for 5-10 minutes, announces she/he is signing the pledge and deeply committed to restoring a citizen legislature with term limits. If opponent is a careerist/against term limits, candidate should highlight opponent’s anti-term limits voting record/stance. Candidate then turns it over to a USTL rep.
- USTL rep gives supporting information about term limits, explains how the pledge gets us closer to our goal and praises the candidate for championing term limits.
- Candidate returns to podium and announces he will now sign the pledge.
(Please note, the candidate must send his signed 8.5 x 11 pledge in to USTL in advance; this is a re-enactment on the blown-up version for the cameras)
- Candidate signs the blown-up pledge in front of the cameras. USTL rep signs on the witness line.
- (Optional) Candidate and USTL rep field questions from the media
Term Limits Talking Points
Don’t we already have term limits? It’s called elections.
It would be great if we could just vote the incumbent out. The reality is that congressional members have an insurmountable advantage of power and money that virtually guarantees a lifetime of re-elections.
If I sign on to term limits, must I term limit myself?
No. This is not a self-limit nor a call for term limits on state legislatures. This is term limits for career politicians in Washington, D.C. Our goal is to implement compulsory term limits NOT voluntary term limits.
Wouldn’t supporting Congressional Term Limits put inexperienced officials in charge?
With term limits on Congress, more seats could be filled with experienced state and local legislators as well as citizens from within the communities represented.
Won’t term limits put lobbyists and bureaucrats in charge?
Lobbyists oppose term limits because they hate losing their investment in lawmakers. Career politicians, not term limits, have produced the world’s biggest bureaucracy in DC.
Won’t term limits hurt my state?
Term limits level the “seniority” playing field so that the balance of power is more equal to all states. Leadership positions will be based on merit instead political favors and corruption.
Term Limits Convention Talking Points
The Supreme Court already ruled that states may not limit their own Congress members. Isn’t it unconstitutional?
SCOTUS ruled that qualifications for congress are defined by the Constitution. States may propose and ratify amendments. Adding term limits in the Constitution as a qualification for office will make it constitutional.
What will stop the convention from modifying the rest of the Constitution?
The convention may only propose amendments. Delegates are commissioned by state legislatures to remain within the scope of the application submitted to Congress by 2/3 of the states. States have the power to pass commissioning resolutions that bind the delegates to specific commissions.
Per Article V, to become part of the Constitution, 38 states must ratify the amendment, a fairly high bar protecting our governing document. A convention is just another way to propose amendments. Congress itself has asserted this power for thousands of proposals but only 27 have been ratified thus far.
Why would Congress ever approve a term limits amendment?
Article V was penned by our framers specifically to allow the states to bypass Congress and amend the Constitution without the permission of the federal legislative branch.
Haven’t we already approved term limits as part of another Article V resolution?
Because 34 states must apply with the same language, it is far easier to pass a resolution devoted to a single topic.
Why isn’t the length of terms specified?
Similar to the above answer, it is easier to garner support if the language of the amendment is up to the delegates of the Article V convention.