Nick Tomboulides: The king is dead. Hi, I’m Nick Tomboulides. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms, the official podcast of the term limits movement for the week of August 16th, 2021.[music]
Stacey Selleck: Your sanctuary from partisan politics.[music]
Nick Tomboulides: Governor Andrew Cuomo is out of office, his public reputation collapsed under the weight of scandal, and he has announced his resignation. What does the Cuomo saga tell us about term limits and what could be coming next for New York State? We’ll have all that and more this week on No Uncertain Terms. So Andrew Cuomo has resigned, and my first question is, “Does this really shock anyone?” I’ll be honest with you, when it comes to these politicians who’ve held power for a really long time, I rarely ever hear someone say, “You know what, he was a perfect gentleman.” They never say that. It’s often, “He was hitting on his aides, he was harassing people, he was making inappropriate comments,” because they are so drunk on power that they believe they can get away with this stuff, their egos are that big. They spend their entire lives being lied to, their egos are always being stroked, and they come to believe they walk on water, that they can get away with anything. And Andrew Cuomo, he’s no exception to that.
Nick Tomboulides: And with Cuomo, he was doing a lot of terrible stuff. He was sexually harassing his staff. He was sexually harassing state troopers, he even sexually harassed the doctor who gave him the COVID test. That’s the lowest of the low. So he’s finally resigning now after nearly three terms, he had one year left on his governorship. There was gonna be an election next year, I don’t anticipate he will be running in that election. He is leaving office with $18 million in the bank, and you have to wonder whether that is for a future campaign or for his attorney’s fees, because he’s now in a lot of trouble legally. And this is an end of an era, because 19 million New Yorkers now, they have spent the last 23 of the last 40 years living under a governor named Cuomo. Andrew’s father Mario did three terms in the ’80s and early ’90s, and Andrew nearly completed three terms. And that is possible only because New York is one of just 14 states with no term limits for governors. In fact, Cuomo was actively raising money for a fourth term when this scandal first broke. So it’s obviously sad, but not surprising, and this is not his only scandal. He is also accused of abusing his power by getting his family members special access to COVID tests and treatments very early on in the pandemic.
Nick Tomboulides: He was caught, as many people know, covering up COVID deaths in nursing homes because his state, under his leadership, foolishly sent COVID positive patients into nursing homes, I think for an entire month, and then they undercounted those deaths by 50%. They underreported the COVID deaths, which is just an unconscionable thing to do in this day and age, and they admitted that they did it for political reasons. So there are bribery investigations into this guy, his campaign manager is doing six years in prison for bribery. Cuomo is also under FBI investigation for protecting his political donors from COVID wrongful death lawsuits. And on top of that, he just published a book called, “Leadership Lessons During a Pandemic.” [chuckle]
Nick Tomboulides: So, he’s not only one of the worst governors in America, but also one of the least self-aware, and he has become a poster child for term limits at this point. And that is exactly what a group of New Yorkers is looking to accomplish. There is a new group on the scene in New York State called, “Term Limit the New York Governor,” which has sprung up, and they are calling for eight-year term limits on the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, and the Comptroller. You have to throw those offices in too, because they have had scandals in recent years as well. I think their last Attorney General was like biting people or something like that, he was going around biting people. These New York politicians are completely unhinged and you have to start asking, “When is enough, enough?”
Speaker 3: This is a public service announcement.[music]
Nick Tomboulides: New US Term Limits State Chair in Tennessee, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has hit the ground running, making several media appearances in his first week. Here’s Mayor Jacobs on Nashville’s News Channel 5 OpenLine recently.
Speaker 4: There’s an organization, US Term Limits. Now, our guest is gonna be Glenn Jacobs, he is the Knox County Mayor. He is Chair of Tennessee for Congressional Term Limits. He also, quite interestingly, is a three-time world champion in World Wrestling Entertainment as the infamous Kane, so that’s kind of the elephant in the room. We’ll talk less about that, but many of you may know him from that. He is now currently the Mayor of Knox County. This US Term Limits, they’re trying to get it passed, obviously, across the entire country. It’s popular among Democrats, it’s popular among Republicans, and yet, it has not happened. They have State Chairs, and that is what Glenn Jacobs is, he is the State Chair for Tennessee for Congressional Term Limits, and that’s sponsored by US Term Limits. What is US Term Limits? How likely is it that we could ever have term limits?
Glenn Jacobs: Well, it’s not very likely at all if Congress has their way, and that’s what US Term Limits is all about. It’s an organization dedicated to imposing term limits on Congress through the use of Article Five Convention, which is a convention of the states actually proposing amendments in the United States Constitution. In this case, one that would term limit Congress.
Speaker 4: So there are a couple of ways this could happen, that we could actually have term limits.
Glenn Jacobs: So according to the Constitution, Article Five of the Constitution allows two ways to amend the Constitution. One is that Congress can do it themselves by a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and the House, and then that legislation, that proposed amendment would go to the states which would have to be ratified by three quarters of the state legislature. The other way is that the states could do it themselves by two-thirds of the states calling for a specific amendment, a US Term Limit for Congress amendment. The states would send delegates and they would look at the proposed amendment and the language, and then come to an agreement, send that proposed amendment back to the state legislatures for a three quarter of the state’s ratification. And Congress has no reason to term limit themselves, so I believe, as well as many other people and the folks at US Term Limits that the only way that we are ever going to get Congress term limited, which I do believe is important, is if the States through Student Article Five Convention and make Congress term limit…
Speaker 4: And so you said we have Congress people in Tennessee. They’re signed on to this, and you said it’s overwhelmingly popular. I believe that certainly polls would indicate that it is popular, and so if you’re gonna get elected, you need to sign on to this. If these people are signing on to it, it seems like you wouldn’t be too far away from getting that two-thirds support in Congress. Do you have any idea where you are on that?
Glenn Jacobs: You can go to termlimits.com, and they have a list of the signers of the Pledge there. This effort of getting the states call convention, I think could also compel Congress to propose an amendment themselves as well. So either way, it would be great to see Term Limits enacted.[music]
Nick Tomboulides: So the goal here would be they want to amend the New York State Constitution. That would make New York the 37th state with term limits on Governor and this would require support from the legislature as well as a vote of the people. And you might be thinking, “How is the legislature going to pass this? Don’t politicians hate term limits?” Well, yes and no. They hate term limits on themselves, of course, on their own seats, they don’t like that, but they don’t mind term limits on other politicians. “Yeah, term limits for that guy is fine, just don’t term limit me.” That’s how most legislators think, and we have some precedent for this. If you remember last year, the Missouri legislature put term limits on the ballot for state-wide officials similar to what is being attempted in New York right now. They did that while trying to repeal the limits on their own seats at the exact same time. Talk about hypocrisy. That’s like an Olympic gold medal level of hypocrisy, but there is precedent though. We’ve seen it before, we just saw it in Missouri, as you know, there are 36 other states that have term limits for Governor, so New York is actually a little bit of an outlier.
Nick Tomboulides: A little bit unusual, not to have term limits on your Governor, and there are some other states in New England and the northeast that are like that, but New York is one of them, it certainly has the biggest and deepest corruption problem. As you know, the State Assembly Speaker and the Senate President in most states, those guys have ambitions. They wanna run for Governor or Attorney General or Lieutenant Governor, so it’s in their self-interest to help create open seats, to create opportunities for themselves to move up to vie for these seats so they don’t have to run against an incumbent. But the bottom line here is, there is no time like the present. Rahm Emanuel had that famous quote, ‘Never let a crisis go to waste.’ I think he meant that in a bad way, but here, this Cuomo crisis is an opportunity to do the right thing to go ahead, pass term limits, strike while the iron is hot and protect the 19 million people who live in New York State, who deserve a whole lot better than career politicians like Andrew Cuomo. So this is a developing story, stay tuned. We are trying to arrange an interview with the folks at Term Limit, the New York Governor, she can learn a lot more about what they are all about.
Scott Tillman: Hello, this is Scott Tillman, the National Field Director with US Term Limits. We have not yet entered election season, but candidates are already getting registered to run for office. The registration process is different in every state, and some states candidates register with the Secretary of State and another is with the County Clerk. In some states, they pay a fee, and in others, they must gather nominating petitions. This is true of both Congressional candidates and State Legislative candidates, and it makes it difficult for us to get a thorough list of all the candidates until after the candidate filing deadline, but we like to approach candidates earlier than that. We like to approach them as early in the process as possible, so we’re out there seeking people who are running for Office. We’ve already identified over a 1000 new candidates who are running for Congress and several hundred who are running for State Legislature. We ask Congressional candidates to sign the US Term Limits Pledge to co-sponsor and vote for the US Term Limits Amendment of three House terms and two Senate terms, and no longer a limit. Over 120 Congressional candidates have already signed this pledge in 2021.
Scott Tillman: Our pledge season is just getting started and we need your help collecting pledges from candidates and incumbents. You can follow us on Facebook to see all the recent signers in your state and to keep up with Term Limits news in your area. And you can contact me at email@example.com, that’s S-T-I-L-L-M-A-N@termlimits.com for instructions on how to contact candidates in your area and ask them to sign the Term Limits Pledge. Help the movement by taking action to help us put term limits on Congress now.[music]
Philip Blumel: Thanks for joining us for another episode of ‘No Uncertain Terms.’ The Term Limits Convention Bills are moving through the state legislatures. This could be a breakthrough year for the Term Limits movement. To check on the status of the Term Limits Convention Resolution in your state, go to termlimits.com/takeaction. There you will see if it has been introduced and where it stands in the Committee process on its way to the floor vote. If there’s action to take, you’ll see a ‘Take Action’ button by your state. Click it. This will give you the opportunity to send a message to the most relevant legislators, urging them to support the legislation. They have to know you’re watching. That’s termlimits.com/takeaction. If your state has already passed the Term Limits Convention Resolution or the Bill has not been introduced in your state, you can still help. Please consider making a contribution to US Term Limits. It is our aim to hit the reset button on the US Congress, and you can help. Go to termlimits.com/donate. Termlimits.com/donate. Thanks, we’ll be back next week.[music]
Stacey Selleck: Find us on most social media at US Term Limits, like us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and now TikTok.[music]