Nick Tomboulides: Billboards, they are not just for sleazy lawyers anymore. US Term Limits has entered the billboard business, and it’s big business because a big billboard has gone up in Georgia’s third congressional district, and it says Congressman Drew Ferguson broke his term limits pledge. I have Scott Tillman, USTL national field director here to discuss this shocking story of a politician not keeping his word. Scott, tell us what’s happening out there.
Scott Tillman: So occasionally, you look for ways to get a congressman’s attention at the same time as looking for the ways to get attention of constituents in the district, and there’s lots of different ways that you can go about that, but one way that we are trying right now with Drew Ferguson in Georgia is to actually put up a billboard alerting his constituents to the fact that Mr. Ferguson has not honored his term limits pledge. Mr. Ferguson signed the term limits pledge back in 2016 when he was in a very contentious primary running and went out and let people know that he was going to co-sponsor, vote for, and support the US Term Limits amendment three house terms, two senate terms, no longer limit, and when he first got into Congress, he did, but something changed, and now Mr. Ferguson is not co-sponsoring and supporting the amendment as he pledged that he would.
Scott Tillman: So to alert his constituents in his district that Mr. Ferguson had made this promise and that he was not honoring it, we decided that we put up a billboard. We put this billboard in Newnan, Georgia, and it has gotten a lot of responses, both positive and negative from people who would like Mr. Ferguson to do what he’s supposed of saying, and then of course, Mr. Ferguson doesn’t want people to know that he has not honored his pledge, so there’s a little bit of negative coming from that way, but that’s what we did, and normally, you don’t see a lot of billboards of this type, but we think it’s important that people know and the response that we’ve got and the amount of media coverage shows that this is an important issue that people do wanna know about, and Mr. Ferguson should let us know what his stance is going to be going forward.
Nick Tomboulides: Yeah, I’ve noticed this has been making waves and making headlines in the district, some of Ferguson’s staffers have seen it. I’m sure he is aware of it. We’ve got newspapers, The Newnan newspaper has already written about it, and I know there are some other stories in the pipeline. So Ferguson signed the pledge in 2016. Right?
Scott Tillman: He did, he signed it, I think in May of 2016 when he was running for office, and of course, he won that primary and then it was elected in the general in November of 2016.
Nick Tomboulides: And he sponsored the resolution in 2017, but that was the last time we heard anything from him on term limits. He has been basically breaking his pledge since that first term.
Scott Tillman: Yeah, he did. He came on and co-sponsored it in March of 2017, but then since then, we’ve reached out to his office many, many times, and we reached out to his staff, communicated with his staff, and all the feedback, and responses that we’ve got was that Mr. Ferguson was not going to take action to get on the board.
Nick Tomboulides: There’s a common misconception with us as a term limits group that we love to go to war with politicians. Well, maybe sometimes that’s true, but most of the time, what we actually do is we will use diplomacy to the fullest extent before we decide to talk to constituents about an elected official breaking their pledge, so as you noted in the case of Ferguson, we called his office over and over and over again. We tried to arrange meetings with him in Washington DC, just to simply tell him, “Sir, you sign the pledge to get on this resolution, it’s HJR-12 sponsored by Ralph Norman and you have not followed through.” So we always use diplomatic channels before we decide to go out into a district and inform constituents, and there’s already a news article on this, as we said, from The Newnan newspaper. And there’s a quote in there from the communications director for Congressman Ferguson. He has responded to the billboard and he has said this, “Congressman Ferguson has previously co-sponsored the term limit legislation in question, and has certainly never voted against it as it has never come to the floor for a vote. Representative Ferguson also previously communicated to the group behind the billboard on many occasions that if a version of the legislation that can actually move forward is ever devised, he will happily and wholeheartedly support it.” That is from his staffer.
Nick Tomboulides: So I find this amazing because their answer is, he has previously co-sponsored it as in four years ago, right? That doesn’t explain why he isn’t co-sponsoring it now. That’s like a person saying, “Oh, I’ve been faithful in the past.” Well, are you now? Are you being faithful now? There’s no time like the present to keep one’s word. And this line is very suspicious. The staffer there says, “If a version of the legislation that can actually move forward is ever devised, he will happily support it.” Well, a version has been devised. It’s called House Strength Resolution 12 and it’s been introduced by Ralph Norman. So what’s the problem, why is Drew Ferguson not on the bill?
Scott Tillman: Yeah. And there’s a mere bill in the Senate, so it’s not like there’s no Senate version of this to go forward. What we do know is that Mr. Ferguson is in line for leadership potentially, and he’s been discussed in leadership, and we know that it sometimes takes multiple sessions for stuff to get enough momentum to pass, and by not co-sponsoring when he said that he would, Mr. Ferguson is really keeping the number of co-sponsors down in this bill, so that it won’t get a floor hearing, it won’t get a committee hearing, and it won’t get a vote. If he’s acting in good faith, he would get out there in front of it, get on this bill and encourage others to get on this bill, so that we could move this bill, and he’s clearly not.
Speaker 3: This is a public service announcement.
Philip Blumel: Mark Levin is a lawyer, talk show host, and author of the number one New York Times best seller, ‘The Liberty Amendments.’ In this book, Levin touts specific constitutional amendments including term limits, and because this reforms strike at the self-interest of Congress recommends the use of the convention process laid out in Article 5 of the US Constitution to implement them. Here are excerpts from an interview with Levin by Sean Hannity on Fox News when the book was released.
Mark Levin: Article 5 is very, very important. It is the only way that we have today that I am aware of, and if somebody has a different idea than they ought to put it on the table, for the American people in a civil, legal, constitutional, thoughtful way to work with their state legislatures over time, not tomorrow, to begin the process of reclaiming their Republic. Otherwise, the centralized decisions by a handful of governing masterminds are not only gonna continue, they’re gonna become additionally coerces, unlike our opponents who he evade the constitution, who eviscerate the constitution, try and figure out ways to centralize the government as much as they can in violation of the constitution.
Mark Levin: I’m saying those of us who believe in individual liberty and private property rights and the rule of law and the constitution, need to look at the constitution for answers, and it provides one under Article 5, two methods for amending the constitution, but that second method is not radical, it’s not weird, it’s there because the framers put it there and they put it for a reason. In this instance, it’s two-thirds of the states calling a convention for the purpose of amending the constitution, proposing amendments, and George Mason insisted on it and got the support of the other members, the other delegates to the constitutional convention. He said, look, if Congress turns oppressive, if the federal government turns oppressive, what is recourse other than violence, we have to have a way for this to be addressed, and his recourse was the states would get together as they often did as they did to give birth to the nation and propose these amendments and you still need three-fourths of them to approve them.
Sean Hannity: But there’s been 27 amendments, but only the one method has been used.
Mark Levin: Right.
Sean Hannity: You write at length in many ways, how our framers in particular foresaw that this day would come.
Mark Levin: It is intended to prevent what’s happening today, this centralized concentrated power of government, a handful of lawyers on the supreme court issuing edicts, a President of the United States legislating and ruling by fiat, congress getting involved in every aspect of our lives. All of this is contrary to the constitution. And so we have to accept the fact that this is a post-constitutional period, and when you look at ObamaCare as an example, as I’ve talked about, Congress passed a law, they had no power to pass, the President signed a law he had no power to sign, the supreme court contorted the constitution, amended the constitution, if you will, and imposed it on us, and now, we’re being told, that’s it, folks. We can’t defund it. You’re stuck with it. There’s nothing you can do about it. And I’m saying “The hell with that.” There are things we can do about it, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but the more our government legislates and operates like this, the worse it’s gonna get. The barriers, the firewalls to the Constitution had been breached.
Nick Tomboulides: The bill that Ralph Norman introduced is the three-term limit in the house. And the two-term limit in the senate. It is the exact version that Ferguson promised in writing that he would support. So as you said, the staffer is implying that Ferguson’s not supporting it because it’s not moving forward, but maybe it’s not moving forward because you’re not supporting it. Right? Like what came first, the chicken or the egg?
Scott Tillman: Mr. Ferguson has figured out that now since he’s elected, he’s protected by incumbency, and this is the issue why we need term limits because representatives make campaign promises and then they get to Washington and they don’t honor those campaign promises. Mr. Ferguson got to Washington and we know that he is not honoring his term limits promise, but what else did he promise to people that he is choosing not to honor? He has gone to Washington and decided that he knows best and is not gonna do what he tells people that he’s gonna do, that he’s gonna keep some sort of a secret agenda that he’s going to honor on his own, not alert people to, not talk about. He won’t communicate with us about why he’s not on there. He just has staff communicate with us. He made this pledge. He signed it, he put pen to paper, he should speak up and explain to his constituents why he is not on the bill as he pledged to be, that’s a promise.
Nick Tomboulides: You know Scott, we see the same scenario playing out so often all over the country, whether it’s congressional races or state legislative races for local candidates who say one thing about term limits when they run for office, and then they do something completely different once they’re secure, once they are incumbents. And you have to wonder, why is it that they never want to get on a soapbox and brag about changing their position, about flip-flopping and going against term limits. You know, you think they would be proud of that position, you think that they would wanna shout from the rooftop. Shout from the mountain tops, “I’m against term limits now.” Never happens. Hasn’t happened once. They do the opposite, what they do is they try to conceal, they try to hide their position, they hate when some group comes into the district and is exposing this to their constituents. Why is that? It’s because it’s an 82% issue. It’s because over four in five Americans support this, and they know that they could be jeopardizing their support in the district if this were known.
Scott Tillman: Mr. Ferguson made this promise, he understands it very well, and he has made considerable effort to avoid fulfilling his promise rather than making a very easy effort to have his staffers drop his name and that he would be a co-sponsor.
Nick Tomboulides: It takes 30 seconds to co-sponsor a bill in congress. There’s absolutely nothing difficult about this, so when they say he will happily support it, I’m just not buying that. You are a congressman now. You have been elected, you can support it now. There’s nothing standing in your way, unless possibly he prefers to acquiesce to Kevin McCarthy and the careerist leadership there rather than listen to his constituents. But big picture, Scott, ’cause I’m guessing this is not going to be the last time we advertise to constituents that a member of congress has broken his promise. Not going on on a long limb there, but why is this all important? It’s all about accountability. Right?
Scott Tillman: It is. It is about accountability. And we know we support term limits because incumbents are insulated from accountability, we have taken on responsibility, we are going to be the leaders in the nation, have been for 30 years now on term limits, and we’re going to go out there and let people know when congressmen say one thing on the issue, and they don’t keep their promises, don’t do what they say. So we are going to be taking action to expose these pledge breakers, people who lie about the issue, people who make certain claims, but then don’t fulfill their promises to their constituents.
Nick Tomboulides: Yeah, because if this billboard hadn’t gone up, right? If candidates can sign our pledge and then they can break it and never be held accountable, no one is ever aware of the fact that they double-crossed their constituents. You have to imagine that is exactly what they will do. They will do that all the time, actions need to have consequences, the voters back home need to know if a member of congress is ripping them off collecting this $174,000 salary plus pension and then doing diddly squat about passing term limits because voters are sick of being scammed by career politicians.
Scott Tillman: That’s right. Sometimes people think the things that get written in congress, you get a lot of stuff hidden in there. There’s nothing hidden in the term limits bill. It’s very basic. It’s exactly what his pledge says that he is going to… It’s a resolution for a three house term, two senate term constitutional amendment. There’s nothing hidden in there. Anybody can pick it up and read it. It’s not like he wouldn’t have time to have read it, and we know that they have read the bill because they have responded to us about the bill, and he’s just not taking that action. If he was going to take action, if there was something wrong with the current version of the bill, he’s free to introduce his own version, but there’s clearly not. He’s supported this exact language in 2017 with HJR-6 that was at that time introduced by Ron DeSantis. He knows it’s out there, and we know that he is making more effort to avoid signing on it than just filling out that piece of paper and being on it in which case, you know, we would definitely alert his voters and his constituents to let them know that he is honoring his pledge.
Nick Tomboulides: Well, it’s a developing situation. We’ll see what happens in the coming days and weeks with this billboard up in Georgia’s third district, but you know, thank you Scott for the update and thank you for keeping them honest.
Scott Tillman: Thank you, Nick.
Nick Tomboulides: 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.
Stacey Selleck: Contact your state lawmakers before they vote on term limits for congress. Go to termlimits.com/takeaction.
Speaker 8: USTL.