Philip Blumel: Term limits will be an issue in the presidential primaries. Hi, I’m Philip Blumel. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms, the official podcast of the Term Limits Movement for the week of February 20th, 2023.
Stacey Selleck: Your sanctuary from partisan politics.
Philip Blumel: I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now, a vocal term limits supporter, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has announced her intention to run for President of the United States. Now we’ve been spoiled over the last 12 years with two consecutive presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, periodically calling for term limits for the US Congress and other positions. But President Biden, a 36 year veteran of the US Senate, avoids the subject, but has been caught on record during the Iowa caucuses opposing this popular reform by US Term Limits activist Kenn Quinn. You can find the clip on YouTube. Maybe this is one reason why the president’s party has demoted the Iowa caucuses. As you know, they’re moving the calendar to make the Iowa caucuses less important. The Iowa caucuses rely heavily on meetings with voters in public places. I don’t think they want to see Biden shooting himself in the foot like this in a sea of cell phone cameras. In any case, on February 15th, long-time term limits supporter Nikki Haley, former two term governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations, announced her candidacy for president. A core theme of her campaign launch was generational change, generally, and term limits in particular. Let’s hear it.
Nikki Haley: Today our enemies think that the American era has passed. They’re wrong. America is not past our prime, it’s just that our politicians are past theirs. China’s dictators want to cover the world in communist tyranny, and we’re the only ones who can stop them. But let me be clear. We won’t win the fight for the 21st century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th century. In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire. We’ll have term limits for Congress.
Philip Blumel: I love it. I look forward to having term limits as part of the presidential primary season, just as term limits convention bills are being debated in our nation’s capitals, and just as more and more citizens show their public support for term limits on Term Limits Day, February 27th. We’ve got to hit these politicians from every side. Oh, and Nikki Haley as well. In previous years, she tweeted happy Term Limits Day greetings to her Twitter followers. Be sure to follow her example and take a picture of your public show of support for term limits this month. You know, a sign in front of your house, a bumper sticker on your car, a lapel pin on your jacket, whatever, and post it on your favorite social media network with the message, happy Term Limits Day, February 27th. Okay, next, some excerpts from this week’s breaking news on term limits with Holly Robichaud.
Holly Robichaud: We have breaking news coming out of Concord, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire House on Federal Relations and Veterans Affair Committee just voted ought to pass on our resolution calling for congressional term limits. I want to thank representative Scott Wallace for sponsoring it. We got a vote 11 to 6. We’re really pleased with the momentum we’re building in New Hampshire with 40 bipartisan legislators supporting our efforts. Way to go, New Hampshire.[music]
Holly Robichaud: Hi, this is Holly Robichaud with breaking news on term limits. We’ve got a lot of updates on what’s happening in DC this week and throughout the states. We are working every day to make term limits happen. I’m sure you’ve heard of our US term limits pledge. This pledge is signed by candidates running for Congress or the Senate. It says that they will co-sponsor legislation and support our amendment to limit house members to three terms and senators to two terms. On this front, we have some heroes and zeros this week. Representative Valadao of California’s District 22 and Representative Miller-Meeks from Iowa’s 1st District are our zeros. They have refused to sign the pledge. I’m pleased to report that representative Jared Golden is our hero for the week for remaining steadfast in his support for term limits. It’s time for the DC update. As mentioned last week, we have two pieces of legislation filed in Congress. In the Senate, Senator Ted Cruz has filed Senate Joint Resolution Two, and in the House of Representatives, Representative Ralph Norman has filed House Resolution 11.
Holly Robichaud: We have over 44 sponsors so far and we expect that number to triple. This is the highest level of support we’ve ever received and we’re pleased on how we’re growing. Check out at termlimits.com our list of sponsors. While we’re working hard in DC, we’re also aggressively working in the states to bypass Congress to get congressional term limits. We have four regional field directors and 24 state chairs. That list is growing on a daily basis. We also have a ton of legislative support. For example, in Kansas, Representative Bill Sutton has filed House Concurrent Resolution 5005. It has 36 co-sponsors. In Montana, Representative Terry Moore has filed Joint Resolution 5. In Indiana, Senator John Ford has filed Senate Joint Resolution 16 and in South Dakota, Representative Greg Jamison has filed House Joint Resolution 5002. We’re extremely pleased by our progress, but we’ve got to keep building on it.
Holly Robichaud: Now it’s time for our corrupt politician of the week. This week, it’s Florida’s Vern Buchanan. Buchanan has been in office since 2007. That’s 16 years. He’s refused to sign our term limits pledge. Buchanan owns car dealerships and in 2008 he listed his numerous employees as campaign contributors, but later it turned out they were straw donors. What’s a straw donor? Straw donors are when someone makes a contribution and then the candidate repays them. He also coerced his business partners to file false statements on his financial disclosure forms. It’s time for a fresh face down there in Florida. Don’t forget, we’re just a few weeks away from National Term Limits Day, which is February 27th. That’s the day that commemorates the ratification of the 22nd Amendment, imposing term limits on the president of the United States. If term limits is good enough for the president, then it’s good enough for Congress.
Philip Blumel: Thank you, Holly. Holly’s show is available at least weekly at youtube.com/ustermlimits. Subscribe to hear her full reports as they’re posted. All right. In a recent podcast, I shared the story of hapless state Senator Robert Dover of Nebraska who was appointed last year to fill a vacancy and to lead the attack on Nebraska’s popular legislative term limits. Senator Dover said he was shocked at some of the blowback he’s getting from citizens, including our own Paul Jacob. Here’s Paul Jacob’s take on the controversy from his latest This is Common Sense column recorded by Paul exclusively for No Uncertain Terms.
Paul Jacob: Robert Dover is a freshman state Senator in Nebraska’s unicameral legislature appointed last year by the governor to fill a vacancy. Dover says that learning the ropes at the Capitol has been like drinking from a fire hose. I sure hope he’s found the bathrooms, but have no fear. This rookie has already overcome that lack of experience sponsoring a constitutional amendment which faster than a Nebraska minute has 40 of 49 state senators enthusiastically signed on. What has folks at the Capitol so excited? His amendment, LR-22-CA, would dramatically weaken their current term limits by giving legislators an extra term so they can serve 12 years before taking a break and not be limited to just eight. Dover, the Nebraska Examiner informs, said he quickly learned how term limits were a bad idea after talking with legislative veterans, state agency heads, and lobbyists. “Everyone I talked to said it was a horrible thing,” he offered. “To a person they said term limits took away from the consistency at the Capitol,” by which he means, the senator elaborated and as the Lincoln Journal Star reports, maintaining the right relationships between senators or interest groups to strike compromise.
Paul Jacob: Yes, indeed. The longer politicians stay in office, the more they do compromise with special interests. Dover said he understands term limits are very popular among the electorate, the Journal Star noted. Apparently he just doesn’t get that those are the folks he is supposed to work for. The senator complained that Liberty Initiative Fund, my organization, is sending postcards to voters across the state to inform them about his bill calling our effort a waste of money. That tells me it’s money well spent. This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob. To get your daily dose of Common Sense, go to thisiscommonsense.org.
Philip Blumel: Yes, you should definitely check out Paul’s excellent column. On February 9th, yet another winner on the subject of term limits. The top story of this podcast two weeks ago was the announcement that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas had introduced, once again, the US Term Limits Amendment in the Senate. Bravo. But immediately, of course, the knives came out. “Ted Cruz wants two term limit for senators and a third term for himself.” That’s the headline from The Guardian. “Ted Cruz confronted on seeking third term despite pushing for two term limits.” That’s MSN. And on Face the Nation, “Why aren’t you holding yourself to that same standard?” Asked Margaret Brennan. All right. In other words, they’re saying that Senator Cruz is being hypocritical. Could this be fake outrage from people who oppose term limits anyway? Yeah, could be. But Senator Cruz noted he never suggested that he was going to unilaterally comply to a self limit that he didn’t make and is not in the rules. What he’s in favor of and has been very clear about and very active on is he is in favor of a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on the entire Congress, including him.
Philip Blumel: And he’s right. Term limits is not about limiting one politician, which will have zero effect on the incentives faced by Congress members in general. Self limiting will not make congressional elections more competitive. A self limit will not reduce the power of moneyed special interests. A self limit will not make Congress an inviting place for ambitious goal oriented people who want to get things done and don’t want to wait in line for two decades to reach a position of responsibility. In other words, self limiting does not deliver any of the benefits of term limits. So Senator Cruz is right to support a constitutional amendment and to push back against this line of attack. Congressional term limits is a major reform that will change the way Congress operates, but self limiting doesn’t accomplish a thing. In his column on the subject, Paul Jacobs suggests that the real reason these pundits are attacking Senator Cruz is that they just don’t like term limits. “They envision a big government run by career politicians and reported on by expert journalists while we little people lap up their narratives, keep quiet, and pay the bills.” Well, not anymore. This Term Limits Day, February 27th, let’s show them how we really feel.[music]
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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/take action. 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/take action. 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.[music]
Speaker 6: USTL.