Philip Blumel: The Oklahoma House passes the Term Limits Convention Bill. Boom. The Tennessee House passes The Term Limits Convention Bill. Boom. Hi, I’m Philip Blumel. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms official podcast of The Term Limits Movement for the week of March 27th, 2023.
Stacey Selleck: Your sanctuary from partisan politics.
Philip Blumel: Yes, the Oklahoma House and the Tennessee House. It reminds me of old times. By old times, I mean two weeks ago. Do you remember our last episode’s headline? Let me refresh your memory. North Carolina House passes the Term Limits Convention Bill. Boom. Do you detect a pattern here? Tell you, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed the Term Limits Bill, 59 to 34 and in Tennessee the vote was 66 to 27. Hey, these bodies agreed it’s time for the states to step up to the plate and propose a Term Limits Amendment to the US Constitution. This is possible due to Article 5 of the US Constitution, which empowers not just two-thirds of Congress to propose a constitutional amendment, but empowers two-thirds of the states to do so as well. Either way, an amendment is proposed, three-quarters of the states have to ratify it before it comes law.
Philip Blumel: Now of course, we can’t put these states in the win column just yet until The Term Limits Convention bills pass their respective Senates. And the first Senate to do it will make their state the sixth state to officially apply for the Term Limits Convention. The states who have already done so are Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama, Missouri, and West Virginia. We want to thank our sponsors, that would be representative Chris Todd in Tennessee and Jonathan Nichols in Oklahoma and all their allies, the pledge signers, the activists in the state. Also importantly, US Term Limits Chris Keener and Ken Clark for their work in Oklahoma and Aaron Dukette and Shanna and Les Chamblee in Tennessee. And of course the US Term Limits digital team, which played a big role in this. When you contribute to US Term Limits, you’re making it possible for activists like Chris and Aaron and the Chamblees and the others to get this job done. All right?
Philip Blumel: US Term Limits is about acting on implementing our strategy to achieve Congressional Term Limits. We are not just a letterhead organization or a meme factory. All right? What are the real thing. And don’t forget you, the listeners. As a listener of this podcast, you are part of the inner circle of the Term Limits movement and, you know, you have a job to do too. If you live in North Carolina, Oklahoma, or Tennessee, please go to termlimits.com/takeaction, that’s one word, and send messages to your senators. It’s all set up for you to do it. It takes a minute. Don’t wait. These votes are imminent. Next, last week on the YouTube feature Breaking News On Term Limits, Holly Robichaud introduced our new celebrity state chair for US Term Limits in Oregon. Here’s the clip.
Holly Robichaud: This week we welcome Alek Skarlatos as our new Oregon co-chair. Alek is known to millions as the National Guard Soldier, who along with three others, stopped a gunman on a Paris bound train. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world, including the United States Soldiers Medal. After serving with the National Guard for five years, Alek left military service in 2017. Upon completion, he voices inspiring experience by offering 517 to Paris, the true story of a terrorist, a train, and three American heroes. He later had the privilege of working with legendary Director Clint Eastwood on the film. We are proud to have Alek as a member of our team. We welcome him on board.
Philip Blumel: In the same episode, that was episode eight, Holly interviews our Kansas State Chair Sara Hart Weir. Check it out at youtube.com/ustermlimits. Next, Anti Term Limits, conspirator convicted in Ohio. Last episode, we shared testimony from the corruption trial of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder. Householder took bribes from a big utility and estate, FirstEnergy to pass a bailout bill for FirstEnergy’s unprofitable nuclear energy subsidiary. Well, in the trial we learned that Householder, FirstEnergy and others, including Ohio Republican party chair Matthew Voorhees schemed together to overturn Ohio’s popular Term Limits law, so Householder would be able to serve well into the 2030s instead of being term out of office. Well, he’ll be serving into the 2030s, all right? But it’s gonna be in a federal prison. Householder and Vorhees were convicted on March 10th in the $60 million scam and face up to a 20-year term.
Philip Blumel: Householder isn’t the only crooked politician trying to overturn voter proof term limits in order to benefit himself and his cronies. In North Dakota, there’s the case of state representative Jim Casper. Casper once claimed to be a term limit supporter and even champion, and he signed the US Term Limits pledge to support term limits in the state. He even accepted a $5,000 campaign contribution from a Term Limits activist known well to US Term Limits. We’ll come back to that check in just a moment, but first, a little background. Last November, 63% of North Dakota voters approved eight year term limits on their legislature and their governor and became the 16th state with a term limited legislature. Congratulations. Now to prevent a conflict of interest, which always shows up in term limits cases, the initiative explicitly said that legislators cannot put a repeal bill on the ballot. The voters collected signatures to put term limits on the ballot and then they approved it.
Philip Blumel: Voters can, if they wish, collect signatures to put a repeal or a weakening on the ballot, and they can approve that in the future if they wish. But according to the new voters approved term limits law, politicians cannot do this. But, Representative Casper has teamed up with Representative Jason Dockter and others in an effort to do just that. Only months after voters approved this law. They’re trying to put a new referendum on the ballot with a simple vote to weaken the eight year limit to 12 years. Not only is Casper breaking the 2022 law, but is also breaking Zone 2020 pledge. Casper pledged to his constituents in writing, as I mentioned, during his election campaign in June, 2020, that he would support eight year term limits for State House, State Senate, and elected constitutional officers.
Philip Blumel: All right. Well, back to the check. Casper’s term limits pledge inspired a term limits supporter close to US Term Limits to send Representative Casper a campaign contribution for $5,000. When Representative Casper turned Scoff law and refused to live up to his pledge, naturally the term limits’s movement and of course, his campaign contributor felt betrayed. But lo and behold, it turns out there is no record of this cheque in any of Representative Casper’s campaign reports as required by law. After investigation, and this includes confirming the cheque was sent and that it was cashed. We have a copy of the cheque in our possession. Scott Tillman of US Term Limits filed a campaign finance complaint against Representative Casper.
Philip Blumel: The way Tillman puts it, Casper is not a political rookie. He’s been in the legislature for more than 22 years and was involved in creating the campaign finance laws. He has no excuse. He sees the bank statements. He knows his reported totals are wrong. If the money is still in his campaign account, it should be reported. Otherwise, he is deliberately misreporting his financials. If the money has not been accounted for, further violations must be investigated.” That’s right. In North Dakota, like everywhere else, you can’t just take a political contribution for your campaign and put it in your own pocket and spend it on what you want without telling anybody. So there you have it. Another corrupt politician conspiring to overturn voter approved term limits. It’s an old, old story.
Philip Blumel: Now we’re on the subject of corrupt politicians. I should report that two more billboards went up over the last couple of weeks to expose politicians who signed term limits pledges, and then refused to live up to them. The first is located at Route 481 at the railroad tracks in Fulton, New York. It says, Representative Claudia Tenney is breaking her term limits pledge. Representative Tenney pledged that she would support and co-sponsor only the US Term Limits amendment, limiting US Representatives to three terms and US Senators to two terms. That’s the US Term Limits amendment. Yet now in Congress, she has broken her pledge by sponsoring a bill limiting Congress to longer terms. The second billboard is located at 4841 Mormon Coulee Rd in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This one calls out Wisconsin Representative Derrick Van Orden in District three for breaking his US Term Limits’s campaign pledge to co-sponsor and vote for the US Term Limits’s amendment.
Philip Blumel: You know, this is a serious business. The US Term Limits’s amendment has been introduced in Congress calling for six years total in the House and 12 years in the Senate. In the House, Representative Ralph Norman from South Carolina introduced House Joint Resolution 11. There are 82 sponsors listed on the resolution so far, House speaker Kevin McCarthy has promised a floor vote on this amendment, and there are currently over 130 members of Congress who have pledged to support this amendment. This is the most support that we have ever seen for this amendment.
Speaker 4: This is a public service announcement.
Philip Blumel: After three State Houses approved the Term Limits Convention Bill this month, it’s a pleasant coincidence to run across a 2016 blog post by Jonathan Stahl on the website of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The strategy we are pursuing by encouraging states to apply for a amendment proposing convention under Article 5 of the US Constitution has been tried before and it worked. You recall that at one time, US Senators were not elected directly by the people, but instead they were appointed by their respective state legislatures. Naturally, senators had a self-interest in status quo, and so any reform had to go around the US Congress. Fortunately, the US Constitution has a provision just for this circumstance. Here’s how Stahl tells the story. “Activists pointed to high profile cases of bribery of state legislators in exchange for Senate seats. The anti-Democratic power of party machines in the selection of senators extended seat vacancies because legislatures were unable to select a senator and other dysfunctional features of Senate elections that they pinned on the selection process. By the 1880s, national support for a change to the popular election of senators was growing with the proposal being especially popular in the Western states, which had a tradition of valuing direct democratic participation.”
Philip Blumel: “Reformers realized by the beginning of the 20th century that the proposed amendment had little chance of being ratified through congressional action under this current circumstances. They turned their attention to the states and convinced state legislatures to pass resolutions, calling for an Article 5 convention, which could be held if two-thirds of the states called for one. As more and more states passed bills calling for a convention, Congress felt pressure to act, and they sent the 17th Amendment to the state’s for ratification in 1912.” Thank you for that reminder, Jonathan, history shows that we’re on the right track.
Stacey Selleck: Like the show? You could help by subscribing and leaving a five star review on both Apple and Spotify. It’s free.
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 are watching. That’s termlimits.com/take action. If your state has already passed the Term Limits Convention resolution or the bills 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: The revolution isn’t being televised. Fortunately, you have the No Uncertain Terms Podcast.
Speaker 5: USTL.