Philip Blumel: Another presidential candidate is jumping on the Term Limits bandwagon. Hi, I’m Philip Blumel. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms, the official podcast of the Term Limits Movement for the week of April 10th, 2023.
Stacey Selleck: Your sanctuary from partisan politics.
Philip Blumel: The successful entrepreneur and author of Woke, Inc, Vivek Ramaswamy, has signed the US Term Limits Presidential Pledge, to it he pledges, “I Vivek Ramaswamy pledge that as president of the United States, I will champion congressional passage and state ratification of an amendment to the US Constitution that would set a two-term limit on services in the US Senate and a three-term limit on service in the US House”. This move follows the pronouncements by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida governor and presumed presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who both featured congressional Term Limits prominently in their past political life and in their current campaigns. Thank you Vivek. Now, regular listeners of No Uncertain Terms may recall that I took Mr. Ramaswamy to task, for responding to Nikki Haley’s clear call for congressional Term Limits with a, yes, but answer that is a politician will sometimes say “Yes, of course we all love term limits, but what we really need is… ” Fill in the blank.
Philip Blumel: This is usually a dead giveaway that the politician doesn’t really support term limits but wants to curry favor in the room and is just obscuring things. Now Ramaswamy seemed to do exactly this when he tweeted in response to Nikki Haley’s repeated pronouncements about term limits that, “I like her idea of term limits for elected officials, but what we really need is sunset clauses for the actual cancer in the government, the managerial bureaucracy”. All right, well in light of Vivek’s pledge signing, I am much more confident that Mr. Ramaswamy is a true supporter of term limits. I mean, after all, he’s putting pen to paper here on a very specific constitutional amendment that is currently introduced in the House and Senate and is presumably going to be voted on in this session of Congress according to a promise by House Speaker McCarthy.
Philip Blumel: Now, he did write in the margins of this pledge [chuckle] that he would like to go further and limit the bureaucracy. Well, okay, we can agree or disagree about that, but the point is he made it clear that this view of his regarding the bureaucracy is in addition to the US Term Limits amendment and not instead of it. So thank you very much Vivek Ramaswamy. We welcome you aboard and we hope you play a prominent role in the upcoming presidential primaries as a voice, for this amendment which you have pledged to support as President Viva Vivek. Next, a little bit of an oddball story. In fact, I’m not sure what to make of it. We’ve chronicled on these podcasts cases where prominent term limits opponents, politicians basically have been exposed as corrupt and convicted of serious crimes. You can go to YouTube and find these stories under the moniker Corruption Chronicles, you’ll find a rogues gallery of anti term limits crooks, including former speaker of the Illinois House Representative Michael Madigan, Kentucky House Representative Robert Goforth. Senator Jon Woods of Arkansas, Tennessee House Representative TJ Cox, Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, former. Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, North Dakota, Senator Ray Holmberg.
Philip Blumel: I mean the list goes on and on. Chicago alderman, Ed Burke, New Jersey, US Senator Bob Menendez, Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield. I mean, there’s so many cases of people that have a self-interest in opposing term limits who turn out to be active opponents of term limits and for the reason that they resent attempts to limit their corruption. All right, it’s a commonly recurring phenomenon and the reason for it is quite clear. But here’s a story about an anti term limits activist who’s not even a politician, although he swims in many of the same polluted channels. This is Robert Owens. He’s a field director and speaker for the John Birch Society. He was indicted on six felony counts of felony theft by a grand jury in Delaware last week just after being suspended for misconduct by the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct accused Owens of, “Deceitful and dishonest conduct, failing to communicate and failing to provide a timely refund to four separate clients”. More specifically, Owens is alleged to have accepted retainers from clients and then ignoring them going back to 2019.
Philip Blumel: He was also suspended briefly in 2018. The criminal indictment handed down Thursday includes six cases of misconduct, five of which resulted in fifth-degree felony theft charges, and one that was a fourth-degree felony theft charge. It’s not clear yet why there’s two additional cases, not just four, but I guess we’ll find out soon. And each of the cases took place between 2019 and 2020 and the victims losses range from as little as $1,700 to as much as $103,000. Now at US Term Limits, we don’t know Robert Owens from his felonious activities, but instead from his lobbying efforts in opposition to term limits in opposition to enacting term limits via an Article V amendment proposing convention. Now you go to YouTube to find his conspiratorial rants against the use of this constitutional provision and he’s testified against us, in front of legislatures as well.
Philip Blumel: Well, if he won’t be practicing law, it looks like Owens will have more time on his hands now to undermine faith in the Constitution and also undermine citizen’s efforts to enact term limits on Congress. But I guess if these charges are correct, he wasn’t practicing law anyway, he was just pocketing retainers. Next in this week’s breaking news on term limits, Holly Robichaud gives us a roundup on recent term limits news. Here’s some excerpts.
Holly Robichaud: Hi, I’m Holly Robichaud and this is Breaking News on Term Limits.
Holly Robichaud: We’re pleased to welcome Sharon Jackson as our new Alaska State chair. We’ve got great news coming out of Congress, House Joint Resolution 11 sponsored by Representative Ralph Norman now has 82 co-sponsors. That’s right, 82. We’re gaining sponsors every single week. We are so thrilled that this week representatives Matt Rosendale of Montana, Randy Feenstra of Iowa, Jake Ellzey of Texas, John Duarte of California and Thomas Tiffany of Wisconsin have all signed on board. We’re well on our way to getting 100 co-sponsors. We’ve got some good news and some bad news coming out of the States this week. In Pennsylvania, state Representative Ryan Mackenzie has filed House Resolution 37 calling for a national term limits amendment. His resolution already has nine co-sponsors and in New Hampshire, well, we lost the vote. 145 to 224. We’ve gotta do some work in New Hampshire. Remember, call your legislators and tell them to get on board with congressional term limits, we’ve got to bypass Congress to get this passed.
Holly Robichaud: Now it’s time for the corrupt politician of the week. It’s former house speaker Michael Madigan. Madigan served in the State House from 1971 to 2021. That’s 50 years. He served as Illinois’s House speaker for 36 years. He was considered one of the most powerful politicians, not just in Illinois, but in the nation. During that time period, public corruption, ethics, complaints, taxes and public debt skyrocketed. Obviously, he’s no fan of term limits. He became a political liability as the House of Cards collapsed around him. Confidants of his were indicted. He was forced to step aside as speaker, but he continued to stay in the State House until 2021. When the Federal Department of Justice began investigating him. In March, 2022, the federal government charged him with 22 counts of racketeering and bribery for his alleged improper dealings with the state’s largest utility company ComEd. Prosecutors further alleged that he used political power to unlawfully steer businesses to his private law firm.
Holly Robichaud: In October, 2022, prosecutors filed an indictment that charged Madigan with conspiracy related to alleged corruption scheme involving Illinois’s AT&T. And now the man who oversaw much of Illinois’s ethics laws is challenging his own indictment by saying the state’s bribery and official misconduct statutes are unconstitutional. That’s right, the very laws that were passed when he was Speaker of the House, and that later he was indicted on, he’s now claiming are unconstitutional. I couldn’t think of a better person to be our poster child for our term limits this week. In North Dakota, we’re calling out Representative Jim Kasper. He’s broken his promise to his constituents by introducing House Concurrent Resolution 3019, an amendment to repeal the just approved eight-year term limits and replace them with 12-year term limits. Last November, North Dakota voted for term limits for the legislature and the governor, and just like that, Kasper is seeking to undermine the will of the people.
Holly Robichaud: What is especially outrageous is that Kasper pledged to his constituents during his campaign in 2020, he would support eight-year term limits for the State House. Now he’s broken his promise to the people. Hold him accountable.
Philip Blumel: To follow Holly’s video reports, go to youtube.com/ustermlimits. In our last podcast, we chronicled the successful floor votes in the House of three states, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. Having won the house, all three now have been introduced and are proceeding in the respective senates. Be sure to go to termlimits.com/takeaction so that you can weigh in. If you live in any of these states, very important, please do it right now. Plus, the term limits convention has been introduced in some additional states. Holly mentioned Pennsylvania. Also. Last week, the Alaska State House has filed House Joint Resolution. That’s HJR13, sponsored by Representative Tom McKay and co-sponsored by Representative Frank Tomaszewski. There are four Alaska State lawmakers in the current legislature who have committed their support to this resolution by signing the Term Limits pledge.
Philip Blumel: According to the most recent polling by voice broadcasting, 88% of the voters in Alaska favor a constitutional amendment that would place Term Limits on members of Congress. In addition, 90% of the voters would want their state senator or Representative to vote yes on an amendment for term limits on Congress. Now, term limits polling always looks good, but 90% in a time of political division, there is no other issue that brings Americans together like term limits.
Speaker 4: This is a public service announcement.
Philip Blumel: Leon Drolet is a former state legislator, Michigan and currently the treasurer for Macomb County. He supports term limits for many reasons, but in this op-ed from a few years back, he makes the case from a very personal point of view. According to Drolet, there are arguments for and against term limits. But as a former legislative staffer who was later elected to the State House, allow me to explain why term limits are actually healthy for the very lawmakers who most stridently oppose them. When a person is elected to the legislature, strange things happen to them. They get called honorable every day. Suddenly, every joke they tell that bombed at past Thanksgiving dinners is deemed hilarious by their staff in the Lobby Corps and instantly they’re incredibly popular and important people wanna take them golfing and to sporting events. Every week lawmakers are exalted guests at dinners hosted by organizations presenting them with such honors as the Michigan Chemical Council Lawmaker of the Year Award.
Philip Blumel: There’s a stereotype that politicians lie a lot. What people don’t consider is that politicians are lied to every day in the Capitol bubble. Because careers there are built around making friends with politicians. Lobbyists, bureaucrats, and staffers flatter lawmakers by telling them that their flawed policy ideas are actually brilliant. This culture of extreme deference results in legislators losing track of their sense of responsibility. When a committee chair decides to cancel a scheduled public meeting on a proposed legislation, the lobbyists that rounded up everyday people to testify on the bill lie. They tell the chair that his or her last-minute cancellation, “Oh, that’s fine,” and that they are happy to reschedule despite the fact that the citizens who wanted to testify traveled long distances and skipped work and other important obligations to attend.
Philip Blumel: Years and years of being lied to on a daily basis contorts minds, rarely being told when they’re wrong, leads politicians to losing track of what it means to be responsible for their own actions. Being a superstar in a political bubble surrounded by sycophants erodes one’s ability to perceive reality. Where states have term limits, it is painful for politicians. The dream of living in their eternal Disneyland comes crashing at its end. But it would help elected officials by forcing them back into the real world for a chance to reclaim their humility and their sense of responsibility. Quality stripped away by a system destined to warp anyone’s mind.
Stacey Selleck: Like the show? You can 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/takeaction. If your state has already passed the term limits convention resolution, or the bills have not been introduced in your state, you can still help. Please consider making a contribution to US Term Limits it’s 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: Find us on most social media at US Term limits like us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and now LinkedIn.
Speaker 4: USTL.