In this week’s 20-min podcast:
-Suspicious activity confirmed! Jim Jordan and his career politician cronies are concocting their OWN term limits rules!
-USTL’s Ken Quinn gets Mike Pence on the record regarding term limits
-Holly Robichaud term limits news update
-Voters in North Dakota to enact age limits on their legislators
Philip Blumel: I hate to say I told you so.
Philip Blumel: Hi, I’m Philip Blumel. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms, the official podcast of the term limits movement. This is Episode 218, posted on July 24th, 2023.
Stacey Selleck: Your sanctuary from partisan politics.
Philip Blumel: In the last episode I shared my fear based on rumors that there was some chicanery afoot regarding House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s promise to hold a vote on HRJ 11, the US term limits amendment.
Philip Blumel: Even though HJR 11 has 101 co-sponsors and 112 House members have signed a pledge to support a three-term limit in the House and “no longer limit”, word was that Speaker McCarthy is being pressured to have a vote on a weaker bill that violates the pledge, and therefore would force all the pledge signers to break their word or vote no.
Philip Blumel: Well, it’s true. It was confirmed on July 9th by John Fund, national-affairs reporter with the National Review. It appears that Speaker McCarthy and judiciary committee Jim Jordan are looking to take this opportunity to pretend to fulfill the promise of the term limits vote, while guaranteeing the vote cannot be successful.
Philip Blumel: Even better, in the minds of the anti-term limits forces behind this betrayal, the vote would destroy the highly successful congressional term limits pledge program.
Philip Blumel: Now, don’t forget that this pledge is the only reason why this term limits bill is being considered by the House. The anti-term limits forces know it and they want to stop it.
Philip Blumel: As John Fund put it in his article, “All McCarthy needs to do is ask Jim Jordan, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to pass through committee a three-turn bill. This way, the 105 pledge signers would keep their promise to constituents while still having legislation to champion.”
Philip Blumel: Fortunately, Speaker McCarthy still has plenty of time to avoid putting his members’ credibility in jeopardy. Surely he would also want to avoid a primary challenge in his very conservative California district. It cannot be too far from his mind that Tom Foley, the only House speaker to lose re-election since Galusha Grow in 1862, was defeated in 1994 for standing in the path of the term limits movement.
Philip Blumel: That’s right. Two days after the John Fund article ran, US Term Limits took action. US Term Limits Chairman Howard Rich called out to the 112 actually now, US term limits pledge signers in the House of Representatives to keep the promise they made to constituents.
Philip Blumel: “There’s still plenty of time to change course and do the right thing,” Rich said, adding, “However, we obviously reserve the right to hold any and all pledge breakers accountable. You bet.”
Philip Blumel: In calling for sixth term or 12-year term limits in the house, McCarthy might please the majority of politicians in that chamber, but not the majority of voters. We have shared polls on this issue over and over. In the latest one, just a couple of weeks ago, June 28th to 30th, Rhode Island Democratic primary voters were asked about congressional term limits, 77 supported the idea. No surprise.
Philip Blumel: When asked how long the term limits should be, only 35% said 12 years, 52% said six years and 13% were unsure. Now, this was a poll of Democrats only, who can doubt that the Republicans of Rhode Island would not answer in a similar way, or Democrats and Republicans anywhere in the country.
Philip Blumel: Friends, we gotta get this train back on its track. Please go to termlimits.com/take action and see the very first item on the list. Tell your representative to call for a vote on Representative Ralph Normans HJR 11. This is the real term limits amendment bill. This is the bill with a 100 co-sponsors, with 112 pledged supporters. Not a made up last minute bill for a sham vote.
Philip Blumel: Next, former Vice President, Mike Pence comes out in favor of term moments. Kenn Quinn, Northern Regional Director of US Term Limits is on the campaign trail in New Hampshire and got this out of the former Vice President.
Kenn Quinn: Mr. Vice President, thank you for coming to Burlington. My name is Kenn, I’m from Maine. I appreciate what you said about getting rid of the dead wood in Washington and piggybacking the comment about corruption.
Kenn Quinn: The American people are really fed up with hearing Congress talk about the big issues decades after decades, kicking the can on the important issues that concern us.
Kenn Quinn: I appreciate also how you served as governor, you served in Congress and you served as vice president, you do not stay in one position for too long. And I think we all would agree that career politicians in Congress, they are the ones have been here for decades, controlling everything.
Kenn Quinn: Would you as president, support and get behind an effort to have a term limits amendment for members of the US House and Senate, to get rid of the dead wood in DC?
Mike Pence: Yes.
Kenn Quinn: Thank you.
Mike Pence: I wrote a chapter in 1992 supporting 12-year term limits. When I came up on my 12th year in the Congress, we left Congress voluntarily. I’ve always thought two terms in the Senate, six terms in the House, four years is about right. It takes you a couple of years to find the restroom. Right?
Mike Pence: Just like any job, you gotta kinda figure out where things are, who’s who. And then you can have… You know, you can have 10 productive years.
Mike Pence: I was actually the House Republican conference chairman, the year before I left for Congress. I was a third ranking member of Congress, which meant when you’re in the Republican minority under Nancy Pelosi, it means I was the third most powerful irrelevant person in the House of Representatives.
Mike Pence: The president gave me extraordinary opportunities to participate in virtually every major decision, every major initiative. I know how the executive branch works and I know what doesn’t work there.
Mike Pence: And the most important thing I heard you just say, is that we gotta solve some of these problems that we’ve been a jawboning about for 20 years.
Philip Blumel: Good work, Kenn. We gotta get these politicians on the record. Next, since incumbents win re-election to their own seats between 900 and 100% of the time, yes often at 100% of the time, open seats, that is seats where the incumbent is not running for re-election, are an important measure of competitive races.
Philip Blumel: By far, most races at the state legislature and US Congressional level are lopsided affairs with foregone conclusions, with well-funded incumbents running unopposed or facing gadflies or paper candidates, and they win handily.
Philip Blumel: This is the number one reason why term limits are important. Term limits supporters maintain that term limits create open seats in every district, which in turn generates competitive races. Are they right?
Philip Blumel: Well, it seems pretty obvious, but for the skeptics, I offer a recent factoid brought to our attention by Douglas Kronaizl, staff writer at the ever useful Ballotpedia site.
Philip Blumel: His headline is, “All 10 states with the largest percentages of open seats since 2010, have term limits.” Yeah. [chuckle] And he backs it up, noting that since 2010, Ballotpedia has covered state legislative elections to 440,639 seats across the 50 states, over 13 election cycles.
Philip Blumel: During that time, 8404 of these seats have been open, that is where there were no incumbents running for re-election. That represents 18.8% of all seats up for election between 2010 and 2022.
Philip Blumel: The key determinant of the magnitude of open seats in a particular state is whether that state has term limits which specify how long a legislator can remain in office until they’re required to leave by law.
Philip Blumel: All 10 states with the largest percentage of open seats since 2010 have term limits. The remaining six states with term limits all fall in the top 20.
Philip Blumel: Yes, term limits work. Thanks, Douglas. And now, let’s hear some excerpts from Holly Robichaud’s breaking news on term limits.
Holly Robichaud: We’ve got exciting news today, we’re now up to 111 co-sponsors for a House Joint Resolution 11 sponsored by Representative Ralph Norman. We’re getting closer every day to passing term limits on Congress. Hi, I’m Holly Robichaud, and this is breaking news on term limits.
Holly Robichaud: Term limits was a big winner in the Old Dominion. Virginia held its primary elections for the legislature, 16 signers of the term limits pledge won their primaries to advance to the general election. A 17th signer won the election outright and won’t face a general election opponent.
Holly Robichaud: So we’re very happy what’s happening in Virginia and across the country. We’re close to getting term limits passed, our resolution passed in North Carolina, but time’s running out very quickly. We’re urging everyone from North Carolina to urge their senators to support our term limits resolution. Please contact them today.
Holly Robichaud: Now it’s time for our updates from the states. In Maine, in a special election for the state house, US term limits pledge signer Abden Simmons was elected. This gives us another supporter in Maine. Congratulations to Abden Simmons.
Holly Robichaud: In Virginia, there’ll be elections for the state legislature, and we now have 28 legislative candidates who signed our pledge. We’re pleased to have them on board. Each state legislator who supports US term limits resolution in their state is one step closer to passing congressional term limits.
Stacey Selleck: Momentum continues to build for our House Joint Resolution 11, filed by Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina. As I mentioned, the resolution known as the US Term Limits Amendment, now has 111 co-sponsors and counting, with support from both parties.
Holly Robichaud: We’re pleased to welcome Representative Max Miller of Ohio, Ann Wagner of Missouri, and Julia Letlow of Louisiana as our latest co-sponsors. We expect more represents to follow their lead.
Holly Robichaud: Could your representative be the next co-sponsors? We hope so. Please contact your US representative and urge them to co-sponsor House Joint Resolution 11 if they already haven’t, by visiting termlimits.com/118house. Thanks.
Holly Robichaud: Kevin McCarthy has promised us a vote on congressional term limits. This would be the first vote on congressional term limits since 1995. That’s right, 1995. Think about that. The one issue all Americans agree upon, there hasn’t been a vote on it in 28 years. That’s a long time, couple of decades, almost three.
Holly Robichaud: Please visit termlimits.com/McCarthy to sign a petition urging Kevin McCarthy to bring House Joint Resolution 11 to the floor for a vote as soon as possible. Let’s get this done.
Philip Blumel: Holly suggested you contact decision makers here a couple of times. We call that… We compile all of these calls to action in one place, at termlimits.com/take action. To subscribe and listen to Holly’s show regularly, go to youtube.com/ustermlimits.
Philip Blumel: Lastly, here’s an interesting tidbit. The term limits hero who spearheaded the successful ballot effort to impose term limits on the governor and legislature in North Dakota last year, is at it again.
Philip Blumel: Jared Hendrix, hot off that victory which made North Dakota the 16th state with term limits on its legislature, is now collecting signatures to prevent politicians over 80 years old from representing North Dakota in the US Congress.
Philip Blumel: The group needs 310,164 signatures to place the idea on the ballot for voters as a constitutional measure. If approved, it would be added to the state constitution. Good luck, Jared.
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.
Philip Blumel: 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.
Philip Blumel: 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.
Philip Blumel: 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.
Philip Blumel: Thanks, we’ll be back next week.
Stacey Selleck: The revolution isn’t being televised. Fortunately, you have No Uncertain Terms podcast.