0:00:06.6 Philip Blumel: A participation trophy for Joe Manchin.
0:00:12.9 Philip Blumel: Hi, I’m Philip Blumel. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms, the official podcast of the Term Limits movement. Published on December 4th, 2023, this is episode number 227.
0:00:22.9 Stacey Selleck: Your sanctuary from partisan politics.
0:00:27.3 Philip Blumel: Joe Manchin announced that he’s not running for reelection as West Virginia’s Senior US Senator. And it’s purported he’s considering an independent run for the White House affiliated with the independent No Labels group. No Labels is a political organization created to offer a unity ticket as an alternative to the widely unpopular Biden Trump rematch. So, naturally, we wanna know what is his take on term limits. As a unity candidate, he could hardly oppose a reform supported by 87% of America according to a new Pew Poll. Now, while always high, 87% is the highest poll number on a record in a national poll. We’ve seen higher in regionals. Anyway, so he does not oppose the idea, at least not anymore. Here’s how Senator Manchin put it on Watchdog Radio in Wheeling West Virginia last week. “We have nobody demanding any type of accountability from the people that have been serving us, and I’ve come to the conclusion, I believe in term limits.”
0:01:32.7 Philip Blumel: Nice start, but he continues. “I’ve never been a big supporter of term limits because I thought there’s so many good people with so much experience to really be helpful, but I don’t know if that’s the fact anymore. So I’ve said, Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we had one 18 year term for the Supreme Court? One 18 year term. That’s it. Maybe one six year term for the president, so you don’t have to worry about reelection. Don’t worry about getting reelected, just get in there and do the right thing.” All right. Manchin also said that he envisions a limit of two six year terms for the Senate and two six year terms for the House. He continues, “That would be more than enough. How are you going to change the root problem if you’ve got out of 435 Congressional districts, 390 that are not competitive?” Good question. Okay. Senator Manchin recognizes America wants term limits, he seems to recognize the problem, and he says he’s open to weak term limits on Congress even though he’s never supported them before now. Okay, well you can decide whether Senator Manchin here deserves a full thumbs up, an honorable mention, or a participation trophy. Now, in contrast, Governor Ron DeSantis has tweeted a video on X last week that doesn’t leave anyone guessing.
0:02:58.5 Gov. Ron DeSantis: Well, hey everyone. One of the things we need in this country is term limits for members of Congress. It’s a good policy. We have people like Pelosi that have been there for decade after decade. They’re more interested in advancing themselves than they are delivering results for you. So we need term limits. Problem is, Congress is never gonna enact this. As president, I’ll lead the efforts to bring about term limits through the states. Florida has already certified it. Many other states have certified it. We have the ability to do this because I don’t care if you’re a Republican, independent, Democrat, male, female, black, white. Everyone believes we need term limits for members of Congress. If we do that, it changes the incentives in Washington. They’re not gonna be there for 40 years. They have a limited amount of time, three terms in the House, two terms in the Senate to actually get things done, and leave a legacy. We have it in Florida. It’s worked very well. We need it in Washington dc. I’m gonna be a president that has a plan to bring this about. We’re gonna work with these states to be able to get it done.
0:04:00.1 Philip Blumel: Holy Moly! DeSantis checks all the boxes here. A promise to actively push the term limit convention and specifically advocating three terms in the house and two in the Senate, which are the terms of the US term limits amendment, which you may recall, DeSantis was the chief sponsor of when he served in the US House of Representatives before his governorship. So I hope I’m not being too unfairly dismissive of Senator Manchin. You know, we welcome nominal support at term limits, particularly in a political environment where so many politicians are actively working to thwart the will of 87% of Americans to feather their own nests. Holly Robichaud reports on one of these politicians in the latest episode of Breaking News on term limits of which we’ll play some highlights here. Holly also tackles other current term limits news. Take it away, Holly.
0:04:50.9 Holly Robichaud: We have big news today. Republican presidential candidate and North Dakota Governor, Doug Burgum has signed the US Term Limits Presidential Pledge. He joins Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador in South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley, and Tech entrepreneur, Vivek Ramaswamy in doing so.
0:05:12.3 Holly Robichaud: Hi, I’m Holly Robichaud, and this is Breaking News on Term Limits.
0:05:21.9 Holly Robichaud: Congressional term limits is a top issue in the presidential nominating races with several candidates emphasizing the need for congressional term limits. US term limits is urging all presidential candidates, regardless of political affiliation, to sign the pledge. With presidential candidates discussing the need for national unity, supporting congressional term limits is one issue that can unite everyone. This is born out of the polling that shows that 87%, 87% of Americans of all political persuasions support congressional term limits. We’ll be updating you as more presidential candidates sign our pledge.
0:06:01.3 Holly Robichaud: As mentioned at the top of the show, North Dakota Governor, Doug Burgum, became the last presidential candidate to sign the US Term Limits presidential pledge. By signing the pledge, the presidential candidates are promising that as president of the United States, that they will champion congressional passage and state ratification of an amendment to the US Constitution that would set a two term limit on service in the Senate and a three term limit on service in the House of Representatives.
0:06:36.5 Holly Robichaud: While the president has no official role in the process of passing a constitutional amendment for term limits, he or she can use great influence of the office to help get the amendment passed.
0:06:47.4 Holly Robichaud: While many candidates are signing on to endorse term limits, there’s one incumbent in Congress who refuses to sign. Representative Ken Calvert of California. That’s why US term limits is calling him out with billboards along I-10 for refusing to sign the US term limits pledge. The billboards are near the cities of Riverside and Palm Springs in its district. We hope Representative Calvert has a change of heart and decides to sign our pledge and co-sponsor House joint resolution 11 in the house. We’ve had 29 state legislative candidates who signed the US Term Limits pledge, be elected to office just this month. Many of these candidates are seeing the popularity with voters in supporting term limits.
0:07:33.1 Holly Robichaud: This past week, we saw 26, 2024 legislative candidates sign our pledge. We expect that that number will continue to grow as we approach the 2024 elections. Did you know that US Term Limits is headquartered in Orlando, Florida? And while Florida was the first state to pass our term limits on Congress resolution, it’s often referred among the staffers as the term limits state. Florida has term limits on its governor, state legislature, and recently passed term limits on school board members. Now, lawmakers have filed the resolution to term limit county commissioners. Florida State Senator, Blaise Ingoglia, filed Senate Bill 438 and state representative, Michelle Salzman filed House Bill 57 for term limits on county commissioners throughout the Sunshine State. US term limits will be ushering through this bill and in providing testimony in favor of its passage. There are too many career politicians in the county officers who have served 20 or more years. We’ll keep you posted on these pieces of legislation.
0:08:44.4 Holly Robichaud: In Tennessee, we’re gearing up to pass our resolution in the state Senate this legislative session. As you know, we’ve already passed it in the State House this year, but we need to pass it in the state Senate to make it a reality. That’s why our field team is canvassing in neighborhoods with door hangers, letting residents from Knoxville to Chattanooga know that their state representatives were supportive and helped our pass our resolution in the volunteer state. We’re serious about our education program and we even go door to door to let everyone know when their lawmakers are champions of term limits.
0:09:20.4 Holly Robichaud: Now it’s time for the corrupt politician of the week. And this week, we’ve got a doozy. Our corrupt politician is Oregon’s representative, Earl Blumenauer. Representative Blumenauer has been in the United States House since 1996. Prior to that, he served in elective office in Oregon since 1973 until his election to the house. That’s a long time. As you can imagine, he is no fan of term limits.
0:09:45.9 Holly Robichaud: The New York Times recently reported a serious conflict of interest and potential insider trade by Representative Blumenauer and his wife. His wife bought or sold stocks in bonds in CVS Health and UnitedHealth Group. These two companies offer Medicare Advantage programs. And guess who serves on the house committee and subcommittee overseeing these programs? You guessed it, Representative Blumenauer. But beyond that, he purchased stock in a number of defense contract firms the day before Russia invaded Ukraine. His response to the times when questioned about it, it’s all a simple misunderstanding and miscommunication with his stockbroker, and it was never meant to be insider trading on his knowledge.
0:10:36.4 Holly Robichaud: Are you sick of the corruption in insider trading like I am? I’ve had enough. That’s why we’ve gotta get congressional term limits passed. We can make it a reality, but we need your help. Please go to termlimits.org and get involved today and be sure to share this program with your family and friends every week. This is Holly Robichaud for Breaking News on Term Limits. I’ll see you next week.
0:11:00.1 Philip Blumel: You can subscribe to Holly’s Breaking News on Term Limits at youtube.com/ustermlimits. Now in that clip, Holly mentions the US term limits billboard campaign in Southern California, educating voters about Representative Ken Calvert. You might think that we’re a bunch of blue meanies. And yes, we can be, but we also go out of our way to praise politicians who do the right thing. US term limits is congratulating representative elect Gabe Amo on his victory in Rhode Island’s first Congressional district and thanking him for signing the US term limits pledge with billboards in his congressional district. The newly elected Democratic congressman proudly signed the pledge during his campaign and has stated strong support for congressional term limits. You can check out the billboards at Route 146 at 400 Charles Street in Providence and at 206 Pine Street east of Main Street in Pawtucket. See, we can also be a bunch of sweeties.
0:12:00.4 Philip Blumel: Of course, the billboards are not only a thank you, but also a reminder to a new Congress member and his constituents about the pledge. Congress being a hectic place, we don’t want Representative Amo to get preoccupied and forget his voters back in Rhode Island. Because, you know, every once in a while, some scofflaw in Congress will sign the pledge, brag about it on the campaign trail and then refuse to honor it. Case in point, Texas representative Tony Gonzales. Representative Gonzales signed the pledge as a candidate. Remember, this is the signed pledge to co-sponsor and vote for the US Term Limits Amendment of three terms in the House and two in the Senate and no longer limit. Well, now in office, he refuses to co-sponsor as he promised. So yes, we put up billboards, this time in English and in Spanish in four locations in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. You can check them out on I-20 between Pecos and Hermosa, on I-10 in Fort Stockton, in Monahans on I-20, and in Pecos.
0:13:10.7 Speaker 5: This is a public summit announcement.
0:13:18.6 Philip Blumel: Author and pundit, John Fund of the Spectator appeared on the Sean Spicer’s show on Newsmax the day after Thanksgiving. And he defended term limits against the show’s host, who was a former press secretary under President Trump and also former Congress member Doug Collins of Colorado. Also, in our corner was US term limits North Carolina State Chair Leigh Brown, who is running for Congress in North Carolina. Their message, the seniority system has gotta go and term limits are the way to achieve that.
0:13:46.6 John Fund: What you’re referring to is the seniority system, which unfortunately too often Washington becomes the senility system. I refer you to the late senator Dianne Feinstein, for example, who just left us in a rather sad state in our final years. Look, Sean, you began this program by saying you wanted to emphasize Congress as the debate topic over term limits. What Congressman Collins, whom I respect brought up is the state legislatures. Look, we had an election a year ago. 97% of house members who were incumbents won. Not a single incumbent US Senator lost. So regardless of what you think is the length of time that members are serving now, they almost cannot be defeated. Incumbents have enormous advantages and I don’t think that’s what the founding fathers envisioned. I don’t think it’s what the voters want because over 80% of them say that there should be term limits. As for staff and bureaucrats and other power players like lobbyists, private surveys have shown when people are asked what their real opinion is, staffers don’t like term limits, lobbyists don’t like term limits, bureaucrats don’t like term limits because it’s the younger, newer members like when Congressman Collins came in in 2013 that have the fresh ideas, that have the vigor where they wanna shake things up. It’s the older members who stay 30, 40, 50 years who basically end up being controlled by their staff, controlled by the lobbyists, controlled by the bureaucracy.
0:15:20.8 Leigh Brown: Well, it is, but that’s evidence that the system as it’s working right now is flawed. It should not take somebody eight years to be effective in serving their constituent basis. So if you start realizing that if term limits are in place and there’s more of a level playing field when it comes to tenure, it should make that eight year member more effective more quickly just because there’s a different playing field. Right now, they can’t compete because all of the senior positions are taken up by those who have that extremely long tenure.
0:15:50.8 Philip Blumel: Next. Let’s talk a little bit about polling. You know, polls are just a snapshot that captures the way the public feels at any given moment. And tomorrows the winds change, polls can have a totally different result. So generally, one is wise, particularly in politics. Not to read too much into much of the polling that you hear and and read about. This is considered sage advice and I agree with it. However, this isn’t the whole story. What if a series of these snapshots over time are consistent? When they show an unwavering public position that exists over decades in good time and in bad amongst all parties and all other demographics? Well, this is why polling is so important to us who are active in the term limits movement. The Pew poll I keep mentioning in these podcasts recently is a standout because it’s at 87%, but polling is routinely above 80% and has always been a solid majority of Americans of all parties since polling started on this issue more than 50 years ago.
0:17:03.3 Philip Blumel: Polling on term limits helps us make our case quite powerfully because they are not just recording a momentary fad or a public whim. Anyway, we’ve been looking at polls recently that apply this deep love of term limits in our culture to more temporal political issues and we are fascinated by some of the results. Check this out. According to a new poll conducted by RMG Research, Congressman David Trone leads Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks by 20 points, 45 to 25 in the upcoming Democratic primary for the US Senate. Alright? The poll also found that if Trump were to sign the US term limits pledge in support of Congressional term limits, his lead over Alsobrooks would expand to 42 points, 59 to 17. From 45 to 25, to 59 to 17. That’s pretty powerful. This statewide poll was conducted in November and found also that 82% of likely Democratic primary voters in Maryland support term limits limits for Congress.
0:18:15.4 Philip Blumel: No surprise there. Interestingly, Trone has previously expressed support for Term Limits. Alsobrooks has not commented on it and neither candidate has yet signed the US term limits pledge. Well, there’s still time. All of our pledges are posted at termlimits.com/pledge. If you know a candidate who would like to sign a pledge, please go to the website, print it out, have them sign it, and send it in. Anyway, here’s another example. A new poll suggests that one of the longest tenured politicians in Florida history is in jeopardy of losing his congressional seat over his opposition to Term Limits. Congressman Daniel Webster, who got his first elected job in 1980 and has held various elected positions for 41 years is only six points ahead of GOP primary challenger Anthony Sabatini’s, 35 to 29 right now, according to a new poll conducted by RMG Research for US term limits. The same poll showed that a whopping 92% of GOP voters in District 11 favor term limits on Congress.
0:19:25.1 Philip Blumel: 92%. After the poll respondents learned that Sabatini has signed the US term limits pledge in favors term limits, while Webster is opposed and has not. Sabatini opens up a 37 point lead over Webster 55 to 18. That’s pretty dramatic. And this is a series poll. These both are serious polls, both were conducted by RMG Research, which is owned and operated by Scott Rasmussen, the founder of Rasmussen Reports and Co-founder of ESPN. So keep an eye on these races and please let us know if term limits have erupted as an issue in a campaign near you. As a No Uncertain Terms listener, you are at the inner circle of the term limits movement and we depend on you. You are our eyes and ears.
0:20:14.3 Stacey Selleck: Like the show? You can help by subscribing and leaving a five star review on both, Apple and Spotify. It’s free.
0:20:24.3 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, 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 bill’s 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.
0:21:28.6 Stacey Selleck: Find us on most social media at US Term Limits. Like us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and now LinkedIn.
0:22:01.0 S?: USTL.