Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Does your Congressional candidate support the term limits bill? ASK!

With Congressional approval ratings at historic lows, support for term limits at all-time highs and tea partiers in the streets holding term limits signs, it seems like there is no better time to press for Congressional term limits.

What is missing so far is political leadership. But that might be changing.

For the first time since the Contract with America era we have a popular U.S. Senator, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, sponsoring a term limit amendment. He’s attracted only three senate cosponsors so far and two of those are leaving the Senate, but several potential new ones are currently campaigning for a Senate seat using term limits as a leading campaign theme.

Start with Kentucky. There, Senate candidate Rand Paul – leading in the polls both against his Republican primary opponent and likely Democratic challengers – has pledged to make term limits his number one issue if elected.

"Term limits is the preeminent issue of our campaign," he said. "I will travel to Frankfort and other legislatures to try to get them to act on this issue so we have both Congress and the state legislatures working on it."

But he won’t stop there.

"I will do my best to convince our presidential candidate on the GOP side to adopt the issue as well," Paul said. "I think this is vital in pushing this issue forward."

Another Senate hopeful – also leading in a Republican primary – is Florida’s Marco Rubio. Rubio says he’s seen term limits work when he was Speaker of the House in Florida’s legislature. In fact, he was term-limited out of office. His first-hand experience has led him to believe the U.S. Congress should be term limited too.

"We should be the party of term limits," Rubio told National Review. "We should be the party that says it’s not natural for any human being to serve more than half his adult life in the U.S. Congress."

Rubio, however, is so far ducking the question of whether he will actually cosponsor the DeMint bill, or just likes talking about it.

In Illinois, state senator and former Illinois GOP Chair Gilbert Baker is in a tough primary fight. He’s hoping term limits put him over the top.

"We have got to return to the spirit of a citizen legislature," Baker said. "One way to get back to that, I am going to push for a two term limit in the United States Senate." To emphasize the point, Baker promised that whether he is successful or not, he personally would leave after his two terms. "Twelve years is long enough."

Other term-limits advocates include Republican Stephen Fincher, a leading candidate to succeed retiring Rep. John Tanner (D-TN) and Democrat Iraq War veteran Tommy Sowers, a long-shot candidate against Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO).

U.S. Term Limits urges all voters to ask their Congressional candidates where they stand on Sen. Jim DeMint’s amendment to limit senators to two terms and representatives to three terms in office. We have to nail them down on this before the election.

Ask them and let us know. We’ll make sure term limits supporters in their states know their answer.