Thursday, September 23, 2010

The U.S. Term Limits Amendment Pledge: An action plan for the 2010 election

The primaries are over and now we're in the final stretch into the November election. All the momentum is riding with those calling for real change. But how can we make sure we are electing candidates who are serious about changing Washington and not just telling us what we want to hear? How can we hold them accountable once they win?

Here's how:

Today, U.S. Term Limits mailed out the last of 996 packages to every major party Congressional candidate in the country -- House and Senate, incumbent and challenger. In it is a letter from me and a pledge for the candidate to sign. The pledge commits the signer to cosponsor and vote for a constitutional amendment to limit Congressional terms to three in the House and two in the Senate.

Let's get as many candidates as possible to sign this pledge before election day! Then, U.S. Term Limits will follow up and make sure the signers who won live up to their word.

Think about the power of this simple project. After November, we can expect to have genuine term limits bills in both houses of Congress with a growing list of cosponsors. Then we can move on to the next step of the plan to get a vote on a real term limits amendment before 2012.

Please, right now, go to the new pledge website* and find out if your local Congressional candidates have signed the pledge. If not, call or email them and ask them to.

At every opportunity, particularly in public forums, ask your local Congressional candidates -- incumbents and challengers -- if they support term limits and, if they say yes, ask them if they have signed the U.S. Term Limits Pledge. History tells us if they won't sign, they don't really support term limits.

This is a big project that necessarily must be accomplished in a short period of time. We have big up-front costs of production, mailing and promotion. Please also go here and make a financial contribution to U.S. Term Limits to help pay for this important project.

Friends, this is it. With the skyrocketing polling on term limits, plummeting Congressional approval ratings and a real live term limits amendment bill in the Senate, never have the stars been so aligned to make this possible. We have the opportunity, let's take it.
*The website will be live the week of Sept. 26.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Term Limits and the 2010 U.S. Senate elections

The issue of term limits is hot again, in a way we haven't seen in well over a decade. A poll released last week shows that 78 percent of Americans support term limits for the U.S. Congress, including large majorities for Democrats (74%), independents (74%) and Republicans (84%). Meanwhile, Congressional approval ratings are mining all-time lows.

Hence, now is the time to press for Congressional term limits. If not now, when?

We have a vehicle, the "Term Limits for All" amendment, with leadership from its author, Sen. Jim DeMint. What we need now is get more cosponsors and votes for the amendment. That means electing pro-term limits candidates. Just as importantly, it means getting these candidates to commit to co-sponsoring the DeMint amendment.

Why is this specific bill so important? Because supporting term limits in general but then opposing the specific proposal that is actually on the table is the oldest political trick in the book. We need to approach all Senate candidates with the follwing question, either in conversation, at public appearances, or by phone or email: "Will you become a co-sponsor of the DeMint amendment to limit Congressional terms?" Then we need to help them win.


The Miller campaign informs us that he has spoken in support of term limits, but has not made the issue central to his campaign. They are looking at the DeMint amendment and will decide whether or not to come out in support.


Firoina made a big splash with her announcement to support term limits for the U.S. Congress. The problem is, the 12-year House limits she is calling for don't jibe with DeMint's amendment, which calls for six years for the House and 12 for the Senate. Thank her for her support of term limits, but will she sign on to the DeMint bill? Ask her!


Buck is one of the eight Senate candidates being financially assisted by DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund. One of the eight planks of the CSF is "Our country is being destroyed by career politicians. SCF candidates will support a constitutional amendment establishing congressional term limits. " That is a good sign and Buck has verbally supported term limits. But will he be a co-sponsor of the DeMint bill?


Another CSF recipient who has opined that the Republican Party should be the party of term limits. However, he has gone to great lengths to avoid committing to supporting Jim DeMint's bill in public. In fact, he has gone quiet on the issue since he successfully used his Tea Party stepladder to become the establishment favorite.


Term limits is one of Rand Paul's top campaign issues and he has unambiguously come out in support of the DeMint bill. He has even pledged to work on trying to make term limits a presidential issue for 2012! Thanks, Rand.


Tom Coburn is a long-term term limits supporter and is already a co-sponsor of the DeMint bill. Thank you!


One can't doubt Toomey's term limit bona fides. Like Tom Coburn, Toomey left the House after fulfilling a self-imposed commitment to serve no more than eight years in the U.S. House. Today, he is supporting Congressional term limits. Will be be a co-sponsor of the DeMint bill? Ask him!


Jim DeMint is providing the national leadership needed on this issue. He is also spoken of as a presidential candidate for 2012 or beyond. If he runs, he'd be taking the term limits issue with him on the campaign trail.

Regarding Congressional term limits, some say, "It is a great idea, but it will never happen." Heck, I've said this before! But picture this: 1) 78% support from Americans of all parties, 2) Congressional approval ratings at all-time lows, 3) an amendment bill in the U.S. Senate with a growing list of cosponsors, 4) a companion bill submitted in the House, 5) term limits become important campaign issue across the country, and then, 5) presidential sponsorship.

All of a sudden, it seems like it can happen, doesn't it? Let's make it so!

(By the way, if you have info about these or other Senate races in regards to term limits, please share. You can email me here.)