Thursday, May 31, 2012

Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz on the U.S. Term Limits Pledge

"I have no interest in being in office for decades. I strongly support term limits. And in fact I have committed to cosponsor a constitutional amendment to limit every member of the U.S. Senate to two terms, every member of the House to three terms. That fight being led right now by Jim Demint ... Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey and Tom Coburn ... they need reinforcements." -- Texas U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz on the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge during a Fox News interview on May 31. Cruz is one of 176 Congressional candidates to sign the pledge so far.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Kentucky, another primary win for term limits

Don't look now, but term limits have scored another win in this primary cycle. Following the historic upset in Indiana, Kentucky also has nominated a term limits warrior for a Congressional seat. On Tuesday, political newcomer Thomas Massie beat out a group of establishment Republicans to win his party's nomination for the open 4th District House seat.

Massie is a signatory of the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge, in which he has committed to cosponsor and vote for a Congressional term limits amendment along the lines of that proposed in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and the House by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ).

Massie ran as a libertarian reformer in the mold of Kentucky's junior senator, Rand Paul, who endorsed him. The party establishment, still unable to fathom Sen. Paul's success, is missing the ascent of Massie as well. Massie's chief opponent, Alecia Webb-Edgington, told a Kentucky Lincoln Day Dinner in 2010 that "We don't need any more socialists, communists or libertarians in the Republican Party." The party hacks at that meeting clapped, but Republican voters ignored them and nominated Massie anyway.

Massie is one of 173 Congressional candidates -- so far -- who have signed the USTL pledge. The media hasn't picked up on this story yet, but term limits are back on the national stage.

(Pictured: Congressional candidate Thomas Massie with Sen. Rand Paul)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Indiana Senate upset a big victory for term limits

USTL President Philip Blumel with Richard Mourdock in IN
The May 8 victory of Richard Mourdock in the Indiana Republican primary for U.S. Senate is being cast as a victory of the tea party over the establishment. Indeed it was.

But it was something else too: another step down the path to achieving Congressional term limits.

Mourdock, it turns out, is one of the 167 Congressional candidates -- so far -- who have signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge to, if elected, cosponsor and vote for a Congressional term limits amendment. He is an explicit supporter of Sen. Jim DeMint's Congressional term limits amendment bill, SJR 11, which Mourdock said he plans to cosponsor.
Sen. Richard Lugar

For this reason, I spent a couple of days on the road with Mourdock in the final week of the primary campaign. In joint appearances across the state, I told the term limits story and announced the endorsement Mourdock received from the Term Limits America PAC.

In dissecting Mourdock's victory, pundits are pointing to a gaggle of issues directly related to term limits as the decisive factor in the last minute surge of support for Mourdock.

Mourdock's opponent, the 36-year incumbent Senator Richard Lugar, is 80 years old, has not lived in Indiana for years and has not faced an opponent in 12 years -- or a meaningful one for much longer. He was a respected figure in the bipartisan spending and foreign policy consensus of the last generation and was seen as out of touch with the new energetic breed of activist-candidates fueled by what they see as a looming debt crisis. In a February "Sense of the Senate" vote on Congressional term limits, Sen. Lugar voted 'no.'

Mourdock, on the other hand, is 60 years old and as Indiana's state treasurer had sued the Obama administration over its bailout and extra-legal reorganization of Chrysler. He had self-limited his terms as a county commissioner earlier in his career and has done so again for the U.S. Senate, promising to serve just two terms. Mourdock also had a 30-year career as a geologist and businessman and can claim to offer some real world experience to the Senate.

There is a changing of the guard in the U.S. Senate. The newcomers -- Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, JimDemint, Tom Coburn and others -- are on board with term limits, while the dinosaurs they are replacing are the ones who stood in term limits way.

Hopefully after November we can add Richard Mourdock to that list.