Thursday, August 16, 2012
Yet another political newcomer has left a professional politician in the dust -- and he used a hilarious term limits ad to do it.
Rep. Cliff Stearns of North Central Florida's 3rd District, which includes Gainesville, was a big spending Republican with a social conservative bent. His 24-year spending record proved to be his weak spot after large animal doctor Ted Yoho highlighted it in the best TV ad so far in the 2012 election season.
The ad features WWE wrestler Dustin (Rhodes) Runnels and shows professional politicians in suits eating from a pigs' trough and throwing mud at one another. At the end, Yoho pledges to serve eight years and come home.
Stearns had been endorsed by Republican bigwigs including Rep. Paul Ryan. Yet Yoho, who raised very little money, unexpectedly won the election by about 800 votes.
Yoho will face Democrat J.R. Gaillot in the general election, but the seat is considered safely Republican. It looks like another term limits supporter is going to Washington.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
After all, after Ted Cruz signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge to cosponsor and vote for 3/2 term limits legislation if elected, Dewhurst did the same. They are two of the 187 Congressional candidates to do so in the 2012 election cycle.
But since then, Cruz has been broadcasting his support for term limits and even mentioning the U.S. Term Limits pledge on national television. Dewhurst, on the other hand, started distancing himself from his pledge -- and victory. Less than three weeks later Dewhurst was proposing a package of election reforms that directly contradicted the pledge he had signed.
It is easy to support term limits as a challenger and difficult as an incumbent, with both party leadership and your own personal self-interest pressuring you to chuck your promise. Under these circumstances, the enthusiasm for Congressional term limits demonstrated by Cruz suggests that Sens. Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Tom Coburn and the other term limits stalwarts in the U.S. Senate have won another important new ally and cosponsor.
Sen. DeMint's term limits amendment bill, SJR 11, would require a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate, and ratification by 38 states in order to become part of the Constitution. For more information on the pledge, including a list of signers, see here.