This was the year for politicians, or so they thought. The economy is strong. So politicians hoped the time was right to roll back these pesky term limits laws voters had passed. We voters were supposed to be so fat, dumb and happy that we wouldn’t care how long politicians cling to power.
Threats of repeal were heard in many of the 18 state legislatures and the thousands of local jurisdictions. In Missouri, the State Senate passed a bill to water down term limits and the House was considering it when my group, U.S. Term Limits, began to run ads alerting the people. The South Dakota House tried the same thing until TV ads warned the electorate. Ditto in California. Once awakened, the public nixed all these schemes.
Elsewhere though, politicians required citizens to vote again and again for term limits they have already endorsed by wide margins. In New Mexico, state legislators placed a measure on the ballot to repeal term limits on all county elected officials. Their dastardly effort was crushed by over 71 percent of voters. Politicians in Tampa, Florida hoped a popular mayor would rally support to kill term limits. The voters said, “Thanks Mr. Mayor. We really like you. But now please step aside and give someone else a chance.” Politicians in Prince George’s County, Maryland and Chula Vista, California also tried to dissolve term limits and got clobbered by voters. Ain’t it grand how cockroaches scurry when we shine the flashlight?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.