There’s good news about Idaho, and there’s bad news.
First the bad news. The power grabbers pulled a dirty trick and it paid off barely. With over 400,000 votes cast, the career politicians won by just 1800 votes. At stake was Proposition Two, a referendum that would have repealed the Idaho politicians’ unilateral repeal of Idaho’s term limit law.
Although Idaho voters have affirmed term limits again and again since first enacting them in 1994, Idaho’s career politicians are desperate to keep their jobs no matter what. We don’t have exit polls to consult, but it’s likely that not all voters were fully clear on what they were voting for. A major campaign theme of the politicians was that a “yes” vote would “Stop Special Interests from Running Idaho,” the exact opposite of the truth. But an even worse obstacle for the term limits side was the unclear wording of the ballot question itself.
The ballot seemed to present two opposite interpretations of what a “yes” vote would do. Long version, one thing. Short version, another thing.
The good news is that dirty tricks are no substitute for good ideas and good policy. In other locales around the country, attempts to turn back the clock on term limits were roundly routed this election season. But activists in Idaho won’t let this setback discourage them for long. They’re selling democracy, and the voters are with them. Idaho’s career politicians will be term-limited.
Count on it. It’s not a matter of “whether,” but “when.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.