Some political opponents win your respect, even if not your agreement. Others well, not so much.
Earlier this week, a publication called Arkansas Business editorialized against Issue 3 on the Natural State’s November ballot, calling it “a freakish hybrid, a gambit to trick voters into expanding term limits for state legislators.”
This constitutional amendment was proposed with overwhelming support from state legislators, who designed it to hoodwink voters into gutting their term limits. The measure hides that consequential change — from six years in the House to 16 years and from eight years in the Senate to 16 years — inside a so-called “ethics” amendment.
The ballot wording only tells voters that the measure is “setting” term limits, which Arkansas Business correctly points out “conveys something close to the opposite of what the amendment would do,” adding “it’s certainly misleading.”
Now, Arkansas Business is no fan of term limits. The editorial concludes, “Arguments can be made for each of these proposals [in Issue 3], including longer term limits. But we can’t endorse the current form, as much as we’d like to.”
Arkansas Business seems clearly offended by the deception. How endearingly unsophisticated!
Meanwhile, more elite opinion applauds the brilliance of the scheme, the amazing skill of these politicians applying their sneaky technique.
“Arkansas voters soundly rejected term-limit changes in 2004,” reports Governing magazine, paraphrasing University of Arkansas Professor Janine Parry, “but this time proponents craftily inserted their language into a broad package that, among other things, prohibits corporate contributions to candidates and lobbyist gifts to elected officials.”
What on earth is their craft? Fraud?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.