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In Disguise

Conflicts Perplexing Prominent Politicians

When does the same old song-and-dance, performed by yet another self-selected committee of the political elite, become “a unique process” that “Nobody’s ever done . . .”? When the much-liberal Denver Post reports the “much-respected” Daniel Ritchie saying so. Every election cycle for a decade, it seems, a cabal of






Citizen Action

The Quadrennial Distraction

As the leading Republican candidate for the presidency ascends into the air in a helicopter filled with kids, and makes his most astute declaration yet — “I am Batman” — it becomes clearer than ever how distracting these presidential campaigns are. Much of American Big League politics is theatrics, with






Institutional Memory

Listen to Lobbyists

With 25 of 40 council seats turning over, “term limit advocates are enthusiastic about the influx of new folks and ideas,” explains Tennessean columnist Frank Daniels III, “but many council members are worried about the loss of knowledge and institutional memory.” More precisely, “many council members” fret that the city






Term Limit Protection

Scandal-Less

In the 15 states voters have enacted term limits for their state representatives and senators, those politicians and the lobbyists and heads of powerful interest groups constantly complain that the limits are a problem. I know. That’s why I like term limits. Am I a broken record on the subject?






Louisiana Term Limits

A New Tammany?

“We’ve been there and done that and voted not to do it,” St. Tammany Parish Council Chairman Richard Tanner explained last week. “I don’t know why we’d do it again.” There’s a lot Tanner doesn’t know. Like that his job is representing the people. You see, Tanner wasn’t one of






Term Limits

Universal Bull

“We have term limits, they’re called elections.” So goes one argument, famously paraphrased by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for an African Union summit: “It is a democracy. If people want a leader to continue, let him continue.” “All over the world,” Owen Bennett-Jones writes at BBC.com, “leaders…are reluctant to






open minds

Unlimited Gall

Some claims don’t persuade. For example, the claim that starting a conversation is an effort to end conversation. Or that one “bullies” officeholders by telling constituents what officeholders are up to. But so contends a Columbus Dispatch editorial (“Don’t let pledges close discussions”) chastising U.S. Term Limits, my old stomping






OhioConstitutionMODS

Townhall: Democracy by Pretense

Insiders continue to chafe at the restraints imposed upon them by outsiders — that is, citizens. But citizens who keep their eyes on the prize can keep republican government democratic. Sometimes the outsiders just cave. Click on over to this weekend‘s Townhall column. And come back here for more information.






Gov. Rauner

Is He Serious?

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner ran for his state’s highest office while simultaneously spearheading a wildly popular initiative — a proposed constitutional amendment to place state legislators under term limits. Unfortunately, the amendment was blocked from voters. An appeals court ruled it outside the scope of the state’s initiative process, and






ARticle5

The Article V Path

Can Americans term-limit Congress? Twenty-three states had passed term limits on their congressional delegations by 1995 — many while simultaneously term-limiting state lawmakers. Voters in most other states lack statewide initiative rights. But if the term limits passed by the 23 had been left alone, the pressure would have been






Arkansas Tricksters

Stop Phony Crony Pay Grab

Are people in Arkansas as stupid as their legislators think? Last November, legislators tricked enough voters to narrowly pass Issue 3. I’ve addressed before the measure’s dishonest ballot language, mis-identifying a doubling of allowed terms as the “setting of term limits.” And about a much-ballyhooed gift ban that has proven






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