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Paul Jacob, Rome, term limits, inititative, ballot

The Perfect Couple

A marriage made in . . . democracy?  Last Thursday, at the 2018 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, held at the Palazzo Senatorio in Rome, Italy, I talked about term limits. And initiative and referendum rights. Italy’s populist Five Star Movement, the leading party in the new ruling coalition,

Memphis, ballot, instant runoff, term limits

Intentionally Confounding Incumbents

The three issues on the ballot in Memphis this November are “not complicated,” writes Commercial Appeal columnist David Waters, “unless you read the actual ballot questions.” Which is all most voters will see. All three directly affect the self-interest of members of the Memphis City Council, which placed them on

George Washington, resignation, king, father, term limits

Wise American Tradition

On Sunday, former Pres. Barack Obama acknowledged — in the breach — the “wise American tradition of ex-presidents gracefully exiting the political stage and making room for new voices and new ideas.”  The former president’s talk at the University of Illinois made big news in large part because it was

The Self-Neutered Congress

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee again demonstrated why Congress’s approval ratings bob about in our toilet bowls. Amid the spectacle of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, one senator spoke not about judicial philosophy, but political reality. “What’s the hysteria coming from?” asked Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), noting the circus-like

Arlington, Texas, term limits, democracy, initiative,City Council,

Strange It Is

Strange for the Arlington, Texas, City Council to hold a meeting on a Sunday evening, much less one to “consider suspending the city charter.” That is how the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported “the latest twist in the term limit controversy that has engulfed the city with a lawsuit and competing

time expired, time limit, term limits, Arkansas, politicians, referendum, vote, lobbyists

Sneaky Lobbyists Prefer Sneakiness

The Arkansas Chamber of Commerce’s CEO and chief lobbyist, Randy Zook and Kenneth Wall, have formed Arkansans for Common-Sense Term Limits.  The Chamber has a burning hatred for term limits — Common-Sense or otherwise — just like every other lobbyist and special interest. But Zook and Hall are fibbing in

term limits, Congress, myth, power, corruption

“Dorky” Doesn’t Define It

“Term limits,” said Daniel McCarthy, editor of The Modern Age, in a recent podcast conversation with historian Tom Woods, “was one of the dorkiest ideas of the 1994 so-called Newt Gingrich revolution.” He characterized it as not having really gone anywhere. Huh? Granted, Congress is still not term-limited. But Americans

ranked choice voting, democracy, initiative, referendum, election, voting, Paul Jacob, voting reform, Maine

The Other Maine Thing

Tuesday’s biggest election news was the victory for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in Maine. This is the second statewide vote for this reform, which allows voters to rank the candidates by first choice, second choice and so on.* Voters first passed it in 2016, but the next year the voters’

Missouri, show me, Article V, term limits, legislature, congress,

Missouri Shows Article V Action

There’s good news and there’s good news from the Show Me State. First the good news. The Missouri House declined to follow the lead of the Missouri Senate during its recent legislative session in advancing a ballot measure to make a travesty, mockery and sham of state legislative term limits.

term limits, elections, voting, limits, white lines, yellow lines, democracy

The Yellow and White Lines

If I’ve heard it one million times, I’ve heard it ten: “We already have term limits; they’re called elections.” A statement usually offered as the beginning and end of wisdom regarding the problems term limits are designed to tackle. Equally “profound” is the collateral claim that “the only term limits

Oklahoma State Senator, Mike Schulz, term limits

Too Ignorant to Lead

I’m convinced. Oklahoma State Senator Mike Schulz, leader of his chamber, has persuaded me that he just can’t do his job. He should have resigned years ago. Too late now, alas; he’s about to be termed out of office. Well, better late than never, I always say. Schulz burbles that

matchbook, Congress, term limits, legislative, power

Like Motel Matches

When President Trump announced he was slapping a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, a friend asked me how the president could possibly possess such unilateral authority.  That was my first thought, too, before surmising that Congress had again given away its constitutional power, as

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