Medical doctor and U.S. Congressman Tom Coburn (Oklahoma), in announcing that he would not serve beyond a third term, remarked, "I believe more than ever that our nation's problems have been created because career politicians have set themselves apart as an elite class of people trying to dictate to us how we run our lives."
That's why we, the people of Idaho, voted for congressional Term Limits in 1994 and again in 1996. We feel that career politicians don't really represent us.
Idaho voters want to know whether candidates for Congress plan to be "Citizen Representatives" -- or instead, want long careers in Washington with all the perks, privileges and million-dollar pensions that come with the job.
Proposition 1, the Congressional Term Limits Pledge Initiative," gives candidates an opportunity to inform voters, on the ballot, if they voluntarily agree to limit themselves to the same Term Limits twice passed by Idaho voters.
Proposition 1will also inform voters if a candidate breaks his or her Pledge. Candidates agree that if they break their Pledge, the words "Broke TERM LIMITS pledge" will appear next to their names on the ballot.
A "YES" vote on Proposition 1 will provide voters an opportunity to choose between true "Citizen Representatives" of the people, and long-term "Career Politicians."
Career Politicians have given us an out-of-control federal government. The only way to gain control over our bloated and intrusive federal government is Term Limits.
· Term Limits encourage greater citizen participation in government - by ensuring regular turnover in congressional seats. Citizens of all professions and backgrounds will run for office.
· In states where Term Limits are in effect for state legislators, voters have more choice at the ballot box - and the quality and number of candidates running for office is increasing.
· The people of Idaho strongly support Term Limits. Twice voters have enacted Term Limits laws at the ballot box. Recent Boise State University research shows nearly 80 percent of us want to keep the Term Limits we passed in 1994.
· Term Limits decrease the influence of lobbyists and special interests who have too much power in our present system. With regular turnover, lobbyists will not be able to exploit the cozy relationships they presently enjoy with career politicians.
· Lobbyists, bureaucrats and special interests have lost power in states where Term Limits are in effect. That's why we need Term Limits at the Federal level in Washington!
· Term Limits ensure greater fiscal responsibility and lower taxes. The longer politicians stay in office, the more of our tax dollars they spend.
· Term Limits reduce corruption and open our government to new people with new ideas to solve our country's problems.
The people of Idaho have a right to provide candidates the opportunity to voluntarily speak on the intentions either to serve a limited time in Congress or to pursue a career in Washington.
Vote "YES" for Proposition 1 -- "The Congressional Term Limits Pledge Initiative."
Citizens for Term Limits
Although term limits have some shallow, seductive abstract appeal, in the secrecy of the voting booth, voters elect people they believe will get the job done, regardless of the candidate's position on term limits. It happened this year when Mike Simpson refused to pledge to support term limits and beat three opponents who signed the pledge in the Republican primary for Congress (second district). Term limits supporters put up undisclosed thousands of dollars for his defeat, to no avail. His decision not to sign could not have been any better publicized if Proposition 1 had been in effect.
The term limits movement is faltering. In primaries across the nation this year, candidates who refused to sign pledges defeated their pledge-signing opponents -- in Oregon, Greg Walden; in Pennsylvania, Bill Gooding; in Kentucky, Gex Williams and Ernesto Scorsone; in California, Stephen Kuykendall; in New Jersey, Rush Holt; in Mississippi, Delbert Hosemann and in New Mexico, Heather Wilson.
Lobbyists and special interest groups have great influence on freshmen congressman. It takes several years for a new member to learn the ropes and know how to recognize the lobbyists' sales pitches. Until then, new congressman are easily led, both by private lobbyists and by members of the federal bureaucracy whose experience the new congressman cannot match.
The political campaign should end at the door of the polling place and not be carried onto the official ballot. Proposition 1 makes a mockery of the electoral system. It deserves your "no" vote.
Save the Constitution Committee