Monday, June 20, 2016

How AR Legislators Tricked AR Citizens!

by Iris Stevens, Letter to Editor: Restore Term Limits

Thomas Jefferson maintained that the people, not politicians, were the ultimate guardians of freedom in this country, "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves..."

Volunteers are currently collecting enough signatures to restore the term limits that our own politicians upended two years ago. For those unfamiliar with this operation, it began with the election of 2014 when the legislature wrote, passed, and submitted as an amendment a deceptive "Ethics" bill. The bill supposedly limited gifts legislators could accept from lobbyists, but also contained a scam in its misleading title, "An amendment regulating contributions to candidates for state or local office, barring gifts from lobbyists to certain state officials, providing for setting salaries of certain state officials, and setting term limits for members of the General Assembly."

Inside this lengthy bill was a section that doubled or more than doubled our current term limits from 6 years in the house and 8 years in the senate to as much as16 years! But voters, because they thought they were voting FOR term limits, passed this deceptive "Ethics Bill" 54% to 46%.

Actually, Arkansas had had term limits since 1992 when the people passed an initiative that won with almost 60% of the vote. In 1994 legislators responded to the people by challenging the vote in court claiming voters didn’t know what they were doing, but the Arkansas Supreme Court supported term limits unanimously.

In 2004, legislators referred Proposal 1 to the ballot trying to mislead voters into lengthening terms, but by a 70% majority vote Arkansans chose to keep them at the 1992 limits.

Volunteers are now asking for help to restore the term limits that voters fought for in two separate elections and passed overwhelmingly.

This "RESTORE TERM LIMITS" amendment would be voted on in November and would limit state representatives to serving six years, senators to serving eight years and state lawmakers overall to a maximum of 10 years' service. The proposed amendment also would prohibit the Legislature from putting future term-limit measures on the ballot.

For those who are frustrated by the legislature’s 22 year campaign against Arkansans’ desire to limit career politicians, please sign the petition and vote for the restoration of term limits in November.

To help collect signatures or just sign a petition, you can call 501-825-0190, email restoretermlimits@gmail.com, or go to http://restoretermlimits.org/
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Iris Stevens is from Jonesborro, AR.

Tags: AR legislators, tricked Arkansas citizens, Restore Term Limits, sign petition, help collect signatures To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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