Term Limits In US Government Essay Research — страница 3

  • Просмотров 308
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 21

toward the concept of term limitation. Upon discovering the staggering results in favor of the idea, he began devising a campaign strategy in an attempt to implement twelve-year term limits on state legislators (Benjamin 140). State Question 632, as the proposal was called, prompted little campaigning by its proponents and even less opposition by its opponents (Benjamin 141). The only group to emerge in protest of State Question 632 was PROVE (The Committee to Protect the Rights of Oklahoma Voters), but their effort was for naught. As a result of widespread support, well planned campaigning, and nearly non-existent opposition, Oklahoma became the first state to impose term limits on its state legislature on September 18, 1990 (Benjamin 142). In order for a successful grass-roots

movement on term limits to materialize, both funding and organization is needed, and these goals require the backing of trained professionals and activists. The term limitation drive consists of a national and several local headquarters; leaders of the latter run daily operations and plot strategy in their respective states while they are assisted with logistical support and general guidance by the former. In recent years, five key national groups have emerged in the term limitation effort: Americans to Limit Congressional Terms (ALCT), Citizens for Constitutional Reform (CCR), and Americans Back In Charge (ABIC) have supported mandatory rotation, while Let The People Decide (LTPD) and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have opposed it (Egan

A1). ALCT was established in the summer of 1989 by Republican political consultants Eddie Mahe and LeDonna Lee, and quickly incorporated Democrats in the organization to make it bipartisan. The first national group created for the exclusive purpose of advocating term limits for members in Congress, ALCT is based in Washington, D.C. in order to take advantage of the national media attention and constituency it has to offer. Despite limited association with grass- roots politics, ALCT has served as a broad advisor and spokesman for the national term limit movement. Unfortunately, ALCT began to encounter organizational problems in 1991 when its president, Cleta Mitchell, resigned in order to join Americans Back in Charge. Since then ALCT has limited itself to direct mail fund

raising and overseeing state organizations. CCR began in November of 1990 as an activity of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a nonpartisan group promoting free-market alternatives to government programs. CCR severed its ties with Citizens for a Sound Economy in February of 1991 and created two different department within itself- a lobbying group, and a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Until its replacement by U.S. Term Limits in 1992, CCR boasted a grass-roots membership of over two-hundred thousand and called for ending incumbent advantages in elections. CCR did so by providing local groups with draft language for initiatives, valid signature gathering for such initiatives, monitoring local and state groups, and providing financial and fund-raising support (Egan B9). ABIC

developed from a state campaign committee that attempted to gather support for a state initiative limiting the terms of state legislators in the winter of 1989. The campaign committee, Coloradoans Back in Charge (CBIC), spent over three-hundred thousand dollars on radio advertising and signature gathering, and had widespread success (Benjamin 65). ABIC is active in three major areas of legal research, ballot access, and campaign strategy and tactics. The organization provides information on legal procedures concerning legislation on term limits to all local groups who are interested in beginning initiatives, and also gives advice on signature collecting to the same groups. ABIC’s main area of expertise lies with campaign advice and how to run successful campaign fund raising,

use the media, and organize a volunteer network in order to gain public office (Benjamin 66). LTPD was first instituted as a lobbying organization opposed to mandatory rotation during the spring of 1991 and remains the most renown group of its kind despite any successes and limited resources. They receive much of their financing from labor groups and manage to employ an executive director and two panels of political scientists. LTPD is most actively involved in monitoring and coordinating term limit opposition around the country, providing research to those groups, recommending speakers to advocate anti-term limit cases, and providing legal guidance through the powerful Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Arnold and Porter (Benjamin 70). Organized labor unions such as the AFL-CIO