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Published April 20, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Written by
Mike Blessum
| The Dakotan
In the opinion of Mike Blessum
In the opinion of Mike Blessum

The political class is up in arms over a proposed ballot measure to limit the terms of the governor and state legislators.  First, they derided the concept as flawed and told us that the ballot box is how we limit their time in office.  Now, the offices of the secretary of state and attorney general have thrown out 29,000 of the 46,000 signatures submitted by the measure committee – only 31,000 were required!

I believe in term limits, and I was persuaded to be among the sponsoring committee members. The sad truth is that legislators will never vote to limit their own time in office and willingly give up their power.  The North Dakota constitution allows the people to make their voice heard and this is one of the very unique cases where I support use of the ballot measure process.

The political class is painting a picture of a spoiled process involving notary issues, pay per signature schemes, and other allegations.  Accusations of criminal activity have been thrown about, implying ill intent on behalf of ballot measure supporters. While there are issues that come up in any petition process, does anyone in their right mind believe that 63% of the signatures by North Dakotans wanting term limits are invalid and should be thrown out? 

Why is there so much baseless vitriol being flung at the sponsoring committee leadership?  Polls show that North Dakotans are likely to overwhelmingly support the measure, so why is the political class pushing back so strongly?  We all know the answer to that question – POWER.

The good people of North Dakota see through this nonsense.  No matter how much the elites in government and media bash the leadership of this initiative, it only solidifies more support for the measure in the minds of the public.  Whether or not you believe term limits are the answer to keeping a healthy balance between the people and our government, I believe North Dakotans are nearly unanimous in defending our right to make the choice for ourselves on the ballot. After all, isn’t that where the political elites tell us the decisions should be made?

Mike Blessum
Minot, North Dakota

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