LOBBYISTS, CAREER POLITICIANS & SPECIAL INTERESTS OPPOSE THE PEOPLE’S TERM LIMITS
Powerful And Well Connected Who Donate Huge Amounts of Money to Candidates and Millions on Lobbying Rally Together
Bismarck, ND -- Today, North Dakota for Term Limits called attention to the unholy combination of prominent lobbyists, special interests and long-serving legislators who held a press conference at the State Capitol expressing their opposition to Ballot Measure 1, which would apply term limits to the office of Governor, State House and State Senate.
“You couldn’t ask for a clearer endorsement of the need for term limits than this press conference,” said North Dakota for Term Limits Chair Jared Hendrix. “Almost every possible special interest group in the state came out to oppose something that will limit their power and influence.”
It appears that this group of politicians and lobbyists are responsible for direct mail and radio ads to defeat Ballot Measure 1. “They are so terrified that they are running a campaign of lies to defeat Measure 1,” continued Hendrix. “They even claim that lobbyists will benefit from term limits – but if that is true, why are lobbyists funding opposition? The entrenched political power brokers in Bismarck are holding onto the status quo and they know voters are tired of them.”
Hendrix continued: “At this conference, one retiring legislator talked about the need to spend decades in government to understand the budget and legislative process. This mindset results in a very small number of people in state government who are gate-keepers of this knowledge. We just had a single person chair the Senate appropriations committee for almost 20 years. That’s too much time for one person to have that much power and influence. Career politicians put themselves into these positions but then tell would-be candidates and freshmen citizen legislators that they aren’t smart enough to understand the budget process.”
“The lobbyists and bureaucrats love it this way. They know exactly who to go to in order to get what they want, meanwhile everyday citizens are put on the backburner. This combination of lobbyists and career politicians is the reason that 46,000 North Dakotans signed petitions for term limits for the Governor and the legislature. The voters are tired of the behind-the-scenes cronyism that happens between career politicians and lobbyists, and they want term limits.”
The North Dakota for Term Limits campaign supports a Yes vote on Measure 1 – a state constitutional amendment that would limit the Governor, and members of the State House and State Senate to a lifetime limit of two terms (8 years) in each office. It is a very simple proposal that gives power back to the people and takes it away from the lobbyists and career politicians.
“Measure 1 scares the lobbyists because it makes their job harder.,” said Hendrix. “Career politicians, they just want to keep power. This is why they are fighting hard against term limits. A Yes vote sends the message we don’t appreciate lobbyists and career politicians taking advantage of our institutions. They belong to the people, not special interests.”
Additional information on North Dakota for Term Limits may be obtained at www.northdakotafortermlimits.com
Diverse Group of Stakeholders Hold Press Conference to Denounce Term Limits and Urge a No Vote on Constitutional Measure 1
Minot, N.D. - Leaders from nearly twenty-five different organizations met in Bismarck today to denounce term limits and urge voters to vote “no” on North Dakota Constitutional Measure 1, which is on the general election ballot.
Constitutional Measure 1 would limit state legislators to serving eight years in the state House and eight years in the state Senate. Contrary to what many believe, Measure 1 applies only to North Dakota state legislators and the Governor. It has no impact on Congress or D.C. politicians. It also adds a new section to the state Constitution that cannot be removed or overturned without another ballot measure.
The entities opposed to Measure 1 represent numerous different industries from across the state, including agriculture, education, business, construction, energy, medical, credit unions and more. The measure has also been rejected by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Minot Area Chamber EDC President | CEO Brekka Kramer kicked off the press conference at the Capitol in Bismarck. “Our organization is a part of a coalition with chambers and organizations across the state that oppose Measure 1, the Term Limits Measure. We are here today with one voice and want the citizens of North Dakota to take time to learn more about this measure. This is not about Congressional term limits, it is about legislators, fellow citizens, who step forward to improve North Dakota and limiting their ability to do this. We have champions for business that do great things for our state and their experience is invaluable,” stated Kramer.
“Our organizations representing businesses across the state are concerned about the consequences should it pass. Due to mandated turnover, additional time and money will be used to train on procedures and issues. This would impact progress and productivity at the cost of the taxpayers. We are coming forward with a unified voice. Policy isn’t made in a vacuum – it’s responsive and intuitive. We need leaders who are thoughtful and can dig in where appropriate to represent the needs of their constituents, while not feeling the pressure of a countdown clock,” stated CEO Arik Spencer of the Greater North Dakota Chamber. Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber President and CEO Shannon Full added, “Measure 1 would present severe challenges for our state, region, and our members. We strongly urge our North Dakota voters to reject this measure.”
Aimee Copas, Executive Director of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders, stated that “dedicated and caring legislators who strongly support the best education system possible for our kids are incredibly important to our state and future workforce. Experience in our elected officials at the capital is critical to the future of our youth. Remember, our part time dedicated legislators have inherent term limits – every 4 years, we as citizens have the obligation to vote them in or out.”
Russ Hanson, Executive Vice President of the Associated General Contractors of North Dakota, echoed this sentiment adding, “this is a solution in search of a problem. In essence, every election is a term limit by allowing the voting public the right to elect who they want to represent them.”