Argument Against Advisory Vote

Should we vote "yes" to keep term limits, or "No" to reject term limits?

Please vote "No."

In theory, "term limits" may sound good to some, but the fact is: Term limits hurt Idaho.


Idaho voters should be the ones who decide who represents them, and for how long, in local and state government offices. But we'll start losing that control in the elections of 2000 and beyond, when the current "term limits" law will arbitrarily start forcing people out of office -- regardless of the quality of performance, and regardless of the wishes of the voters who elected them.


"Term limits" will rob Idaho of our most effective, most experienced office-holders -- school boards, city councils, statewide elected officials, county commissioners, legislators, sheriffs, etc. Inexperience will replace experience at every level of government, increasing the actual power and influence of lobbyists and bureaucrats -- unelected people, not subject to the will of Idaho voters at the polls.


The fact is, we've always had "term limits" in Idaho, only we call it the "ballot box." Idahoans have always had the right to decide when elected officials have served long enough, or when they have not served well enough. Voters are exercising those rights, judging from the amount of turn-over at all levels of government in Idaho. So -- not only will "term limits" hurt more than they will ever help, "term limits" aren't even needed, with so much turn-over already happening..


Why was the "term limits" law passed in the first place? A key element of the 1994 law was the limit it tried to put on Congress, because of voter frustration with that body. But since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has over-ruled that part of the "term limits" law, saying states don't have the legal power to limit terms in Congress. So half of the "term limits" law now is already null and void.


There's another bad part to the 1994 initiative. Many people did not realize that the term limit restrictions apply even to county, city and school district elected officials. That causes a real problem in areas of Idaho where it's already hard to find good people to run for local offices. Even the backers of the 1994 initiative now realize this needs to be changed.

With these facts in mind, and the changes that have occurred since 1994, it makes sense that the Legislature decided to present Idahoans with this advisory vote to see if they want to remove the law altogether and avoid the problems it will create.

We respectfully ask that you vote "no" on this measure, so the Legislature next session will repeal this well-intended but misguided "term limits" law. Only then will Idaho voters keep our control of the ballot box so we can make the decisions on who represents us and for how long.

Idahoans Against Term Limits

Rebuttal to Argument Against Advisory Vote

Term Limits decrease the influence of special interest lobbyists who have too much power in our present system.

There are nearly 300 Lobbyists in Boise representing Special Interest Groups. In fact, two powerful lobbyists -- representing business interests and county officeholders -- wrote the argument against Term Limits.

Why? Because they know that with Term Limits, lobbyists lose power and their control over our political system.

Term Limits increase citizen participation in government.

In states where Term Limits are now in effect, more people are running for office. Today many long-term incumbents run unopposed at every level of government. In the State Legislature, incumbent re-election rates have exceeded 94% over the past decade.

Term Limits return power to the people.

Today's legislative system is dominated by multi-term politicians who decide the fate of legislation.

When Term Limits are in effect, our votes will mean more in Boise because the views of newly elected Legislators -- closer to the people -- will have more clout.

Idaho voters always have the power to keep any elected official they want.

Term-limited lawmakers at any level of government can run write-in campaigns.

Term Limits should be given a chance in Idaho.

Idaho Term Limits -- passed overwhelmingly by voters in 1994 -- won't go into effect for Legislators until 2004. However, Lobbyists and Legislators are already moving to repeal them.

Term Limits will eliminate the stranglehold that special interest Lobbyists have on our State Legislators.

Vote "Yes" for Term Limits!

Citizens for Term Limits