Voters will see a “term-limits” initiative on the ballot Nov. 5. It’s called Initiative 670 in Washington and Proposition 4 in Idaho, and it’s essentially the same in both states. But this proposal would not enact term limits. Rather, it’s a “scarlet letter” intimidation tactic that would turn election ballots into campaign billboards for the term-limits cause. Don’t fall for it.
Some background: Term-limits proponents lost a big battle when the U.S. Supreme Court said states cannot impose term limits on candidates for Congress. The only way around the decision is a constitutional amendment that would force term limits at the federal level. Proponents favor this approach, of course, even though it means messing with the U.S. Constitution. They favor it so much that they want to punish anyone running for office who doesn’t agree with them.
Here’s where the “scarlet letter” comes in. The initiative requires that the phrase “Disregarded Voter Instruction on Term Limits” be placed on ballots next to the names of candidates for Congress who do not support the term-limits amendment. This is silly and vengeful. Unless the ballot remains absolutely off-limits to single-issue insults, who knows what interest group would try to use this gimmick next? Vote “no.”
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