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We did it! - 135,590

Voters like term limits because they don't want career politicians.

Politicians hate term limits because, well, they want to be career politicians.


I thought we had term limits?

Until 2014, Arkansas had strong term limits, initiated by citizens and passed by voters in 1992 with 60% of the vote. It passed in 70 of 75 Arkansas counties. Representatives could serve three terms (6 years), Senators two terms (8 years).

In 2004, the politicians' well-funded attempt to weaken term limits and double their terms was squashed by voters with a near record 70% vote. All 75 counties said NO to the Legislature, voting to keep term limits. Arkansas voters like term limits!

What happened in 2014?

The 2004 landslide defeat taught the Legislators one important thing: voters would not knowingly weaken term limits. To succeed in weakening term limits and lengthening their political careers, the Legislators would have to trick the voters into thinking they were voting for something else, something they like, something like, say, ethics reform.

In what is widely considered a brazen fraud perpetrated on the people by the politicians, the Legislators showed the people of Arkansas just what they're made of in 2014. Knowing their ballot title would not go before the Arkansas Attorney General for review and approval, they crafted a long ballot title full of things voters like. It was all about beating up on lobbyists, preventing legislators from taking bribes gifts, preventing them from taking corporate money, preventing them from raising their own salary, that sort of thing. The last ten words of the longest ballot title ever said "and establishing term limits for members of the General Assembly."

The message of this anti-politician ballot title was simply too powerful to overcome. Reading the deceptive ballot title in the voting booth, voters thought they were voting for ethics reform for politicians. Few were aware the amendment would gut term limits. Despite a vigorous public awareness campaign by Arkansas Term Limits, Issue 3 passed in November 2014 with 52% of the vote.

Arkansas now has the weakest term limits in the nation. With term limits written by legislators for legislators, they can now stay there for up to 22 years.

When given the choice between doing the right thing, respecting the will of the people, or deceiving voters to prolong their political careers, the politicians chose their own self interest. Of the 100 Representatives and 35 Senators in the Arkansas Legislature, only 7 voted against referring Issue 3 to the voters. 7 of 135. Only 7 of these guys stood up and said no to deceit. Many of the longer-serving Legislators would not be there today were it not for this deceit. See how they voted.

For more information, see: History of Arkansas Term Limits

The lies they tell! They must have some kind of workshop up there at the state capitol to teach politicians what to say when asked about term limits because they all seem to have the same false answers. Here are the top arguments our politicians use when trying to convince voters that term limits are bad:

 1  Lobbyist love term limits.
"Lobbyist and special interests love term limits because they will be able to take advantage of all those rookies up there." In 2004, when the politicians referred a "gut term limits" amendment that would double their terms, special interests spent over $400,000 to help the politicians effort to get rid of term limits. They didn't give the term limits supporters a dime. Lobbyists hate term limits! See: Myth-Busting 101: Do Lobbyists Love Term Limits?

 2  “Lobbyists prey upon the House freshman”
Jon Woods, chief architect of the "gut term limits" amendment, since indicted for bribery, actually said that. "When they first get up there, they're easy prey for the lobbyists." Rep. Stephen Meeks (R-67) of Greenbrier, who voted to refer the amendment and deceptive ballot title to the people, reportedly said just like any other job, it takes time to learn all the “ins and outs” of state government. “When I talk to legislators at other states they tell me it takes between six and eight years to understand state government,” he said.  This one is easy: If it takes you that long to catch on, you're not smart enough to be a legislator.

 
Who are the "Special Interests", anyway?
  
Follow the money. Broadly speaking, they are the lobbyists hired to influence legislators, and the corporate interests who employ them. The top 9 spenders against term limits in 2004 were:
[1] Arkansas Farm Bureau$105,841
[2] Arkansas Outdoor Advertising Assoc$30,000
[3] Arkansas State Chamber Of Commerce$26,710
[4] Entergy Corp$25,000
[5] Arkansas Realtors Association$25,000
[6] Stephens Group$15,000
[7] National Education Assoc$12,500
[8] Arkansas Education Assoc$12,500
[9] Tyson Foods$10,000
* From Follow The Money.com. See the complete list (click "Top Donors").


July 6, 2018 - The people respond.



Lum and Abner Ferstival, June 1&2 2018 in Mena.



RiverFest, May 25-27, 2018, in Little Rock.



SpringFest, May 18-19, 2018, in Heber Springs.



White County Gun Show in Searcy, May 19 & 20, 2018.



Early Voting in Little Rock, May 12, 2018.



Little Rock Gun Show on February 16-17, 2018.



November 24, 2017 at the Jonesboro Gun Show.



Little Rock Gun Show on November 4, 2017.



440+ signatures on a single Saturday at CabotFest on October 14, 2017.



Timberfest in Sheridan October 6, 2017.



September 30 at the Bryant Fall Fest.



September 19-23 at the Faulkner County Fair in Conway.



September 18-13 at the Northeast Arkansas District Fair in Jonesboro.



September 11-16 at the Garland County Fair in Hot Springs.



August 19-20 at the Survival and Green Living Expo in Conway.



August 11-12 at the Watermelon Festival in Hope. Big crowd. lots of signatures



August 4-5 at the Pine Tree Festival in Dierks.



July 31 thru August 5 Sharp County Fair in Ash Flat.



July 28-29. Two booths at the Altus Grape Festival. Wet Friday, beautiful Saturday. We really signed them up Saturday.



July 21, 20017. Johnson County Peach Festival at Clarksville, AR.



July 17, 20017. Open for business at the 2017 Independence County Fair.



July 1-2, 20017. Our table at the Springdale Gun & Knife show. Thanks to Matt, Jeff, and John.



July 4, 20017. Booth setup at the 41st Annual Pangburn 4th Of July Celebration. Way to go Randall!



July 4, 20017. Booth setup at Pops on the River, Little Rock. We were located about 100 feet in front of the entrance as thousands of folks made their way in and out of Riverfront PArk. Thanks to Travis, Kenny, David, and Tom.



June 24, 20017. Booth setup at the 28th Annual PurpleHull Pea Festival and Rotary Tiller Race. Thanks Rusty!



June 24, 20017. Booth setup at the Southern Food Festival in Batesville. Randall at work!



June 23, 20017. Booth setup at Brickfest in Malvern. Travis, Kenny and Tom, on the Job!



June 2, 2017. Booth setup at the 40th Annual Lum and Abner Festival in Mena, Polk County, just before the crowd arrived. We gathered over 500 signatures at this two-day event, over 400 from Polk County alone.




February 25, 2017. Table setup at the Gun & Knife Show in Hot Springs, Garland County.




December 10, 2016. Table setup at the Gun & Knife Show at the Conway Expo Center, Faulkner County.