Paid political letter: Yes on Measure 1

Ideas and opinions in this letter are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stance of this paper. The author of this letter has paid for its placement. There are 15 states that have enacted term limits on their state legislatures. There are also 36 states which have term limits on their governors. Our state now has the opportunity to join both lists as it votes on Constitutional Measure 1 at the ballot box next month. I am excited about this prospect.

And I’m not alone. A recent poll showed that 81% of voters in North Dakota support the ballot measure, which would limit state legislators and the governor to a 8-year lifetime limit. This makes good sense. Positions of power in our state government should not be monopolized by individuals long-term. Term limits would help ensure we maintain a true citizen legislature. Serving in the legislature should be an act of service. It should even hurt a little and be a personal sacrifice. But now we are seeing special interest groups coming out and trying to convince the public not to vote YES next month. Why? The answer is obvious, is it not? It undermines their bottom line. Lobbyists and their special interest groups always oppose term limits reforms because it frees legislators from the entanglements that inevitably arise when long-term career politicians get a little too cozy with lobbyists at swanky VIP gatherings and in back rooms in Bismarck.

Term limits on the legislature and on the governorship would help ensure that those seats of power remain in the possession of the people, and that long-term incumbency advantage (fueled by favors done by those same special interests) does not monopolize the seat. Ensuring that every so often there will be open seat elections means more candidates will run for those seats, and that means more competition. More competition means that voters benefit, even if it frustrates the parties and the establishment. Voters want to see vibrant elections in which the voters see real options when it comes to casting a vote. Let’s make sure this is the case and vote YES on Constitutional Measure 1.

Senator Joe Miller 2008-16
Former Chairman of the Agriculture Committee
Park River, N.D.