Denver Post, Letter to the Editor, April 25, 2001

Term limits working

The Post’s April 4 editorial (“Term Limit bubble bursts “) requires clarification.

How many times will the death of term limits be declared?

Americans inherently understand that government by lifelong politicians frighteningly resembles feudalistic monarch prior to the Revolution. Support for term limits continues to be strong across, all segments of society: men, women; rich, poor; young, old; liberal, conservative; black, white. Opponents are the same insiders: politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats.

For more than a decade the pro/con arguments have been publicly debated. Four times Colorado voters said, “We want term limits.”

Opponents fail to accept the message and warn of, without acting to avert, impending disasters.

It was asserted that HCR-1002, by extending term limits to 12 years, would prevent lobbyists from gaining power. But in committee hearing no lobbyist testified, against and some testified in favor. Are lobbyists foolish? If lobbyists would gain influence, shouldn’t they favor term limits, and oppose HCR-1002?

The large number of sponsors from both parties simply proves that politicians wish to stay in power. If their motives are, as they claim, good government, then where are the companion bills of other reforms? There is no shortage of needed reforms.

The Colorado Term Limits Coalition asked U.S. Term Limits for help to inform citizens about HCR-1002. The reaction is as if voters must be kept in the dark. What an extremist idea that voters might actually know a little about what goes on under the Capitol dome. Informing voters: would have no consequence, if public support for term limits had ceased.

U.S. Term Limits has been vilified as a, “special interest.” Most folks would agree that a special interest is one that uses political influence for curry favors from government for its own benefit. What benefit might accrue, to U.S. Term Limits by offending those who give out favors? None. U.S. Term Limits and those who support the term limits movement are motivated only by the desire to recapture government from special interests.

Term limits is about changing America’s political culture. It is only because term limits are working that those who dislike them make noise. Dennis Polhill, Golden, Colorado

The writer is chairman of the Colorado Term Limits Coalition.