Archive for the ‘Term limits’ Category

Expanding the Scope of Term Limits

April 22, 2008

By Rep. Jason Murphey

A key figure in the ongoing federal trial for former State Senator Gene Stipe pled guilty this week to crimes related to the abuse of your taxpayer dollars. Because of the ongoing criminal case, past abuses of Oklahoma’s old guard politicians are becoming less and less of a secret.

I believe one of the key reasons for the exposure of these past abuses has been the dramatic shift in power in Oklahoma politics brought on by term limits. Those of us who are fighting to put an end to the abuses of the past face an increased likelihood of success, due in part to the fact that there are many new elected officials who have taken office in the past few years. Many of these individuals have not been corrupted by the political process. Unlike some of their predecessors, they are not career politicians. Oklahoma’s term limit law allows all representatives and senators to serve only twelve years in the Legislature. After that, they are under a lifetime ban from holding office in the Legislature again. I believe this new generation of representatives and senators is fulfilling one of the important visions of our nation’s founding fathers – the vision in which an average citizen dedicates a few years of his or her life to representing the people as a citizen-statesman. At the end of the term of office, the legislator returns to the normal world to live under the very laws he or she helped to create. This helps to ensure that legislators will be more representative of the people instead of becoming a class of the political elite.

As a result of the term limits law, the Legislature is very different from just a few years ago. Gone are many of the old guard power bosses who tightly maintained the status quo. These politicians could have stayed in office almost indefinitely and they held powerful committee chairmanships where they would bottle up reform-minded legislation. They have been replaced by a group of energetic professionals, many of whom wish to enact pro-growth policies (i.e. cutting taxes) to change Oklahoma for the better. And, should some succumb to the temptation to become part of the status quo, they will inevitably be replaced because of term limits. Read more…

Term Limits Issue One Step Away From Ballot

April 17, 2008

Oklahomans are just one legislative vote away from being able to vote this November on enacting term limits for statewide office holders, Oklahomans for Responsible Government (OFRG) said today.

By a 56-44 vote, the House approved Senate Bill 1987. The bill, which would allow voters this fall to decide whether to enact 12-year term limits for secondary statewide offices such as attorney general, state auditor and state schools superintendent, now goes to the full Senate for final consideration.

“Term limits ended the ‘good old boy’ system in the Oklahoma Legislature and allowed a new group of Republican and Democratic leaders to come to power. Those leaders ushered in much-needed reforms and policies that have helped to move the state forward,” said state Rep. Trebor Worthen (R-OKC), House sponsor of SB 1987. “I hope my colleagues in the Senate will give Oklahomans the chance to vote on this important issue. I thank OFRG for their hard work and dedication to seeing SB 1987 passed.”

OFRG Executive Director Curt Price said, “Today’s outcome is a victory for Oklahoma voters. This issue is overwhelmingly popular with voters. OFRG encourages the state Senate to follow the example of their House colleagues by giving Oklahoma voters a chance to express their voice on this important issue.”

Previously, SB 1987 passed the Senate 31-17, with seven Democrats joining their Republican colleagues in support of the bill. “With this important bill one step away from being on the November ballot, it is important senators don’t waiver in their support for SB 1987 the second time around. OFRG will continue to work to ensure that SB 1987 makes it to the ballot,” Price said.

A July 2007 Pulse Opinion Research survey of 1,000 likely voters found 77 percent of those surveyed would vote for a measure setting term limits for executive offices. A December 2007 poll by the Tulsa World and KOTV found 73 percent of those surveyed supported the idea of term limits for executive offices.

Oklahomans Will Be Allowed to Vote on Term Limits for Government Officials

March 14, 2008

The Oklahoma Senate voted Thursday to send a proposal for term limits for statewide officials to a vote of the people.

Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso) successfully attached an amendment to SB 1987 for a legislative referendum that would place a 12 year limit on the terms of Oklahoma’s statewide elected officials.

Brogdon’s proposal was adopted on a bipartisan 26 to 22 vote, with 2 Democrats joining all 24 Republican senators in support of the amendment. After adoption of the amendment, the Senate voted 31 to 17 for SB 1987.

Senator Brogdon:

Term limits have brought fresh ideas and innovative thinking to the state Legislature, and I believe term limits can have a similarly positive effect on statewide offices…My amendment today has a different effect than the term limits bill that died in committee, so it is clearly follows the letter and the spirit of the power-sharing agreement and the Senate rules,” Brogdon said. “That argument is a red herring.

Brogdon said he was disappointed that some Democrats argued that his amendment violated a clause in the Senate’s power-sharing agreement that prohibits re-hearing of specific proposals previously defeated by the Senate in committee or on the floor.

Political Group Takes Aim at Term Limits

February 28, 2008

An organization formed in 2006 to oppose the so called “Taxpayers Bill of Rights” (Tabor) will focus this election cycle on a slate of issues dealing with fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency in state government. Oklahomans for Responsible Government (OFRG) is setting its sights this election cycle on term limits for statewide office holders. The group is working to seek passage of measures allowing Oklahomans to vote on the issue.

Sources tell the Oklahoma Political News Service that OFRG has significant resources to mount a strong campaign for its legislative agenda. The group says it will “be active at the Capitol and the grassroots level” across the state as it works to develop support for its agenda.

OKPNS will continue to investigate.

Quote Of The Day

December 5, 2007

“Competition breeds success,” Brogdon said. “When you have the opportunity to have competitions in an elected capacity, it is good for people.” – Senator Randy Brogdon

Read More

Dunn: Politicians Fighting People’s Will on Term Limits

November 8, 2007

Yes on Term Limits Chairman James Dunn says a flurry of news coverage this week shows that entrenched politicians are frightened of term limits, and that there is no line some won’t cross to stop the will of the people.

“News reports indicate two Tulsa-area Democrats are crafting measures to thwart the people’s will when it comes to term limits,” says Dunn. “It is a fact that nearly 80% of Oklahomans want term limits, and no matter how hard Senator Easley and Representative Shumate work to deny that wish, the people’s will on this issue will prevail,” says Dunn.

Easley wants to repeal term limits on state legislators, and Shumate wants to make it harder for citizens to petition their government. “It’s a fine bit of rhetorical nonsense, but no matter how you slice it or pretend to be fighting voter “fraud,” there are entrenched political forces dedicated to criminalizing the process by which voters can petition their government. We’re beginning to see the plan our opponents will use to try and stop term limits: obfuscation, bogus legislation and indictments. We intend to fight these anti-democratic measures and allow the citizens to regain control of state government,” Dunn says.

Dunn says if the entrenched politicians want to truly fight corruption, they will support, not fight, term limits. “Yes for Term Limits believes the best antiseptic for limiting the power and corrosive nature of unlimited terms of office is to return power to the people and enact term limits on statewide office holders. The political bosses and their allies in the press and the courts will say and do anything to stop the will of the people, but we will not stop working until the will of the people is manifested in the law.


Tulsa World term limits poll