Arizona Can Even the Political Playing Field by Supporting Term Limits for Congress

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Members of the Arizona State Legislature can do their part to vanquish big money in politics and create a level playing field for all who want a say in government.

As a bonus, they will ultimately elect more women to Congress.

All they need to do is go along with a proposal former Democratic President Barack Obama endorsed before he left office.

That idea — impose term limits on members of Congress through an Article V convention.

But the time for Arizona legislators to vote in favor of a resolution to that effect is running out.

Right now the state senate has a bill that would allow Arizona to have a say in this matter, SCR1014 awaits a vote.

The outcome is uncertain.

According to a 2015 New York Times/CBS Poll, 84 percent of Americans believe money has too much influence in political campaigns. Fundraising is most unequal when an incumbent defends his seat. Any reform that fights incumbency can make the money situation more equal.

Term limits is that reform.

Like any smart investor, special interests spend on candidates who provide them with the best possible return. That’s why sitting congressmen receive $6 for every dollar that goes to their challengers. The advantage makes them powerful and virtually impossible to beat. This discourages good people from running for office.

An incumbent’s fundraising edge is a protective shield come election time against their own bad votes, any talented challengers who want their seat and potential lost support from within their own party. This, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The odds of defeating a U.S. House incumbent based on a challenger’s spending are even if the challenger has $2 million or more. They’re 18 to four if the challenger has only between $1 million to $1.4 million. But if the challenger has less than $1 million then his or her odds of winning are 293 to two.

The average House incumbent raises around $1.5 million for his or her re-election campaign. The average challenger raises around $250,000.

But what happens in an open seat race?

The average candidate raises a happy medium, around $600,000.

Open seat contests bring more candidates, more accessibility to elected office, and more equal fundraising.

Term limits remedy the problems of incumbency and the money that goes along with it. By guaranteeing open seat races on a regular basis, term limits deliver a more balanced and accessible system. They prevent incumbents from growing too unbeatable, and they keep Congress from transforming into an aristocracy.

But term limits offer additional perks.

According to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts professor Samantha Pettey, if women run for office then they are just as likely to win an election as men. And yet, only 25 percent of state legislators are women.

Pettey reports that while more women are running for office at the state level, states with term limits see an even greater increase in the number of female candidates.

Pettey’s research shows Democratic, rather than Republican women, are more likely to hold office.

According to, Obama has praised term limits.

“I think term limits are a really useful thing,” Obama said.

Again, Arizona has the power to enact real change.

Call your legislator today and insist they vote in favor of an Article V term limits resolution.

Suzette Meyers, Arizona State Director, U.S. Term Limits

About Opinion 362 Articles
Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comments on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.


  1. Hank’s right. U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton ruled that states cannot impose term limits to US legislators, because that’s adding to requirements for office outlined in the Constitution. Don’t let the Dems touch our Constitution! We the people have the power to limit terms of our professional ruling class.

  2. i guess the great constitutionalist does not know anything at all. Since he introduced the idea I guess he didn’t realize that back in the 80-90’s another democrap took the issue to the courts and won. States cannot have limits on how long these scum can serve as it is a denial of their ‘RIGHT TO WORK’ and limits were declared illegal. If they are calling for a constitutional convention, forget it as that would lead to changes to other ‘rights’ that the PEOPLE HAVE being compromised by the democraps who have a party first agenda, not a countr first one.

    • Well Hank lets work on changing that, it’s about time isn’t it? “Right to Work” should go then and do some good for our state. Get these no good demoncraps out, they seem to have taken over the state ever since 0bama sued this state. He and Soros must have sent them here.

  3. Great Idea. Lets start with the Tucson City Council members and the Pima County Board of Supervisor member.

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