We the people, in order to promote a more democratic government, are petioning for the limiting of the amount of terms Representatives and Senators. We believe this is crucial to ensuring fair elections, a congress that is truly representative of the people and not the special interests, and a congress that is free from the constraints and pressures perpetual campaigns place upon thier legislative decisions. Now, career congress members can serve unlimited terms and are often only retired from service from health concerns or death. Incumbent members of congress are notoriously difficult to unseat. Without term limits, congress member are on a never ending campaign trail. Life time congressional members are increasingly beholden to special interest groups, lobbyists, and their own parties in order to ensure their continued stay on capital hill. It is imperative for our democracy to function properly we institute term limits on the members of congress.
The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 56.7 years; and of Senators, 62.2 years. The oldest Representative, as well as the oldest current Member of Congress, is Ralph Hall (R-TX), 87, born May 3, 1923. The median age of U.S. citizens is 36.8. How can a congress member acurately reflect the concerns of the public they are supposed to represent when they are seperated by three generations or more?
Representative John Dingell (D-MI), the dean of the House, has the longest service of any House Member in history (55 years). He began serving on December 13, 1955. Dingell has always won re-election by double-digit margins. From 2002 to 2008, he has won elections with over 70 percent of the vote. In 2008, he spent 127 times more on his campaign than his opponent. In 2010, the first time in over a decade he has even closely contested, he more than doubled his opponents spending with $2.7m to Robert Steele's $1m. During this campaign, he recieve 25 times more PAC contributions than his opponent. This is not an isolated case. In the past decade, incumbent Representatives had a 94% probability of being re-elected. Senators had an 84% chance of re-election. How can fresh faces trying to represent their district or state compete? The only thing this ensures is that the only individuals who stand a chance of winning against an incumbent are individuals who are already politically connected with a large bank account to back it up. Is this the type of representation you want america? No.
We propose a limit of 2 terms for Senators (12 years) and 4 Terms from House members (8 years). We feel this is ample time to accomplish the goals and promises made to their constituants during campaigns and experience the richness of serving their nation before gracefully stepping aside to allow for other democratically elected officials the same opportunity to serve.
Sign the petition and send a message to Congress and the President that We the People are tired of career politician and want a fairly elected representative government!
* All statistics are from www.opencongress.org vist this site for more information on your congress member, their votes, past elections, and other comprehensive information. Also, visit www.opensecrets.org to see who buys your congress members election.