CL: McDaniel’s PAC Gathering Signatures for Term Limits

By Geoff Pender, Clarion Ledger, April 20, 2015

B9316490888Z.1_20150305181909_000_GCOA4UKCR.1-0The United Conservatives Fund PAC founded by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, plans to gather signatures to put term limits for state offices before Mississippi voters in 2016.

McDaniel, who is running for his third term in the state Senate, says the proposal is to limit state lawmakers and statewide officeholders to two consecutive terms in the same office.

McDaniel said incumbency “has built a wall between people and their representatives.”

“This has caused an increase in cronyism, back room deals, and corruption,” McDaniel said. “We believe regularly changing out officeholders is a step toward transcending those problems.”

United Conservatives Fund spokesman Keith Plunkett said the group would have to collect about 110,000 signatures from registered Mississippi voters. He said the group has filed paperwork with the Secretary of State and expects to start collecting signatures within about 30 days.

McDaniel said the goal is not to block anyone from public service.

“Our goal is to increase participation and make elective office more accessible to people who want to serve,” McDaniel said.

Mississippi law allows for an “indirect” ballot petition initiative, according to the Secretary of State. Once a group has gathered enough signatures, the Legislature has an opportunity to hold hearings and propose alternatives to the citizen initiative — as it did with the current school funding initiative on this year’s general ballot. The Legislature cannot veto a citizen initiative, but can pass an alternative to appear on the ballot with the original initiative.

Term limit measures filed in the Legislature in recent years have not progressed very far, usually dying in committee without a vote.



  1. Jane Green says:

    Let me get this straight, McDaniel only wants state officials to serve two terms max while he is running for his third term? Should he not lead by example? You have to admit that is pretty funny.

    • MichaelW says:

      I’m sure if it can be passed, he will be glad to turn his seat over to the next person elected from his district. Besides it is more likely to have something like this passed if he is still a member of the senate and is pushing it. Do you think the career politicians are going to not run if Chris doesn’t run, why no? That statement sounds good but isn’t practical because we will have to force these career politicians out. Please be sure to sign the petition or otherwise you are going to get the same good ole boy politics. I am just shocked that everyone doesn’t agree with this move. We need good citizens to represent us, but we don’t need the same old politicians. Good ole boy politics, cronyism, and back room deals have ruled Mississippi for far too long. Remember Mississippi is ranked # 1 in corruption in the nation. Where do you think that comes from? Many state wide elected officials have been decided in the cabins at the Neshoba County Fair. It is time to end that practice and Time to “Wake Up Mississippi.”

      • I thought that we have potential term limits every four years. The point of term limits is not to limit any one individual, but rather, to limit the power of the office itself. Term limits are important to have for the executive in order to prevent any executive from being able to become a perpetual tyrant. If the MCGOPers contend that Haley Barbour is corrupt with power as an ex-governor, they would be apoplectic if he had not been limited to just two terms–and for good reason!

  2. michaelw says:

    david, i believe a band of entrenched legislatures whether at the state or national level can also become perpetual tyrants because guess what. they control the purse strings or at the national level the printing press may be a better description. a band of long term politicians will always tell us how much we need their wisdom and guidance and things will all cave in without their leadership, even if their leadership gets you 18 trillion in debt. yes they can establish a political machine that is hard to break, that is why in so many opinions it is time for term limits. people who are against term limits always seem to hold the power close to their chest. they only want to hear from us on election day and of course after they have schemed and again told us how much we need them.i believe getting the necessary signatures is no problem, but watch the career politicians , they will fight it big time in the legislature. just stay tuned.

  3. Mildred Lewis says:

    Good move Senator McDaniel. You are full of good ideas!

  4. William Smith says:

    Sen. Stennis served 41 years. Does anyone seriously think it was not good for the Senate, MS, and the country. There is a great need for men of experience, wisdom, and legistlative skills on the House and the Senate of the country and of MS. I would hate to face a time of national crisis with a Senate made up exclusively of first or second termers. Moreover, the proposal expresses a lack of trust in the voters. “If they’re so stupid to elect the same people to represent them, we’ll fix that. We’ll take away their right to elect whom they want.” You want to force the turnover by depriving the right of the people to elect whom they want to represent them. This proposal is unwise, shortsighted, and anti-democratic. It is not conservative at all. It is radical. It takes away a right that voters have always had and exercised.

    • Michael Bosley says:

      I agree, William Smith. The thing that keeps sticking in my mind is people that are really good at their job will automatically lose it after two terms. That is crazy. Of course, we all know why this is Chris’s pet project now. Hopefully, the day will come that Chris will not constantly be haunted by Cochran.

    • Point taken, Bill. However, as you know the Founding Fathers did not have very much confidence in the idea of the government leaders being held accountable to the masses. That is why they created the Electoral College, and why the states originally limited voting only to white, freeborn males who owned real property. They would never have acquiesced in extending the right to vote to everyone. They wanted America to be a secular, democratic republic, to be managed strictly by, for, and because of men like themselves.

  5. Yes, nothing like having a bunch of Eighty something year old men who are weak of mind and body being in control of the entire country. I’d rather have the younger more enthusiastic men or women with fresh ideas and the will and stamina to make the tough decisions that the career politicians fail to do because they fear not being re-elected and that is their number one priority, not the citizens that they are supposed to represent. Yes, it is always the same argument, we need experienced leadership in Washington or Jackson and without it we are all doomed. Have there been good long term politicians in Washington and Jackson, absolutely. Yes you can look through history and pick out one or two that were really good. However in todays world they are hard to find. So much of the time they become riddled with scandal or become puppets to the big money and their cronies that breed their re-election. I see absolutely nothing wrong with having fresh representatives who will work for the peoples benefit. How can you argue with the statement to get the people involved with their government and legislative bodies and not just the career politicians.

  6. Yeah, Senator Stennis is a great example of giving the people what they want. His springboard to power was that, as District Attorney, he prosecuted three black men in 1934 for murder based solely upon confessions beaten out of them and a partial lynching.

    There was literally no other evidence against them except their own coerced confessions, which they took the stand to repudiate.

    The law enforcement witnesses readily admitted under oath to having beaten both of them mercilessly and stringing one of them up by the neck from a tree to obtain their confessions.

    The rope marks around the defendant’s neck were still clearly visible to the jury at the time of trial.

    They were convicted and sentenced to death.

    Our state supreme court ruled that beaten confessions could be used to convict them.

    Only the United States Supreme Court voided the convictions based upon obvious due process atrocities.

    Yeah, John Stennis. Mississippi voters showed us the values they cherished. They elevated him to the position of Circuit Judge, then to the United States Senate.

    That’s the sort of representation we are all so very proud of.

    Glad Stennis was still in the Senate to cast a vote against confirming Robert Bork to the Supreme Court too. That helped a whole lot.

    A great exemplar of conservative leadership for Mississippi.

  7. William Smith says:

    OK , John. Senator Stennis was a man of his times made some big mistakes, was definitely wrong to vote against Bork which was a mistake made by some other Southern lions (Heflin for ex), and you don’t like him. But he had respect for the institution of the Senate and had the respect of his colleagues, and could be looked to for wisdom. He also did a lot of good for MS. But the fact you don’t like him or approve of him is not an argument for term limits. And it remains that there is a need for men like him in the Senate. And, I said nothing about his being a conservative. On some things he was and on some things not, like most Southern Democrats (and you know how partisam I am so you should be imoressed I would say something commending a Democrat!)

    • I never said I was for or against term limits. You impute (once again) positions and motives that I never expressed.

      As a matter of fact: I’m against term limits, because the fact that the people keep re-electing the same scoundrels over and over again is useful to publicly display the corruption of the electorate.

      Term limits would just mask that.

      You might not think Stennis was a conservative, but just about everybody else does.

  8. William Smith says:

    And I resent all the ageism of these McD people! At one time in this world the elders were respected not hurried off the stage! We need a lot more whippersnappers who are not burdened by age, experience, and chastening by reality.

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