Candidate Signs On to Term Limit Pledge
An organization based in Pinehurst that asks congressional candidates to pledge to serve a limited number of terms has picked up its first commitment.
The Alliance for Bonded Term Limits (ABTL) announced in a news release Friday that Will Breazeale, a Republican running for a U.S. House seat in North Carolina's 7th Congressional District, is the first candidate in the country to sign on to the concept.
The organization encourages candidates to back up their pledge with something similar to a performance bond. The theory is the bond would be a substantial portion of the candidate's net worth, making it difficult to break the promise. If a candidate goes back on his pledge, the money would be donated to charity.
"Will Breazeale is the type of individual that we could be proud of to represent the people of District 7 in Washington," ABTL President Walter Bull said by phone Friday. "We are pleased to have such a dedicated young man with his intense interest in the country be our first bonded candidate."
Breazeale will challenge seven-term Congressman Mike McIntyre, a Democrat, in next year's election. While the exact amount of the bond has not been revealed, it is "personally expensive to break," according to the news release.
The organization recommends a three-term, six-year limit for congressmen and a one-term, six-year limit for senators.
The ABTL believes that an overwhelming majority of Americans favor term limits, but term limit pledges made during a campaign are often broken once the person is elected to office.
Breazeale, according to the release, is a decorated, three-tour combat Army veteran of wars in Iraq and Kuwait who believes strongly in the need for term limits in Washington. He supports the Fair Tax and is opposed to any form of amnesty for illegal aliens.
He is a member of Iraq Veterans for Congress, a political action committee (PAC) that supports the congressional and gubernatorial campaigns of conservative Republican Iraq veterans. It helped elect two candidates -- Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. of California and Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado -- during the last election cycle. So far, it is supporting nine congressional candidates and two gubernatorial candidates in 2010, according to its Web site.
The ABTL was organized in May, born out of the belief that the glitz and prestige of Washington has caused elected officials to become "professional politicians" who are more concerned with staying in power and collecting perks than in serving their constituents. Tax-exempt donations are used to fund research and maintain the group's Web site.
It is a nonpartisan group whose organizers argue that both parties are guilty of this behavior.
The organization believes that self-imposed term limits may be the most successful way to change the nature of Capitol Hill. It points to the lack of success that movements to pass a constitutional amendment to impose terms limits have had, mainly because those entrenched in Congress aren't willing to vote themselves out of office.
The ABTL is steadily gaining momentum since it was founded, organizers say. The group has an office in the Theater Building in Pinehurst that is staffed by interns and other volunteers.
Breazeale is expected to execute his bonding agreement at a public event on Oct. 22 in Wilmington. The ceremony and a reception will take place in front of the Board of Elections Office at the New Hanover County Government Center at noon.
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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