One of those stray thoughts:
In July, delegates to the Republican State Convention voted to oppose Issue 3, approved Tuesday by voters while they otherwise signaled approval of all things Republican. It allows a legislator to serve up to 16 years in a single house of the legislature — enough time to acquire significant power. Said the report in July:
Delegates at the state Republican Party’s convention on Saturday approved a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the November ballot. The resolution cited concerns about a part of the proposal to set a 16-year limit on serving in the Legislature. House members are currently restricted to serving three two-year terms, and senators are limited to two four-year terms.
The opposition was because term limits advocates — long a movement led by Republicans — thought the weakened term limits, which it did.
The party resolution was a double-cross of Republican Sen. Jon Woods, who along with Rep. Warwick Sabin, a Democrat, led the work on a compromise amendment begun as a way to stiffen ethics laws.
Only these Republicans voted against putting Issue 3 on the ballot — Rep. Jonathan Barnett, Les Carnine and Karen Hopper and Sens. Johnny Key, Jim Hendren, Jeremy Hutchinson and Missy Irvin. A vote to put it on the ballot wasn’t a vote FOR the terms of the measure, but without it voters wouldn’t have had a crack at it.
Now the roll calls I’d like to see today: How many members of the Arkansas legislature voted for the Republican Party resolutioni to condemn Issue 3 because it weakened term limits? And how many of them will decide to serve longer than their previous six-year House and eight-year Senate limits as a consequence of voter approval of looser term limits this week?
One is on the record so far, Rep. Nate Bell of Mena. He wrote on his Facebook page before the election:
“I can’t speak for others but if re-elected this November I’ll be leaving elected office in 2016 regardless of voter’s decision on Issue 3.”
Who stands with Nate? Does Nate stand with Nate?