For all their confidence about South Dakota being a Republican state where they can easily win elections, some Republicans sure seem nervous about putting themselves and their ideas to a vote of the people.
Rookie Rep. Chris Karr (R-11/Sioux Falls) is prime-sponsoring House Joint Resolution 1010, which would place on the ballot yet another Republican effort to reduce our opportunities to vote. This time, Rep. Karr wants us to amend the constitution to allow him (and his 104 colleagues) to serve for four more years before having to ask the voters to reëlect him. HJR 1010 would limit legislators to two consecutive terms in one chamber, effectively keeping our current eight-year term limit in place.
Doubling terms for legislators reduces their accountability to voters. If we had four-year terms right now, Republican like Karr who crassly voted to trample the will of the voters last year by repealing IM 22 would get three and a half years for the sting of that insult to fade in voters’ memories. With two-year terms, Karr and his colleagues have to answer to us voters this year, when the memory of the IM 22 repeal is fresh and kept fresh by Amendment W (IM 22 2.0!) and by Kristi Noem’s pandering endorsement of IM 22’s campaign finance reforms.
Members of the United States House of Representatives have to answer to use every two years; our state legislators deserve no longer term than that. Rep. Karr, if you want to serve in Pierre for four years, you’ll need to earn it by winning two elections. Voters, demand that your legislators continue to face you on the ballot every two years. Vote NO on HJR 1010.