Port: Term limits measure is about profits for the political industry


MINOT, N.D. — Bismarck businessman Kent French is a legend when it comes to citizen activism. In the late 1980s he led the charge to defeat tax hikes pushed by the last Democratic governor elected in our state. He even got term limits for North Dakota’s congressional delegation into state law, though it’s unenforceable due to a Supreme Court opinion finding that only the U.S. Constitution can set the terms for service in Congress.

Yet French opposes a term limits measure that’s on the ballot this cycle, and told me as much during an interview on a recent episode of my podcast . He says it goes too far. He says it will create chaos in the Legislature, where lawmakers already are part-time public servants who can only meet in session for 80 days every two years.

He also argues that the measure itself is not a product of North Dakota-based citizen activism. He says it was put on the ballot by big-money, out-of-state interests.

The financial disclosures filed by the term limits campaign show he’s spot-on accurate on that last point.

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