When Arkansas legislators gave voters a chance to approve a constitutional amendment banning corporate contributions and gifts from lobbyists, even the referendum’s sponsor thought it was doomed. Why? Because coupled with these reforms was a provision extending legislators’ term limits, a measure so unpopular that voters had previously rejected it by a 40-point margin. Indeed, a committee opposing the referendum brought a 10-foot wooden horse to campaign events to help convince voters that the only real intention of the referendum was to get rid of term limits.
Whatever the motivations – which at times were hard to discern as the Republican legislature that placed the referendum on the ballot later passed a resolution to oppose it – the referendum passed last week with 53% of the vote. It makes a number of important changes in Arkansas law, including: Continue Reading