If you thought you saw a 10-foot-high horse on a trailer Tuesday in downtown Harrison, your eyes were not deceiving you.
Tom Steele, chairman of Arkansas Term Limits ballot question committee, brought the “Trojan Horse” to Harrison as part of a sweep through northern Arkansas to campaign against Issue No. 2 and Issue No. 3 that appear on the 2020 General Election ballot.
He explained that Issue No. 2 is, by reading the ballot title, ostensibly about amending the constitution to alter term limits, but it does more than that by allowing legislators to serve more terms after taking a four-year break from the General Assembly.
Steele calls it the “lifetime politician amendment” because it would allow legislators to serve 34 years in the General Assembly out of 36 years total.
Issue No. 3 is designed to amend the process for voters and citizen groups to get proposed initiated acts, constitutional amendments and referenda on the General Election ballot.
But Steels says that amendment will actually make it much harder for grassroots groups of citizens to petition reforms onto the ballot.
“One of our biggest complaints now is just the dishonesty of what they’re doing with these two issues,” Steele said of the two proposals referred to voters by the General Assembly.
Steele said the reason for the Trojan Horse is that the committee feels officials are trying to slip something past voters with misleading ballot titles.
“They craft the ballot titles, which is what the voter sees in the voting booth,” Steele said. “That ballot title is not going to tell them what these things do. It’s completely devoid of any information that the voters would use to come to an informed decision.”