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Term limits group slams Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff for their stance on the issue

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The group U.S. Term Limits, which bills itself as the leader of the grassroots movement to install term limits in Congress, is bashing Florida Senate candidates Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff for their specific plans on how long a member of Congress can serve in Washington before being term-limited out.

U.S. Term Limits says the two Republicans term-limit proposals are a “sham designed to win votes” with no benefit at all to the term limits cause. USTL President Philip Blumel says both candidates plan for a 12-year limit in the House of Representatives cannot be implemented, “since the 40 most ardent term limits supporters in Congress have already pledged their exclusive support to a six-year House limit.”

Both candidates are calling for limits of 12 years in the Senate, amounting to two six-year terms. However, the two differ on the limits in the House – Wilcox stays with 12 years there, while Beruff is calling for a limit of eight years, something noted by Beruff spokesman Chris Hartline.

“The people of Florida voted to approve 8-year term limits, and Carlos believes that they were right,” says Hartline. Carlos has already committed to only serving two terms in the U.S. Senate, and no one will work harder to implement term limits for all of Congress than him.”

Wilcox blasted the USTL statement:

“I fundamentally believe if you care about term limits, you should live by them whether the Amendment happens or not – the U.S. Term Limits pledge does not demand a self-imposed term limit in the absence of a constitutional amendment. Principles are supposed to be what guide a person’s actions. So ask these folks to explain why term limits are good in theory but not in practice. Ask them how many politicians have signed the pledge vowing to support a term limits constitutional Amendment, but have gone on to serve more than two terms – in ANY office.”

“In fact, I am not signing ANY pledges,” Wilcox added. “I answer questions plainly, make clear the principles that guide me, and commit to specific solutions without equivocation.”

In 1992, 77 percent of Florida voters voted to limit state representatives and senators to a limit of eight years in office. Last year Hialeah Republican Sen. Rene Garcia and West Palm Beach Democratic Rep. Mark Pafford proposed extending that to limit to 12 years, but it went nowhere in the Legislature.

“These two travel Florida touting plans to stop career politicians, but their proposals will only entrench politicians even deeper,” Blumel said.

“The people of Florida deserve better than empty rhetoric disguised as a plan of substance.”

U.S. Term Limits says it has recruited 40+ members of Congress and hundreds more candidates to sign onto its Term Limits Amendment Pledge, a vow to exclusively sponsor a term limits amendment of three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate.

Some might say that the statement is a case of sour grapes – both Wilcox and Beruff have refused to sign the U.S. Term Limits pledge, as has David Jolly, though USTL has nothing to say about him in their statement.

Carlos-Lopez Cantera and Ron DeSantis have signed the pledge.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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