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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A proposed citizens' initiative would allow candidates to indicate on the ballot whether they would comply with voluntary term limits.
GOP activist Mark Towner said Monday that he will file an initiative petition with the state Elections Office that would give candidates for Congress and top state offices the opportunity to list on the ballot next to their names whether they pledge to limit their terms in office.
Meanwhile, Bart Grant, head of Utah Term Limits, said he supports Towner's efforts even as his own "strict term limit" initiative petition fails to make it on the 2004 general election ballot.
"Right now, I'd have to say it won't make it," said Grant, who filed his initiative petition last March.
Grant's proposal would limit the number of terms an officeholder could serve.
"I don't have the financial resources to gather all the signatures I need" to get the proposal on the ballot, Grant said.
Towner hopes his voluntary term-limit initiative may find a sponsor in the 2004 Legislature, which convenes next month.
The 2003 Legislature, just hours before adjournment, repealed the state's term-limit law in time to prevent it from affecting any incumbents.
State Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, who sponsored during the repeal, said Towner's voluntary-pledge idea is a bad one, as he feels is term-limits laws in general.
"We already have term limits -- it's elections," Bramble said.
"We don't want to clutter up the ballot with such biased, political rhetoric. It would be the same as putting on the ballot next to your name whether you had once pledged never to raise taxes," Bramble said.
But having such a pledge "would settle this in a constitutional way -- because it is all voluntary," Towner said. "The average Joe Citizen, who doesn't pay much attention to elections, would know (at the ballot box) if the person running would truly be a citizen officeholder or a career politician."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)