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'Trojan Horse' Conveys Campaign Message

// News // DC // VA // Norfolk

George Washington personally removed himself from office after serving as this country’s first executive leader for two terms.

While the popular political figure likely could have served as president for more years,  even he realized the value of term limits for officeholders, said Gwenn Aspen, chairwoman of Nebraskans Against Amendment 3.

The relatively new group, she said, is a “conglomerate” of several taxpayer organizations opposed to the Nebraska term limits amendment, also known as Amendment 3.

The proposed amendment would raise state legislative term limits to three consecutive terms. The current limit, in effect since 2006, is two consecutive terms. The issue will be on the general ballot on Nov. 6.

“I’m a proponent of a legislature of the people — as opposed to a legislature of career politicians — because I feel they represent the constituents the best,” she said.

“President Washington stepped down after eight years because he realized that power in the hands of a few people for a long time is corrupting and can create arrogance in the leadership,” said Aspen during a rally in the new City Square Park in downtown Norfolk Monday afternoon.

It was the fifth stop that day for Aspen and Scott Tillman of Fremont, Mich., creator of a 12-foot-tall, 1,500-pound, solid wood “Trojan horse” that is being hauled to all corners of the state by Nebraskans Against Amendment 3.

The media blitz with the wooden sculpture began last Thursday in Lexington and is expected to log 4,000 miles by the general election in November.

Aspen and Tillman said the “Trojan horse” concept is an effective way to convey the terms limits message. “It’s been all over the country” on behalf of various causes since its creation two years ago, Aspen said.

Earlier this year, Tillman said the horse was borrowed for a term limits campaign in California.

They said polls currently show 75-80 percent of Nebraskans are in favor of term limits. There are 15 states with term limits.

“If it’s (term limits) good enough for George Washington, it’s good enough for Nebraskans,” said Aspen, a stay-at-home mom to two young daughters.

Nebraska’s term-limit legislation has been in effect for only six years. “We haven’t given it much of a chance to see if we like it,” Aspen said.

“Three times (1992, 1994 and 2000) Nebraskans have overwhelmingly voted for eight-year term limits in state senators,” she said. “The only people for Amendment 3 are the legislators themselves and the special-interest lobbyists.”

“I think the state legislators are trying to act as if Amendment 3 is a gift to the people and are trying to slip it under the radar. The ‘Trojan horse’ is a perfect analogy. In my opinion, the people have spoken.” 

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