U.S. Term Limits

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U.S. Term Limits (USTL) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit founded in 1991 in part by Eric O'Keefe.[1][2][3] USTL "advocates for term limits at all levels of government" and has "assisted in enacting and defending term limits on state legislatures in 15 states as well as congressional term limits in 23 states."[4] USTL also participated in U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, a 1995 Supreme Court case, but lost 5-4, preventing congressional term limits from taking effect.[4] USTL advocates for the use of an Article V convention to enact a constitutional amendment requiring term limits. If two-thirds of state legislatures pass bills applying for a convention, Congress is legally mandated to call a convention.[5]

USTL has an affiliated 501(c)(3) nonprofit called the U.S. Term Limits Foundation.[6]

News and Controversies

Article V Convention Attempts to Bypass Congress

USTL's Term Limits Convention project is attempting to bypass Congress by passing a congressional term limit amendment to the Constitution in thirty-four state legislatures.[7] USTL's website includes a "progress map" that shows which state legislatures have passed the organization's congressional term limit applications.[7]

Related Support for a Constitutional Convention

USTL founding member Eric O'Keefe is the Chairman of the Board of Citizens for Self-Governance, also known as Convention of the States Foundation, another rightwing nonprofit that supports a constitutional convention.[8][9] USTL endorsed the Convention of States project in 2014.[10]

A simulated convention by COSA in 2016 passed several items "on the rightwing's bucket list, such as easing the process to repeal federal regulations, requiring approval to increase the national debt, imposing congressional term limits, repealing the 16th Amendment's authorization for an income tax, limiting the Commerce Clause, and requiring a supermajority to impose federal taxes."[8]

Progressive watchdog organizations have warned against a constitutional convention. Common Cause has said, "We oppose a constitutional convention because we believe there is too much legal ambiguity that leads to too great a risk that it could be hijacked by wealthy special interests pushing a radical agenda that poses a very real threat to American democracy."[11] Center for Media and Democracy has tied instances of Wisconsin state lawmaker support for a constitutional convention to the American Legislative Exchange Council[9][12] and documented funding support from the Koch Brothers to organizations pushing for Article V.[13]

USTL Executive Director Advocates for Term Limits in Front of Congress in Viral 2019 Video

WOW! Watch Term Limits Advocate SHRED Congress! U.S. Term Limits

U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779

In 1995, the Supreme Court held that "States cannot impose additional restrictions, such as term limits, on its representatives in the federal government beyond those provided by the Constitution."[14] The majority opinion said about term limits, "Such a state-imposed restriction is contrary to the 'fundamental principle of our representative democracy,' embodied in the Constitution, that 'the people should choose whom they please to govern them.'"[14]

Core Financials

U.S. Term Limits

2019[15]

  • Total Revenue: $2,919,216
  • Total Expenses: $2,413,964
  • Net Assets: $867,566

2018[16]

  • Total Revenue: $2,796,011
  • Total Expenses: $3,148,673
  • Net Assets: $362,314

2017[17]

  • Total Revenue: $2,907,064
  • Total Expenses: $2,503,247
  • Net Assets: $648,041

2016[18]

  • Total Revenue: $1,437,447
  • Total Expenses: $1,938,188
  • Net Assets: $208,032

2015[19]

  • Total Revenue: $1,880,426
  • Total Expenses: $260,060
  • Net Assets: $712,507

2014[20]

  • Total Revenue: $1,069,414
  • Total Expenses: $1,309,009
  • Net Assets: -$907,859

U.S. Term Limits Foundation

2019[21]

  • Total Revenue: $553,475
  • Total Expenses: $361,286
  • Net Assets: -$255,208

Grants Distributed

  • Take Charge Chicago: $10,000

2018[22]

  • Total Revenue: $680,729
  • Total Expenses: $753,751
  • Net Assets: -$447,397

2017[23]

  • Total Revenue: $380,214
  • Total Expenses: $527,312
  • Net Assets: -$284,226

2016[24]

  • Total Revenue: $138,958
  • Total Expenses: $716,051
  • Net Assets: -$142,778

2015[25]

  • Total Revenue: $543,840
  • Total Expenses: $198,483
  • Net Assets: $433,609

2014[26]

  • Total Revenue: $504,250
  • Total Expenses: $442,040
  • Net Assets: $73,252

Funding (USTL Foundation)

The U.S. Term Limits Foundation is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:

  • Constructive Management Foundation: $5,000 (2012)
  • Donors Capital Fund: $400,000 (2014)
  • DonorsTrust: $100,000 (2018)
  • The Foundation for Freedom and Justice: $2,000 (2012)
  • Hickory Foundation: $10,000 (2014)
  • Rodney Fund: $67,000 (1999-2005)
  • Schwab Charitable Gift Fund: $22,060 (2015-2017)
  • The Teshinsky Family Foundation: $10,000 (2014)
  • Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program: $500,000 (2016-2017)

Personnel

Staff

As of 2021:[27]

  • Philip Blumel, President
  • Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director
  • Scott Tillman, National Field Director
  • Jeff Tillman, Deputy Field Director
  • Stacey Selleck, Digital Director
  • Donna Velasco, Deputy Digital Director
  • Jason Spraggins, Digital Specialist
  • Ashley Bennett, Executive Assistant
  • Ken Quinn, Northern Regional Director
  • Ken Clark, Southeast Regional Director
  • Ron Hooper, Western Regional Director
  • Rand E. Tanner, Leadership Development Director, Western Region
  • Aikane Belez, Western Volunteer Development Manager
  • Shanna Chamblee, Legislative Director
  • Byron Shehee, Grassroots Specialist
  • Ann Passino, Grassroots Specialist
  • Les Chamblee, Grassroots Specialist
  • Rachel Kessler, Indiana State Director
  • Aaron Dukette, Kentucky, Tennesee, and West Virginia State Director
  • Jim Olivi, Arizona State Director
  • Bridget Dandaraw-Seritt, Colorado State Director
  • Jim Olson, Georgia State Director
  • Edward R. Humphreys, Idaho State Director
  • Michael O'Dell, Maryland State Director
  • Robert "Jason" Vaillancourt, New Mexico State Director
  • Ian Phillips, Utah State Director
  • Kimberly McFarland, Tennessee State Director
  • Dana George, Washington State Director
  • Chris Keener, Oklahoma State Director
  • Nicole Chancellor, Oregon State Director
  • Duke Decter, Podcast Producer, "No Uncertain Terms"

Board of Directors

As of 2021:[28]

  • Howard S. Rich, Chairman of USTL
  • John Aglialoro, Chairman of USTL Foundation
  • Philip Blumel, President
  • Duncan Scott, former New Mexico State Senator
  • Travis Anderson
  • Paul Jacob
  • Joseph Stilwell
  • Paul Farago
  • Tim Jacob
  • Steve Merican
  • Ed Crane, former President and CEO, Cato Institute

Contact Information

Washington, D.C. Office:

US Term Limits
1250 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 700
Washington, D.C.20036

Florida Office:

US Term Limits
2955 Pineda Plaza Way Suite 226
Melbourne, FL 32940

Philadelphia Office:

US Term Limits
1420 Walnut Street Suite 1011
Philadelphia, PA 19102

EIN: 52-1701352
Website: http://www.termlimits.org/
Phone: (202) 261-3532
Press contact: press@termlimits.org
Facebook: @USTermLimits
Twitter: @ustermlimits
YouTube: US Term Limits

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch

IRS Form 990 Filings

U.S. Term Limits

2019

2018

2017

2016

U.S. Term Limits Foundation

2019

2018

2017

2016

References

  1. Guidestar, U.S. Term Limits, organizational website, accessed January 28, 2021.
  2. Bruce Murphy, "The mystery of Eric O'Keefe", Isthmus, June 12, 2014, accessed January 28, 2021.
  3. Bruce Murphy, "Dark Money's Front Man", Progressive, January 22, 2016, accessed January 28, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 U.S. Term Limits, "About", organizational, accessed January 28, 2021.
  5. U.S. Term Limits, Article V, organizational website, accessed January 28, 2021.
  6. Guidestar, US Term Limits Foundation, organizational website, accessed January 29, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 U.S. Term Limits, Progress, organizational website, accessed January 28, 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Alex Kotch, "Groups Aligned with Right-Wing Megadonors Are Promoting Coronavirus Protests", PR Watch, April 22, 2020, accessed January 29, 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 David Armiak, "Radical Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Rewrite Passes Wisconsin Assembly", Exposed by CMD, February 25, 2020.
  10. Convention of States, "U. S. Term Limits Endorses the Convention of States Project", PR Newswire, October 20, 2014, accessed January 29, 2021.
  11. Common Cause, "The Dangerous Path: Big Money's Plan to Shred the Constitution", organizational report, May 2016, accessed January 29, 2021.
  12. Richard Eskow, "Wisconsin Lawmaker Echoes ALEC's Call for a Constitutional Convention", PR Watch, March 22, 2017, accessed January 29, 2021.
  13. Alex Kotch, "Kochs Bankroll Move to Rewrite the Constitution", PR Watch, March 23, 2017, accessed January 29, 2021.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Justia, "U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995)", organizational website, accessed January 28, 2021.
  15. U.S. Term Limits, 2019 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, April 17, 2021.
  16. U.S. Term Limits, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 6, 2019
  17. U.S. Term Limits, 2017 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, October 23, 2018
  18. U.S. Term Limits, 2016 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, June 12, 2017
  19. U.S. Term Limits, 2015 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, August 15, 2016
  20. U.S. Term Limits, 2014 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, April 22, 2015
  21. U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2019 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 13, 2020.
  22. U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 11, 2019.
  23. U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2017 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, September 10, 2018
  24. U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2016 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, August 17, 2017.
  25. U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2015 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, August 15, 2016.
  26. U.S. Term Limits Foundation, 2014 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, September 22, 2015.
  27. U.S. Term Limits, Team, organizational website, accessed January 28, 2021.
  28. U.S. Term Limits, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed January 28, 2021.