The Incumbent's Hypocrisy on Term Limits

The Incumbent's Hypocrisy on Term Limits

The T.O. City Council urgently needs fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. The incumbent’s glaring hypocrisy on term limits stands as a compelling reason to vote against him this year.
In 2012, voters overwhelmingly approved the Thousand Oaks Term Limits Initiative. My opponent, Councilmember Al Adam, is the person who authored, gathered signatures for, and acted as primary advocate for the term limits measure. His leadership on term limits brought him significant publicity, contributing to his initial election as a councilmember.
Now a 12-year incumbent, Adam’s decision to seek re-election again for a fourth consecutive 4-year term contradicts the very initiative he once championed. His attempt to exempt himself from its principles epitomizes hypocrisy. Voters should be outraged by Adam’s blatant disregard for their mandate and should reject his bid for re-election immediately.

Here are 18 quotes from 2012 where my opponent, now the incumbent running for his fourth consecutive 4-year term, hypocritically supported term limits!

  1. “Candidates are spending $60,000 to $70,000. That shuts out a lot of people.” – 12-year Incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012 [Note: Al Adam hypocritically spent much more money than that, a record-busting $112,000, on his last re-election campaign!]
  2. “Term limits will end the spiraling costs of local campaigns.” – Current 12-year incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012.  [That’s an ironic quote since Al Adam hypocritically spent more money on his 2020 re-election campaign, $112,000, than any other Councilmember in Thousand Oaks’ history!]
  3. “Term limits will reduce special interest money that usually goes to those already in power.” – Current 12-year incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012, who, since that time, has hypocritically received special interest money from billionaires, corporations, politicians, developers, and government contractors during his last two re-election campaigns.
  4. “[Term limits will end] “the power of special interests…” – Current 12-year incumbent Al Adam hypocritically quoted in 2012
  5. “Term limits will increase the ability for good people to run for office regardless of their income.”  – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  6. “[The Term Limits Measure] opens the door.  It gives people a chance.” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  7. “Term limits will open the field to citizens with new ideas and fresh thinking.” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  8. “There’s widespread support for the [term limits] measure.” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  9. “Over 12,000 people signed my Thousand Oaks Citizens for Term Limits Initiative that is now before you to approve.” – Current incumbent Al Adam, who authored the T.O. Term Limits Initiative, quoted in 2012
  10. “Encourage good government! Vote for term limits!” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  11. “A 12-year limit is reasonable and needed in Thousand Oaks.” – Current 12-year incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  12. “Political office is not meant to be a lifetime (job.)” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  13. “Thomas Jefferson knew that term limitation was necessary to ‘prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom for continuing too long in office.'” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  14. “It was our Founding Fathers’ intent that government should consist of citizen legislators rotating in and out of office.” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  15. “I think term limits is good government. (As a) citizen-legislator, you do your civic duty and then go back to your private life. I think that’s healthy.”  – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  16. “Term limits will encourage good government decisions versus governing to win the next election.” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  17. “Term limits will limit the amount of pension benefits paid out to Council members.” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012
  18. “There have been insinuations that somehow I would benefit from the term limits initiative. If it passes, it won’t take effect for 12 years. How is that going to benefit me?” – Current incumbent Al Adam quoted in 2012. 

These are all quotes made directly by my opponent, the author and primary supporter of our current Thousand Oaks Term Limits Ordinance. He is now hypocritically exploiting a loophole in his own ordinance, which allows him to be the last candidate in Thousand Oaks’ history to be exempted from his own term limits ordinance. The hypocrisy displayed here is blatant and outrageous.

Did Al Adam write and promote the term limit ordinance 12 years ago simply as a campaign gimmick to attract enough publicity so he could win his first Council race that year? Al Adam benefited from the massive publicity he received in 2012 for authoring the initiative, as it helped him get enough votes to barely win an open Council seat that year.  Since he only won his first election by a narrow margin, it’s likely that Adam would never have been elected to Council if he had never written the term limits initiative. Adam personally benefits again from the measure’s exemption clause, which allows him to be the last councilmember in T.O. history to be allowed to run for a fourth consecutive 4-year term. Was all his work on term limits 12 years ago simply a manipulative, self-serving ploy designed to help him seize and hold onto political power for as long as possible?  

Al Adam should do the right thing and voluntarily withdraw from this year’s race in the name of the cause he once championed. If he will not withdraw voluntarily, then the voters should heed the arguments that Al Adam once articulated in support of term limits in 2012, and reject his 2024 re-election candidacy, which stands in defiance of the principles of term limits.

Drain the Swamp! Vote Out the Incumbent!
Elect Jeff Schwartz for T.O. Council!

Sources for Quotes:

https://recorder.countyofventura.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Measure-L.pdf

https://ballotpedia.org/Thousand_Oaks_City_Council_Term_Limits,_Measure_L_(November_2012)#cite_note-sigs-1

https://www.toacorn.com/articles/on-term-limits/

https://www.toacorn.com/articles/are-term-limits-coming-for-t-o/