Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pols Desperate To End Term Limits

I've said before here that I'm ambivalent about term limits. There's arguments to be made both for and against them. Most politicians seem to hate them and, as Dan Walters points out in today's Sacramento Bee, are trying anything they can to change California's voter enacted term limits law.

Dan makes a good point in that the the pols should try and give reasonable arguments for ending or modifying term limits, rather than deceive voters with the intent of their pending term limits initiative.

Despite being ambivalent about term limits myself, that so many politicians are desperate to get rid of them, I can't help but think term limits might be a good thing.

29 Comments:

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous King of Humboldt Co. said...

Politicians love to put regulations on the people of California.
But when the people try to regulate them, they holler like stuck donkeys.

 
At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - they don't want term limits so they can siphon off the public trough for eternity.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Redistricting is a larger issue than term limits.You can impose all the term limits you want,but the influence lies within the districts.Case in point,our north coast.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Rose said...

Elections are term limits. But when one politician keeps gathering power and getting re-elected, the people take control back. Seems to me the term limits were voted in for one reason and that was to get rid of Willie Brown. Now he is gone, maybe it should be returned to normal, until the next time. The current situation only gives us short termers, with no institutional memory, which puts the power in the hands of the lobbyists who do know their way around and are able to manipulate inexperienced staff and officials.

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Point is, term limits are an artificial means to save the voters from themselves. Not that it does any good anyway because the individual is most often replaced with someone with the same politics, but less experience.

More importantly, it hurts rural communities which receive considerably less money than prior. Representatives used to gain influence on committees and traffic some of the money our way, but now that everybody is forced to run for higher office at the ends of their terms the priorities are where the voters are.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Agreed, Eric. The only thing worse than a career politician is one who knows he/she won't be around long enough to be accountable for any decisions they make. The way it is now, just as they are finally learning their way around, and finally able to do some good, their time is up. It has to be frustrating for them.

Moving the primary up is another bad decision. Now people whose races go from primary to general election will essentially be campaigning for a year - a long time to go through that hellish process - and those who win in the primary will have, usually, nearly a year to sit and wait before taking office the following January. It's not a healthy process.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I'm with Rose and Eric on this one.

 
At 4:56 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Alright something odd is in the water,this is twice within a relatively short period of time,where Rose and I are on the same page.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is Kumbaya time. I knew this would happen.

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger robash141 said...

I think term limits suck and are anti-democratic.

If my elected representative is doing a good job of representing theirr constiuants why not keep reelecting them??

I think term limits is one of those bogus populist mesures that is supposedly for "the little guy" but really helps the big money and the vested interests.

If my legistlator is doing a good job I'm forced to give them up after a few years and be replaced by god knows who.

Monsanto chemical or Cheveron can certainly afford to go out and but themselves a new stooge.

My question :Is our state better off, or worse since we enacted term limits?

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger Greg said...

California's right wing (see above) typically support term limits as a way to keep the Dems from obtaining the kind of power to do good that comes with experience in office. The right demonizes all politicians like a little kid making stuff up out of jealousy.

Term limits are anti-democratic. Thanks for the topic.

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg - you gottabekiddin! Term limits were a dem way of getting republicans out of career offices.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Here we go. Left and Right saying it's each other's fault and some sort of conspiracy.

It works both ways. There are some I'm glad to have gotten rid of via term limits, and others I've been sorry to see go.

As has been mentioned before, it makes little difference as far as what goes on since, even if someone gets the boot, whoever replaces them is pretty much in the same line.

That's especially true since current redisticting practice pretty much guarantees legislative seats are kept by the same political parties.

As an aside, let's remember it was Ronald Reagan who pushed for a two term limit for the presidency. Didn't he boot himself out of office with that?

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Rose said...

Funny, Greg. It wasn't about whether he was a Dem, as I recall, it was that Willie Brown had garnered too much power and wielded it in an unfair manner, even against other Dems - the term limits weren't passed by "the right" but by the majority of the voters because the voters agreed, in general, that they didn't like career politicians of any stripe.

 
At 9:50 AM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Greg,in individual disticts within the state, it seems that those who support term limits don't do so without the opposition supporting redistricting in exchange.Remember,I said state,not here locally.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Ah the bashing of politicians. We send people to shovel the stables and unclog the septic tanks, then we complain about the smell when they come home from work. The public (that's you and me people) is as much if not more to blame for the social problems of this world.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

As an aside, let's remember it was Ronald Reagan who pushed for a two term limit for the presidency. Didn't he boot himself out of office with that?

No Fred, the 22nd Amendment was passed a few years after WWII, in the aftermath of FDR four election wins.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Term limits sounded great to some, but the ol' Law of Unintended Consequences can be harsh: now California's revolving-door legislature is MORE subject to the whims of large campaign contributors, not less so. That IS anti-democratic.

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Greg - is is not MORE subject to the whims of large campaign contributors...it is equally subject to the whimsof them as before.

Corruption doesn't go away easily and it happens to people in power whether or not they are on the left or the right.

I happen to think that most people who want to be "career" politicians are shallow and need to get both a life and a real job...and that goes for the career guys on the right and the left.

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger Greg said...

To clarify, by "more" subject to the whims of large contributors, I mean that large contributors have a greater effect on inexperienced legislators than they could potentially have on more experienced, established and (in theory, at least) independent lawmakers. We have all seen entrenched pols like Willie Brown. How we view their careers will vary based on our political opinions. But no doubt, Willie B. had the power to make things happen. Today's term-limited officials do not have that kind of power, nor do they have the potential for Good that comes with such power. Fred's ambivalence is understandable; amending term limitations is important, but should be part of a more comprehensive election reform effort.

Do you believe, at the end of the day, that our fate is best left in our own hands as "the people"? Then you believe in promoting democracy. Some people would rather see us governed by some other power (e.g. God or the Free Market) and do not believe in democracy. Your turn.

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Grand father was in politic's. He was a Democrat and he hated dealing with Democrats. Why? He said when you made a deal with a republican you knew the price. When you made a deal with a democrat they would grow a conscience later and ask for more money. Nothing has changed. Give them all two terms. One in office ,one in prison.

 
At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someting has changed, they no longer have consciences IMHO

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Greg said...

So far my involvement has only cost me money, unless you count free baseball caps (Morongo tribe) and pocket combs (Lt. Gov. John Garamendi).

10:07, I don't think anyone knew how much it would actually cost, dealing with George W. Bush.

 
At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

greg - you need to get over yourself.

btw - This is not a democracy - it is a democratic republic. There is a difference.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger robash141 said...

To me term limits is just a taxpayer supported jobs program for corporate hacks.

They get to go learn how to manipulate the legislative process from the inside out for a few years before going back to their true vocation which is lobbying.

That's why the big money boys are so enamored with term limits.

They don't feel regular people should be entitled to choose their representatives

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people seem to forget that term limits were a dem sponsored initiative and passed overwhelmingly by the majority of voters (that was for you Greg.)

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Ahhh, no, 9:39. It's the vast right wing conspiracy, don't ya know? It was Bush's fault.

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's bad government no matter what your political affiliation.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Rose said...

But it beats the alternative.

 

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