Lim­it­ing term lim­its

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“If elected of­fi­cials were half as imag­i­na­tive at solv­ing real prob­lems as they are at per­pet­u­at­ing them­selves in of­fice, we’d see real con­fi­dence in gov­ern­ment re­stored. Alas, the big is­sue on many pols’ minds right now is get­ting rid of the term-limit laws that threaten to knock down their im­preg­nable in­cum­bent fortresses,” John Fund writes at www.Opin­ionJour­nal.com.

“Al­though the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995 threw out 21 states’ voter-ap­proved term lim­its on mem­bers of Congress, that 5-4 rul­ing didn’t af­fect lim­its on state and lo­cal leg­is­la­tors and other of­fi­cials. This year, such of­fi­cials are mount­ing full-scale ef­forts to over­turn the will of the peo­ple. Vot­ers must re­main con­stantly vig­i­lant, lest in­cum­bents roll back re­stric­tions on their own ten­ure,” Mr. Fund said.

“This de­sire is bi­par­ti­san. A ma­jor­ity of Idaho vot­ers sup­ported term lim­its four times dur­ing the 1990s, but in 2002 that state’s Repub­li­can-dom­i­nated Leg­is­la­ture over­rode GOP Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s veto and passed a law re­peal­ing them.

“In New York City, the Demo­cratic city coun­cil is con­tem­plat­ing sub­vert­ing the will of the vot­ers by vot­ing to ex­tend its own mem­bers’ term limit to 12 years from eight. That puts coun­cil­men on a col­li­sion course with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who thinks turnover on the coun­cil is good. He also sup­ports the ex­ist­ing two-term limit on his own ten­ure.”

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