Sometimes you find out the hard way who’s your friend and who’s your enemy. In 1998, the people of Florida passed term limits for their state’s delegation to Congress, eight years in the House and 12 years in the Senate. The measure passed with a whopping 77 percent of the vote a landslide.
In keeping with the voters’ desire, Representatives Charles Canady and Tillie Fowler endorsed the term limits initiative and pledged if elected to serve no more than voters had stipulated. Those eight years are now up and both are keeping their commitment. But U.S. Senate candidate Bill McCollum, a 20-year veteran of Congress, is different.
Though he regularly boasted of being the nation’s leading advocate of term limits, he refused to support the citizen initiative that would actually limit his terms. What’s more, McCollum bristled at the suggestion that he should personally abide by any limits whatsoever. To McCollum, term limits is a debating position, not something to live by. So, fearful that Florida’s term limits law might force him from office a full decade before any constitutional amendment, McCollum introduced legislation to overturn the vote of his own constituents.
McCollum’s arrogance and phony support of term limits helped hinder our movement. His real intention is clear: he wants to rule, not take turns. That’s why McCollum is no friend of term limits. As Phil Handy, the leader of Florida’s term limits effort said, McCollum is just “not one of us. He’s really in the way.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.