Got a problem? Blame term limits. At least, that’s how many critics of term limits think. Take Ohio, for example. After term limits kicked into gear there, politicians being forced out of office are often deciding to take their leave early. Why?
Well, in Ohio they don’t hold special elections to replace representatives who quit before their term is over. Instead, a temporary appointment is made. And guess who makes the appointment? By law, the party of the exiting legislator has that privilege. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that as things stand now, almost half of the 33 state senators currently serving started out as appointees. Twenty-five out of 99 House members started out as appointees. These partisan appointments impose an unfair disadvantage not only against candidates from other parties, but also against candidates of the same party who will now have a harder time pursuing their party’s nomination come the next election.
But critics of term limits like the Beacon Journal are saying that this kind of partisan end run around term limits is caused by term limits itself! Incredible, isn’t it? All these partisan appointments are indeed a problem. But the appointment law was in place long before term limits came along. And term limits are hardly to blame for the last-gasp power lust of the career politicians. Solution? Change the law to put an end to these politically motivated special appointments. Use your brain. Or do citizens have to mandate that by law as well?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.