So they’re finally paying attention, huh? Whaddaya know. Well, I can’t say it comes as a shock. Yup. Looks like thanks to term limits, politicians in Houston are heeding the voters just a little bit more than they did before.
Mary Williams of Taxpayers for Accountability sure has noticed the difference. Since 1997, her watchdog group has succeeded in getting a majority of the city council to sign a no-new-tax pledge. Mayor Lee Brown has also signed the pledge, along with over 100 candidates for seats on the council. Why this sudden shower of sensitivity toward the taxpayer? Term limits mean more electoral competition. More electoral competition means more accountability to the voters. So long as Houston politicians enjoyed an unchallenged power of incumbency, the power to get reelected almost automatically, they didn’t have to worry much about answering to the voters.
As Mary Williams says, “Without term limits, these no-tax pledges would never have been signed or kept. Most taxpayers understand that term limits are necessary to hold politicians’ feet to the fire and to protect the wallets of the taxpayers.”
Mary Williams is right. In response to those who would disparage the 70 percent of Houston voters who said yes to term limits, she says, “We the people still have freedom. And that freedom includes the right to deny part-time Houston City Council members long-term careers.” She believes that Houston citizens have a right to genuine representation. Before term limits, Houston citizens had a problem. Now they have a solution.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.