I’m confused. As in several other states with term limits, the career politicians in Michigan want to get rid of limits so they can stay in power longer.
The Chicago Tribune had a very interesting story about it by Tim Jones. What confused me was this bit about how one of the terrible effects of term limits is that it changes the balance of power so that now, quote, “skilled lobbyists . . . have far more power than ever before.” And guess who uttered that special insight? Why, none other than Al Short, term-limit critic and lobbyist for the Michigan Education Association. Wow, what a public-spirited lobbyist!
Mr. Short wants to give up all that new power he’s gotten as a result of term limits! Just like the other 80 percent-plus of lobbyists who say they oppose term limits in public opinion polls. Also confusing is that the very next paragraph of the story says that term limits create annoying “new challenges” for lobbyists. One lobbying firm even passes out flash cards to its employees with pictures of the lawmakers, so everybody can learn the new faces. Talk about puppet strings!
Then, in the paragraph after that, Jones quotes another Michigan lobbyist, Richard Cole with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and a leader of the repeal effort. Cole says the legislature has been weakened because so many of the new legislators take “four years to figure out where the men’s room is.” Why do I suspect that what Mr. Cole really means is, the new legislators aren’t jumping when he snaps his fingers? I don’t know. It is all very confusing.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.