Well, I just got back from California and I can report that it is a real, true fact: The career politicians there really do not like term limits. A recent battle in the California legislature was most revealing on this point. It had to do with whether banks and other financial institutions should be allowed to give away your private financial information without first getting your permission. The hearings were rigged in favor of lobbyists opposing the requirement rigged by a career politician by the name of Lou Papan.
Papan arranged things so that opponents of the bill could testify as long as they wished, and were allowed to speak first. When the vote came, the co-sponsor of the bill was absent, and the member substituting for the sponsor abstained during the vote. It was thanks to this sneaky switcheroo that the bill narrowly lost. But not before Papan’s main foe on the issue had publicly chastised him for trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug and avoid any hearings at all. Now Papan is yelping that back in the old wonderful days the days before term limits legislative members did not dare criticize each other in the press.
Papan complains that it was this public criticism which led to the San Francisco Chronicle ‘s editorializing on the privacy issue, forcing Papan to hold hearings to begin with. This sort of thing is most annoying for a career politician. Ah, for the good old days, when career politicians could just do whatever they liked without any whistle-blowing on the part of renegade colleagues who believe they’re supposed to be serving the common good.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.