Seems career politicians have found even more problems with term limits. For instance, if you are a longtime incumbent, term limits don’t allow you to pick your successor when you leave office. How terrible. That’s what California Assemblyman Bill Leonard tells us. He should know. He’s been in power since 1978.
In 1988, when he stepped down from the Assembly to run for the Senate, he was able to hand pick his successor, a longtime aide. But last year when he was term-limited out of the California Senate and had to go slinking back to the Assembly, he couldn’t hand pick his successor. You can’t game the system nearly as much when “everyone knows” the seat will be open. So now elections are more open, fairer contests. Darn!
There are more problems. Leonard agrees with a Portland State University professor who identifies what he calls “instability” in term-limited legislatures. Leonard argues that with all the seats that come open each election and the competition that brings about, “You can have dramatic changes.” Imagine that: Instead of the people having to wait decades for powerful legislators to retire before a public desire for change can be enacted, change could happen every election.
Another terrible result of term limits, according to Leonard, is that campaign spending “is not going to be focused on as few seats.” In other words, once again there is far too much competition, too much ability for voters to make changes, too little ability for powerful politicians to stop them. So there you have it. Politicians don’t like term limits. Film at eleven . . .
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.