One reason politicians give themselves awards is that, frankly, nobody else will.
Recently, Idaho Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb received the William M. Bulger Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures. What did Newcomb do to earn this award? Why, he led the legislative effort to repeal Idaho’s statutory term limits law. What a superhero!Â Newcomb, who is unpopular with Idaho voters for his arrogant assault on term limits, clearly scores plenty of points with career politicians.
Marty Linsky, chair of the award’s selection committee, says, “Speaker Newcomb demonstrated extraordinary political courage and a deep commitment to the institution of the state legislature by taking on the unpopular challenge of repealing term limits.”
“Excellence” for legislators is apparently judged by how eagerly they sling mud in the public’s eye. And get this. The award is named after William M. Bulger. That’s the Massachusetts Senate President who refused to hold a vote on term limits back in 1993, even though the state’s constitution mandated that such a vote “shall” take place.
That was corrupt enough for me. But Bulger is also refusing to say where his brother is. He has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before a congressional committee, to protect his brother Whitey. Whitey is wanted by the FBI for racketeering, extortion and involvement in nearly two dozen murders.
Hey, Mr. Career Politician. You may already have won.
This is common sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.