It’s almost E-Day in California. February 5. Extension Day.
â€E-Dayâ€ is clunky as monikers go. But thatâ€™s appropriate, seeing as how Proposition 93 is such a clunkily devious effort.
Prop 93 would double maximum tenure of Assemblymen, increasing it from six years to twelve. And it would boost the tenure of Senators by 50 percent, from eight years to twelve. In short, Prop 93 is a flat-out, unvarnished weakening of term limits.
Indeed, provision for a so-called â€transition periodâ€ would allow many sitting legislators to serve even longer than twelve years. As Phil Blumel, president of U.S. Term Limits, puts it: â€Itâ€™s a naked power grab by incumbents.â€
Yet itâ€™s being promoted as a cut in maximum tenure. The California Secretary of State played along by accepting a proposed ballot summary for the measure that stresses that â€totalâ€ possible tenure in both the Senate and Assembly would be trimmed from 14 years to twelve.
Which could now be served in a single chamber.
Funny, the ballot summary doesnâ€™t even mention that the term limit would be boosted 100 percent in the Assembly, 50 percent in the Senate. Of course, term limits are about limiting the tenure on individual offices, not some possible combination of offices.
The whole thing is a rather slithy-toved hat trick. The sordid strategy depends on votersâ€™ never finding out what Prop 93 really does. I bet they will find out.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.