We won. They lost.
I mean the February 5 defeat of Proposition 93 in California. Final tally: 46 percent Yes, 53 percent No. The end game of another huge effort by Golden State politicians, spending $17 million to trash term limits.
Most California voters like term limits, like how they rev electoral competition, stem corruption. So foes of term limits pretend to like them also. â€œTheyâ€™re great,â€ they say. â€œYippee for term limits! We just want to â€™tweakâ€™ them.â€
A lie. Theyâ€™d kill term limits altogether if they could.
Prop 93 would have boosted maximum tenure by 100 percent in the Assembly, 50 percent in the Senate. That was the point. Yet advocates said they wanted to cut term limits. Trim combined maximum legislative tenure, Assembly plus Senate, to twelve years, instead of 14.
Of course, lawmakers know that itâ€™s lots easier to get re-elected as an incumbent than to win a new office in another chamber. For the vast majority, the new law would have meant a straight extension of tenure. And 14 years wasnâ€™t even the real maximum either, given the measureâ€™s generous transition period.
Last November in Maine, politicians brought a term limits extension to ballot â€” but admitted they actually wanted to lengthen their tenure. They also lost, of course.
California was a tougher battle. But it shows that even the most slick and brazen dirty tricks go only so far â€” when voters have a chance to hear the truth.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.