If you know anything about term limits and political lifers, you know which one hates the other: Your typical politico disdains and reviles your typical term limit.
But it’s not just the typical term limit that politicians hate. It’s all term limits. In states with six-year or eight-year term limits, politicians often pretend to support the limits, saying they just want to tweak them . . . to get just a little more time.
But where state legislators do have more time, they don’t want to accept term limits either.
Take Nevada, where they are limited to a generous twelve-year stretch.
In Nevada, initiatives to amend the state constitution must be approved twice. Voters there passed twelve-year term limits on many officials, including lawmakers, in 1994 and again 1996. The amendment explicitly included the incumbents’ previous service. The law was retroactive. But the attorney general at the time opined that the law wasn’t retroactive, and incumbents got away with pretending it wasn’t.
That scam was bad enough. But now it’s 2008. And Nevada lawmakers and other incumbents are saying they should be allowed to run for re-election even if they’ve been in power for twelve straight years since 1996.
They’ve got some trumped-up technical excuse. But the bottom line is very familiar. They’re in power. They want to stay there. And to heck with the law . . . and the voters.
Sad, but true.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.