“We have term limits; they’re called elections.” That’s the beloved mantra of term limits’ opponents.
For all their professed love of elections, though, these politicians don’t care much for the elections in which voters have enacted term limits. They regularly try any and every trick in the book to overturn such votes — anything to stay longer in office.
Take New York City. Voters passed term limits in one election; years later they smashed a term-limit weakening measure put on the ballot by the city council. But then Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city council found a legal loophole, allowing themselves an extra term.
And they refused to permit the people any vote on their power grab.
But just weeks ago there was an election. Seventeen council members who had voted to weaken their own term limits faced primary opponents. Three were defeated. Two more are in races too close to call — with re-counts now underway. Another six won in very, very close contests.
The New York Times called the results “the greatest repudiation of incumbents in a generation.”
According to David Birdsell, dean of Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs, “Public frustration with what seems to be self-serving government officials is at a fever pitch right now.”
Call it “the revenge of the mantra”: Take away term limits, and voters will take away future terms the old-fashioned way . . . with elections.
This is . . . wonderful! This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.