Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Michigan’s career politicians are pushing to more than double maximum tenure in the state house and almost double it in the state senate.

Michigan currently caps service at three two-year terms, or six years, in the house and two four-year terms, or eight years, in the senate. Thus the “combined limit” on both chambers is 14 years. The new law would allow lawmakers to serve up to 14 years in a single legislative seat. This of course would drastically weaken term limits and severely crimp electoral competition.

Now, term limits help make possible such refreshing political campaigns as that of Leon Drolet, director of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and a former state representative. He is vying for Michigan’s 11th state senate seat, now open because the incumbent is prevented by term limits from standing for re-election. Another former state representative as well as a current one are also running for the seat.

I bet that when one of these challengers gets elected — and certainly if it’s Drolet, with his strong anti-tax, anti-pork message — incumbents will keep moaning about the loss of “experience” wrought by term limits.

But Drolet has experience, too — fighting governmental assaults on the liberties of citizens. His co-authoring of a constitutional amendment to curb government’s power to grab private homes through eminent domain is relevant.

It’s just that ample experience in helping restrain government power isn’t the kind that certain politicians applaud.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

7 Comments

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  4. Duane says:

    As admirable Mr. Drolet’s intentions, I can’t agree that his eminent domain amendment is a benefit.
    The US constitution and, to the degree they are patterned after it, the state constitutions are our protections.
    If they are, after all, powerless to protect us, then simply amending them can’t help.
    On the other hand, if they can protect us, then amending them will only weaken them.
    Drolet’s amendment is a case in point. Michigan’s constitution did, like the US constitution does, nowhere empower its government the right of eminent domain. Any interpretation to the contrary defies grammar.
    In essence, his amendment only granted the Michigan legislature a power it did not previously have. To pretend that its language will somehow prevent current usurpations of authority is ludicrous. If they didn’t restrain themselves when it was forbidden, why would they restrain themselves when it is only regulated?

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  6. Paul Jacob says:

    Duane is correct that the courts woefully misconstrued the language in the constitution that already forbade eminent domain takings that did not constitute a “public use.” But Drolet’s amendment, by making the language more clear, is a huge help. It does not give the legislature or the courts more power. Instead, it simply better limits their power than the previous constitutional text.

  7. Sandra Geromette says:

    Now were talking. Let’s get this bill passed – put to a vote. Save the constitution and the country. Hooray for Drolet.

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