“As long as unions and business buy our politicians and take every advantage for themselves . . .” writes Ron Kaye at Fox and Hounds Daily, “California will keep declining.”
Mr. Kaye notes a rare agreement between business and union lobbies, which have united “to pour millions into a ballot measure next June to sell us on the idea that giving legislators 14 years in the house of their choice is better than making them serve eight years in the Senate and six in the Assembly.”
Kaye has the figure wrong: It’s twelve years in either body. Though billed as a tightened term limit, down from the 14 years now theoretically possible (by switching houses) to the proposed dozen, few politicians are able to manage such switches, so in actuality the limit would be weakened, from a tight six or eight to twelve.
This, Kaye argues, would make it easier for special interests to buy instead of rent politicians. The measure is “just another political charade.”
But I think Kaye errs by going on to say that today’s leadership failure “can’t be fixed by law.”
California suffers from a political infrastructure problem far worse than any other state: too small a ratio between politicians and citizens, insulating representatives in huge districts.
While no fix is guaranteed, the state could use more representatives, not fewer.
And that’s a constitutional fix. Added to existing term limits, it might help nudge California government out of its current (and disastrous) rut.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.