There they go again!
You’d think after Nebraskans voted three separate times for eight-year legislative term limits that the state’s legislators would finally accept the vote of the people they claim to serve.
But you’d be wrong.
The limits passed in ’92 and ’94 were struck down in court rulings that re-wrote the state’s initiative petition requirements. Voters responded to that judicial tyranny by booting out a supreme court justice in a retention election for the very first time in state history. A second justice resigned the day after that 1996 spanking by voters.
In 2000, citizens gathered enough signatures to put the limits back on the ballot and again they passed.
But that hasn’t stopped State Sen. Tom Carlson and his fellow legislators from placing Amendment 3 on tomorrow’s ballot. If passed, Amendment 3 would allow Carlson & Co. to stay in office 50 percent longer.
Strange, we limit the president to eight years; George Washington stepped down after two four-year terms to set that example. But somehow eight years isn’t enough time for a state senator.
In a last minute radio ad campaign by a purposely mis-named Nebraskans to Preserve Term Limits, Sen. Carlson says that he and his gang “believe in term limits.” But seconds later Carlson mentions “coaches, teachers, doctors” and suggests, “It is unlikely we would consider limiting their service to eight years.”
Well, he’s right that we don’t limit brain surgeons to eight years. But then again, being a legislator isn’t brain surgery.
As Nebraska voters will remind members of the state’s Unicameral Legislature tomorrow — for a fourth time.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.