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Legislators Turned Lobbyists Turned Altruists

Michigan, term limits,

Legislative bosses, the state’s most powerful special interests and a fake grassroots organization teamed up a month ago to figure out how best to attack Michigan’s popular term limits law. 

Now comes a lawsuit demanding that a federal court overturn these 27-year-old voter-enacted limits.

“I’m just sitting here watching five former legislators, who are now lobbyists, sitting in the conference [room] of another lobbyist in Lansing talking about how the courts should rescue them from the voters,” Patrick Anderson, author of the 1992 term limits law, told MIRS.* 

Self-serving? Not at ALL. “When you take the most experienced people out of government,” asserted John Bursch, the legislator-lobbyists’ attorney, “it shifts the balance of power to career bureaucrats and to lobbyists.”

So, clearly, these kind, meek, caring lobbyists are altruistically rejecting more power and influence for themselves and, instead, working selflessly for the greater good. No wonder everyone loves lobbyists.

In pursuing the legal approach, Bursch did acknowledge, “We think it would be very difficult to put anything on the ballot that would be successful.”

Their legal rationale is as implausible as their putative public-spiritedness. The lawsuit contends that term limits deny legislators the opportunity to gain law-making competence while also listing all the wonderful legislation these legislators-turned-lobbyists once passed . . . when working under term limits. 

It’s not a legal argument, either way, but which is it?

“I’m having trouble,” offered Rina Baker with Don’t Touch Term Limits, “remembering a single moment when I wished any of the plaintiffs were still in office.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* Unfortunately, this capitol insider publication is behind a paywall, so no link is available.

Michigan, term limits,

from photo by Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

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By: Redactor

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