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View Full Version : A Limit to Time in Elective Office



Marvin S
01-27-2010, 11:45 AM
A couple of responses in recent threads have alluded to Term Limits as a solution to some of the ills befalling the system of government we have chosen. While there is little disagreement by myself that this is desirable, Does anyone have any ideas for making TERM LIMITS actually happen?

I will open with this: I don't know how many of you live in states with the initiative process, but I would suggest that if you do, get an initative on the ballot that limits public retirement to those employed by the public. Specifically, if an individual is elected, the time they spend in office will not count toward any public retirement benefits!

What say YOU?

YardleyLabs
01-27-2010, 12:14 PM
A couple of responses in recent threads have alluded to Term Limits as a solution to some of the ills befalling the system of government we have chosen. While there is little disagreement by myself that this is desirable, Does anyone have any ideas for making TERM LIMITS actually happen?

I will open with this: I don't know how many of you live in states with the initiative process, but I would suggest that if you do, get an initative on the ballot that limits public retirement to those employed by the public. Specifically, if an individual is elected, the time they spend in office will not count toward any public retirement benefits!

What say YOU?
Given that the qualifications for US Senators and Representatives are defined in the Constitution, I believe a Constitutional amendment would be needed to define term limits. That was the approach used to establish Presidential term limits during Roosevelt's Presidency. Personally, I would oppose such limits for a few reasons:


the job of being a legislator actually has a pretty significant learning curve. To avoid creating serious experience gaps would require limits (I believe) of at least 10-12 years.
I believe that voters are responsible for electing the candidates that they want. Term limits and similar rules will never be a substitute for voter ignorance or stupidity.A more modest approach might be to limit the terms of committee chairs and possibly even committee members., forcing a certain amount of rotation in these positions. This would reduce the opportunities for the development of long-term sweetheart deals between lobbyists and legislative power brokers and force greater cross-fertilization between different areas. Best of all, the change could be made by each house through modifications to its own rules.

dnf777
01-27-2010, 12:30 PM
I'm not opposed to term limits per se, except for the fact that they take away voter's choices, if they're happy with their incumbent.

More importantly, I don't believe that term limits will achieve the goal that you intend. It would essentially make a 50% lame-duck congress, (or whatever the election cycle would become with limits) that has NO fear or sense of obligation to their constituency. Rather, it would "up-emphasize" the already corrupt election and campaign finance situation to new level. Combine that with the recent supreme court decision, and you have a truly corporate-owned government.

Maybe that's what we're seeing the groundwork for, right now? We're losing our voices, our already feeble control of our government. Exactly what our founding fathers tried to prevent from happening. I say again, God help us!

Goose
01-27-2010, 12:42 PM
Simple...a surgically implanted IED with a timer set for 2 years, 4 years or 6 years.

EdA
01-27-2010, 12:43 PM
I believe that voters are responsible for electing the candidates that they want. ..

these lifetime politicians are re-elected because they bring home the pork

does the country benefit when fossils like Stom Thurmond and Robert Byrd are so entrenched in the Senate that only death removes them from office?

does the country benefit from legions of professional politicians who spend their entire lives in Washington D. C., beginning as aides, then elected officials, and finally lobbyists?

Christopher Dodd began his career in Washington in 1974, how many lobbyist offers do you think he will have when his term ends?

dnf777
01-27-2010, 01:27 PM
these lifetime politicians are re-elected because they bring home the pork

does the country benefit when fossils like Stom Thurmond and Robert Byrd are so entrenched in the Senate that only death removes them from office?

does the country benefit from legions of professional politicians who spend their entire lives in Washington D. C., beginning as aides, then elected officials, and finally lobbyists?

Christopher Dodd began his career in Washington in 1974, how many lobbyist offers do you think he will have when his term ends?

Right. And THAT's what needs to be limited. Chris Dodd is getting his term limit right now. You don't think he really WANTS to step down, do you?

The presidential term limits make sense, in that you don't want power accumulating in any ONE person. Avoidance of monarchy. But the congress is a body. No one senator or representative should rise to power in that body, despite Joe Lieberman. The people have the power to limit congressional terms. Chris Dodd, Rick Santorum, Ted Foley....

YardleyLabs
01-27-2010, 01:35 PM
these lifetime politicians are re-elected because they bring home the pork

does the country benefit when fossils like Stom Thurmond and Robert Byrd are so entrenched in the Senate that only death removes them from office?

does the country benefit from legions of professional politicians who spend their entire lives in Washington D. C., beginning as aides, then elected officials, and finally lobbyists?

Christopher Dodd began his career in Washington in 1974, how many lobbyist offers do you think he will have when his term ends?
Actually, my suggestion for limiting committee memberships/chairmanships would significantly affect the ability of senior members to bring home the bacon.

EdA
01-27-2010, 01:54 PM
Actually, my suggestion for limiting committee memberships/chairmanships would significantly affect the ability of senior members to bring home the bacon.

I am certainly not opposed to anything which would curtail the powerful whose power comes not from ability but from seniority

I would also propose that a candidate must get 75% of his/her campaign contributions from his/her constituents

12 year term limits would be satisfactory, 2 terms in the Senate, 6 in the house, then a designated period of time before returning to the Legislative branch

Obviously we would not want to eliminate the qualified from Executive elected office because of their time served in the Legislature

the Legislature's inability to accomplish much of anything beyond partisanship in the last 20 years should convince us that the status quo does not work

Gerry Clinchy
01-27-2010, 02:48 PM
A more modest approach might be to limit the terms of committee chairs and possibly even committee members., forcing a certain amount of rotation in these positions. This would reduce the opportunities for the development of long-term sweetheart deals between lobbyists and legislative power brokers and force greater cross-fertilization between different areas. Best of all, the change could be made by each house through modifications to its own rules.

That sounds very reasonable ... to me. Have a feeling the Congresspeople would find a reason was it was "unfair" :-)

How about a mandatory retirement age? I think 70 or 75 would be old enough, for sure!

We might also try a 28th Amendment to the Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of
the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and
Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the
Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the
citizens of the United States ".

dnf777
01-27-2010, 05:16 PM
I think the most pressing need for an amendment to the Constitution would have to deal with defining citizenship issues, and rights afforded under the constitution. Namely, the question of individual rights pertaining to corporations or not. This is a basic question, germane to the soul of our system of governance. This type of issue is what prompted the clarification by the Bill of Rights. The citizenship standing of negroes, women, the right to have a voice in government, etc... The standing of corporations and the extend of their "equal protection" under the law needs clarified.

I fear the republicans and their SCOTUS appointees have already attempted to do this, and nothing short of an Amendment to the Constitution will set it right.

Marvin S
01-27-2010, 08:55 PM
I believe a Constitutional amendment would be needed to define term limits.

Several years ago WA placed on the ballot a term limits initiative, which passed. SOTH Tom Foley was one of the signatories of a lawsuit to overturn same. I believe the lawsuit was successful but Tom lost his job in the following election.




the job of being a legislator actually has a pretty significant learning curve. To avoid creating serious experience gaps would require limits (I believe) of at least 10-12 years.That's why there is that step in the process called a campaign, & if the media does their function they get properly vetted. Possibly you would like to present some examples of those whom you felt were indispensable, or vice versa, someone who got there with little background? :)


A more modest approach might be to limit the terms of committee chairs and possibly even committee members., forcing a certain amount of rotation in these positions. This would reduce the opportunities for the development of long-term sweetheart deals between lobbyists and legislative power brokers and force greater cross-fertilization between different areas. Best of all, the change could be made by each house through modifications to its own rules.

Getting a sweetheart deal is only a reciprocating favor away.


I am certainly not opposed to anything which would curtail the powerful whose power comes not from ability but from seniority

I would also propose that a candidate must get 75% of his/her campaign contributions from his/her constituents

Obviously we would not want to eliminate the qualified from Executive elected office because of their time served in the Legislature

the Legislature's inability to accomplish much of anything beyond partisanship in the last 20 years should convince us that the status quo does not work

I actually believe that there are very qualified individuals who would run & be effective were it not for the system that is in place.

BTW, Ed - What do you think of Hutchinson choosing to run against Perry? It appears to be a bad move.


I think the most pressing need for an amendment to the Constitution would have to deal with defining citizenship issues, and rights afforded under the constitution. Namely, the question of individual rights pertaining to corporations or not. This is a basic question, germane to the soul of our system of governance. This type of issue is what prompted the clarification by the Bill of Rights. The citizenship standing of negroes, women, the right to have a voice in government, etc... The standing of corporations and the extend of their "equal protection" under the law needs clarified.

I fear the republicans and their SCOTUS appointees have already attempted to do this, and nothing short of an Amendment to the Constitution will set it right.

If your argument on this subject wasn't so pathetic, it would be funny.:rolleyes: It's a little like all of what you say, so blatantly partisan that you have apparently lost any ability to provide reasonable dialogue.

Corporations are generally better citizens than the thugocracy of the Public Employee unions, yet you believe it all right for them to blatantly extort concessions for support.

& your idol doesn't like the decision either, which says it's probably OK. At the least it levels the playing field. :cool:

Now I'd like those of you who care to read my original proposal. Do you see anything in that proposal that says term limits? NO, but what you do see is the inability to profit from time in Elective Office. So, try answering that!;-)

Hew
01-28-2010, 06:38 AM
Given that the qualifications for US Senators and Representatives are defined in the Constitution, I believe a Constitutional amendment would be needed to define term limits. That was the approach used to establish Presidential term limits during Roosevelt's Presidency. Personally, I would oppose such limits for a few reasons:

the job of being a legislator actually has a pretty significant learning curve. To avoid creating serious experience gaps would require limits (I believe) of at least 10-12 years.
I believe that voters are responsible for electing the candidates that they want. Term limits and similar rules will never be a substitute for voter ignorance or stupidity.A more modest approach might be to limit the terms of committee chairs and possibly even committee members., forcing a certain amount of rotation in these positions. This would reduce the opportunities for the development of long-term sweetheart deals between lobbyists and legislative power brokers and force greater cross-fertilization between different areas. Best of all, the change could be made by each house through modifications to its own rules.
I agree with every word of that. I particularly like the limiting of committee chair terms. You look at the committee chairs in the House and most of them are from districts that are either gerrymandered or so demographically skewed that the incumbent is likely to vacate his gig only upon death. I was going to say "upon death or scandal" but scandal doesn't even apply anymore....Charlie Rangel, eg.

Hew
01-28-2010, 06:41 AM
these lifetime politicians are re-elected because they bring home the pork
I think you give way too much credit to voters. Most folks don't even know their representative or senator's name, much less know what pork may or may not have been brought home on their behalf.

dnf777
01-28-2010, 02:42 PM
Corporations are generally better citizens than the thugocracy of the Public Employee unions, yet you believe it all right for them to blatantly extort concessions for support.

]

How long does it take you to put on your clown make-up before you post? Just curious. I like the way when you can't form a coherent response or argument, you put words and thoughts in other's minds to suit your needs. Sorry, doesn't work that way.

Marvin S
01-28-2010, 09:06 PM
How long does it take you to put on your clown make-up before you post? Just curious. I like the way when you can't form a coherent response or argument, you put words and thoughts in other's minds to suit your needs. Sorry, doesn't work that way.


If your argument on this subject wasn't so pathetic, it would be funny.:rolleyes: It's a little like all of what you say, so blatantly partisan that you have apparently lost any ability to provide reasonable dialogue.

:confused: Doc ? When you post there is generally little to respond to, which is what I said in the Hilites. :o

JDogger
01-28-2010, 09:34 PM
:confused: Doc ? When you post there is generally little to respond to, which is what I said in the Hilites. :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hittites

Oh...you probably meant highlights, sorry Marv, though you were off topic once again. My bad. JD