For Some Good Effective Politicians
Term limits are not a panacea for entrenching special interest corruption
I don't agree with term limits Here's why
A forty year political activist, I remember when term limits were put into place. It was touted term limits would oust the corrupt politician. Nothing can be further from the truth. It was the Republican Party who initiated this legal way to bar the Democratic strong hold that was being held at the time. The Party found a way to get their candidates elected, but it backfired in many ways, and in many elections. When they had good candidates in office, they lost them because their candidate could not re-run, or had to run against an incumbent for another seat where those constituents were not familiar with that candidate.
|Wanda's official- photo |
running for political
office as a
School Board Member
Now the simple fact is that WE VOTE - OR SHOULD VOTE - AT EACH ELECTION. As citizens it is our duty to vote out elected officials that are not dong their job. If we don't like what a legislator is doing - vote them out. Don't leave it to their competitor/competing legislators to tell us that others are corrupt when most likely the one saying it is just as corrupt.
Another fact is that it is extremely expensive to run for office today. Most reading this cannot afford to raise five million dollars to run an effective high-ranking office campaign, let alone a $50,000 (minimum) local office campaign. This takes money, networking and financial backers.
What happens when a good elected official is "termed out" - a money machine steps in and gets elected with selective interests in holding that office, not a genuine desire to help other Americans.
When a newly elected official is sworn in, it takes years for them to network with, study the voting history, the preferences and behavior patterns of the other officials they have to work with. Just as in most of our jobs, we don't know what the employee next to us is capable of, connected with or where they stand on issues that might concern us.
In the same way, newly elected officials need time to learn whom they can trust on issues that concern their constituents. Meaning our elected officials has an extremely short time to garner the appropriate knowledge in order to pass the legislations they promised. Before you know it, they’re gone. By the time they know who their lobbyists are and what they want; by the time they know what their fellow officials will support or destroy, it's "TIMES UP".
The best solution is to have "campaign finance reform", and to "restore" the "financial limits" one person, one group, or one PAC (Political Action Committee) can have over, and thusly control over candidates being forced to do their bidding. There was a time when one billionaire could not be the only supporter a candidate needs to support their entire campaign.
Where are the good and fair old days in campaign financing?
There would be no so-called "monopoly" or demonstratively "corrupt officials" if all citizens who are qualified to vote would do so, and consider three things:
- VOTE - Vote at each and ever election, both local and presidential - no matter if it's for the local dog catcher - vote!. The local offices are just as important as the national and presidential elections - sometimes more important! When citizens complain to me, I ask, "Did you vote?"
- DONATE - I ask political complainers: "When was the first or last time you made a donation to a candidate, even to your favorite candidate?"
- Given the cost, struggles and hard work it takes for most candidates to study Political Science, Comparative Politics, Social Science, etc. in school; why should they not have a life-time career in what they know and love just as a doctor or teacher, etc. -- Neither of these two spend as much money to get there.
If you don't vote for your candidate of choice (or for the lesser of the two evils), the other candidate automatically gets your vote. I say lesser of the two evils because maybe you don't think any of the candidates are good, but vote for the one that is the closest fit to your concerns because if you don't, you automatically have "voted for the other candidate" by omission. If your politician is doing their job, why should they have to leave office?
If we don't contribute to our candidates, where do their money come from? The answer: from big corporations, billionaires, etc. As I mentioned, it is cost prohibitive for most of us to run a campaign to simply let people know by mail or media that we are even in the running.
The impact of term limits in the few states where term limits have not been repealed have been tremendous. Term limits reduce the knowledge of legislators; lobbyists become even more empowered, and lessens the effectiveness of those whom we entrust our quality of life to.
It has been known that because of term limits; simultaneously, the Speaker of the House, hundreds of House Members, Senate Presidents, Majority and Minority Leaders, Budget Committee Members/Chairs, and others were unable to run for their seat again. Some were completely ineligible to re-run anywhere. This is utterly ridiculous - as citizens, if we don't like what they're doing - we vote them out.
I will probably re-blog on the legal details, the political fallout, etc., should this "term limits" issue become something we need a rallying cry about - then, I will have more to say 👄