Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't change term limits

From Nancy Smith of Sunshine State News on Jan. 14:
Want a laugh? A couple of legislators are trying to tell us if we want better government, we have to keep them in office longer.

More good policies? More of them.

Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, filed a bill Thursday that aims to kill Florida's current term-limit structure. According to House Joint Resolution 207, eight years isn't enough anymore. Twelve is better. Give Florida legislators 12 years and they can fix the twisted political culture in Tallahassee, Kriseman says.

Over in the Senate Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has filed a similar bill.

This legislation is about as bad an idea as I've heard so far this pre-session. Increased terms of office are not, as Kriseman said, the way "to tame the influence of money in politics and do away with Florida's never-ending campaign cycles." Without campaign finance reform, the money will stay the same -- long-suffering donors won't get the break they think, candidates will simply start fund-raising earlier and keep at it longer. And all the new cycles will do is lessen legislators' travails, nobody else's -- certainly not the voters'.

But let's look at other reasons why we don't want to let this turkey of a bill strut too far down the road.


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