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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Don't touch term limits

    By Tom McMillin, Section News
    Posted on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:07:40 AM EST
    Tags: term limits, McMillin, citizen legislature (all tags)

    detroit news article

    Friday, July 3, 2009
    Commentary: Don't extend term limits
    Michigan's 'citizen Legislature' works just fine
    Rep. Tom McMillin
    There is yet another attempt afoot by politicians in Lansing to undermine the will of Michigan voters by changing -- and extending -- term limits.

    The arguments of these politicians are usually centered on this notion that "institutional knowledge" is lost when state representatives can "only" stay six years or state senators "only" eight years. Many claim that by the time they figure out how Lansing works, they are term-limited.

    Let's analyze this. If you are fortunate enough to get a new job in this economy, could you in good faith turn to your boss and say, "You know, it may take me a few years to figure out how to do my job?" I don't think very many would take that risk. But those who do would likely be out of a job pretty quickly.

    I can tell you as a freshman state representative that, with a little effort and some God-given knowledge, figuring out "how Lansing works" doesn't take very long. We need legislators who aren't looking for excuses to be able to do their job. They just need to make the tough decisions necessary to rightsize our burdensome government. Besides, the "institutional knowledge" excuse makes it appear that legislators are being run by the "institution" known as Lansing bureaucrats. The fact is that the men and women we send to Lansing, our representatives, should tell the bureaucrats how things are going to be done to best serve our citizens, not the other way around. Yes, this takes leadership. Surely that's not too much to ask of our elected leaders.

    Thanks to term limits, the purpose of democracy is preserved. All citizens are assured that a spirited primary and/or general election will regularly give them good alternatives.

    Because of term-limits, the days where a few long-serving legislators are powerful kings and princes are gone. Gone are the days when long-serving politicians always get 95 percent of PAC and lobbyist campaign money and get re-elected 99 percent of the time. Very few current legislators would be serving in Lansing if it weren't for the current term-limits law.

    Term limits have helped our state to bring in fresh blood, keep government honest and allow for the free flow of new ideas. It would be a shame to change that now, when new ideas are needed most. Term limits keep Lansing a "citizen's Legislature," and I firmly believe that we need to keep our current term-limits law in place.

    State Rep. Tom McMillin, R- Rochester Hills, is in his first term representing Michigan's 45th Legislative district.

    The excuse some politicians are leaning on for getting rid of term limits, the need for so-called "institutional knowledge", is very weak.  Some seem to feel they need awhile to figure out "how Lansing works".  However we the people, through our legislators, should be telling the Lansing bureaucrats "how Lansing is going to work."  That would be exhibiting something called leadership.

    The days when long-time key committee chairmen would walk around Lansing like kings are gone.  Legislators know that whatever "power" they may have, can't be held for too long...so they are more likely to act in our best interests.

    And to everyone who says, "we have term limits, they're called elections", I ask:  How often have you gone up against an entrenched politician?  You'd likely be outspent 10-1, mainly due to powerful lobbyists and Lansing PACs.  On very rare occasions, incumbents can be beat, but the playing field is more lopsided than ever.

    And to the "we need to keep the good ones in Lansing" crowd...that argument makes it sound like being a legislator is so difficult that only a select few can be found.  Don't believe it.  The benefits of a citizens legislature outweight the work needed to find another good person every 6 to 8 years.

    Finally, I'm sure some will say, "seems term-limits has created quite a disfunctional legislature."  With or without term limits, legislatures are often disfunctional.  Send good people to Lansing and it'll work a lot better.

    < Owning up to past mistakes.. | On Recalls.. and the Posse >

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    My thoughts on term limits (none / 0) (#1)
    by Kevin Rex Heine on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:43:09 PM EST
    Here's my thought on the term limits concept: 12-in / 4-out. That is, 12 years (IN TOTAL) in either Washington or Lansing (or the state capitol of your choice), followed by 4 years completely out of said capitol. That's combined time in office (legislative and executive). This will allow us to keep the good ones (assuming any can be found) in circulation, while allowing for a critical review periodically.

    Note that this only applies to elected officials. Of necessity, there's only so much that you can do about bureaucrats . . . short of closing down their particular bureau.

    I appreciate the "natural term limitation" of an effective voting population. Well-informed and active voters will arrange to toss any bum right about the time that said bum starts to become a threat to Liberty. The problem is that we have a voting population that is best characterized by chronic laziness, which is one of the reasons that term limits came about in the first place.  (Another, of course, being a 10-to-1 financial disadvantage for challengers.)

    The 12-in / 4-out compromise, in my head anyway, works as an effective long-term compromise between the positions on the term limits issue.

    Citizens already had "term limits" (none / 0) (#2)
    by leondrolet on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:19:50 AM EST
    because they could vote. And they utilized that right to vote to enact term limits as they currently are (6 years in the House, 8 in the Senate).

    So, I agree with Rep. McMillan that term limits should stay as they are.

    We have term limits for the US President and that has been fine.

    Remember, the State Constitution (like the US Constitution) establishes limits on the power of government. And term-limiting politicians is one limit. We also put age limits on politicians and limits on ex-post-facto laws and many other limits on legislators and government. Thankfully.

    Agreeing with McMillin? (none / 0) (#3)
    by stevenstmason on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 12:25:40 AM EST
    The one and only time I'll agree with McMillin. I thought term limits were pointless. The solution for bad politicians was to get off your lazy tail and vote. But term limits were voted in, now live with them. Too bad that dishonorable men like Pete Hoekstra couldn't abide by their own pledges.  

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