JOHN FUND ON CALIFORNIA’S FAILED PROP 45, THE TERM-LIMIT END-AROUND:
Knowing that term limits remain overwhelmingly popular, California’s pols decided they didn’t dare ask voters to repeal the state’s limits of six years in the Assembly or eight years in the Senate. So they polled and focus-grouped until they came up with Proposition 45, a clever end-run around the law that they thought would trick voters. Under the guise of protecting term limits, the initiative would have allowed any incumbent to stay in office four extra years by getting the signatures of one-fifth the number of people who voted in the last election. Incumbents would still have to appear on the ballot and be re-elected to their extra terms, but in hypergerrymandered California well over 95% of incumbents routinely win re-election.
Fund ends his article with:
In the end one of the best arguments for term limits is how much effort some of those incumbents affected by them struggle to escape them. This week in California voters sent a message that state legislators should consider expending less energy cooking up career-survival schemes and more time solving the state’s problems: budget shortfalls, electricity and traffic congestion. Let’s hope they pay attention.
They probably won’t, but perhaps stronger messages can be sent in November.