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Term limits make government worse

Governor Larry Hogan proposes General Assembly term limits and the use of live-streaming during floor deliberations during a State House news conference. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)

Maryland citizens need only look to Ohio to see the danger and damages caused by term limits imposed on state office holders, representatives and senators (“Maryland governor to propose term limits for legislators,” Jan. 10). Approved by voters in 1992, the Ohio program set off a one-party dominated system and also ushered in an era when representatives and senators would resign in mid-term in one chamber and be appointed to a newly vacated district in the other chamber to avoid the limits. In statewide offices, three of five elected office holders served their two terms, then played musical chairs, running for their co-horts’ soon to be vacated offices.

However, the most dangerous aspect of term limits is not the idea of limiting elected officials but the concentrated power held by experienced political operatives who were not answerable to voters but who used their experience in advancing their legislative priorities and acumen by being hired by newly-elected officials to run the office staffs and work with policy think tanks to drive legislative priorities important not to citizens but to financing PACs and special interests. Should their bosses be defeated, they simply applied with other officials’ staffs.

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The first 12 years of term limits in Ohio were dominated by one-party rule in each state chamber, all state elected officials and the governors office. And since 1992, the stranglehold by one party was upended once for a four-year period before reverting to its old ways. If we truly want term limits, voters need to demand better candidates and use their votes that we have earned instead of allowing party hacks to control the process.

Don't support mandated term limits, they are nothing more than candy from a stranger in a creepy white van waiting to hijack the election process.

Stuart Haley, Baltimore

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