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Term Limits Resolution
A LOT of out-of-state money is being spent for SJR92 on lobbyists and publicity, and they have seen to it that similar resolutions have been introduced on 14 other states. They even say on their website: "A massive national campaign to limit the terms of the U.S. Congress has been launched and Tennessee is one of the first target states!" The national organization, US Term Limits, ran ads every hour on the Ralph Bristol Show on WWTN for several weeks, urging listeners to call their lawmakers asking them to vote for this proposal. If YOU don't make YOUR VOICE heard, these out-of-state folks may be successful!! Do we really want outsiders determining what we do in Tennessee??
UPDATE: SJR92 was scheduled on the floor May 3, 2017. Sen. Jackson was absent and it was moved to the 4th. On the 4th it was moved to the 8th, and then on the 8th, it was moved to the 9th when is was finally taken up. Sen. Jackson read a statement that tried to counter some of the objections that we had been making. [In trying to neutralize our contention that the 'bureaucracy is empowered', Jackson said that most new lawmakers bring in their own staff members. What he neglected to say was that a lot of these 'staff members' just move from one office to another and the 'bureaucracy' goes several layers deeper than just office staff. Where do we think the office staff goes for their information??]
When he concluded, Senators Paul Bailey, Frank Niceley and Todd Gardenhire forcefully spoke against the proposal. [Thank yougentleman!] One comment was later made that voting FOR the resolution was not voting FOR term limits, but to 'let the people decide.' I would observe that in a Constitutional Republic we elect representatives and senators to do the business of their constituents. Also, legislators are in a position to have more information on an issue than the general public. In addition, when legislators take the oath of offices, a part of that oath says: "...that I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to me injurious to the people...". So if term limits are not a good idea, then a legislators should not vote for this resolution.
As we sometimes hear in committee, there was a 'cold wind blowing' and Sen. Jackson moved the resolution until 2018. Well, we will certainly continue to oppose this very bad idea.
THOUGHTS ON TERM LIMITS:
1. We have 'term limits', they are called "elections", every two, four, and six years. Just because voters are derelict in their duty, does not mean we must change our process.
2. 'Artificial' term limits means giving the bureaucracy a LOT more power; in addition, institutional memory and experience is no longer available.
3. Voters are prohibited from voting for the person they believe is best for that office.
4. Term limits creates multiple classes of 'lame ducks' and successive 'freshman' classes. We all know that in the last term any official serves, without re-election on the horizon, there is no longer the accountability that was once there.
5. This would prevent legislators from gaining the experience they need to become skilled lawmakers.
6. This would also interfere with legislators gaining seniority to gain committee chairmanships and leadership positions
7. Term Limits give Lobbyists more influence.
Here's a look at congressional tenure, by the numbers:
9.1 years: Average length of service in the United States House of Representatives as of January 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service.
10.2 years: Average length of service in the U.S. Senate as of January 2013.
The way to effectively reform Congress lies in supporting and voting for candidates who uphold the belief in a stronger local government rather than a stronger national government. Term limits will not achieve the reform that is needed in our federal government because term limits will NOT RESTRAIN the power of our federal government.
ACTION: Please contact YOUR senator and urge him or her to VOTE NO!