Term Limits Are Not A Silver Bullet

Over the past few days, I’ve seen a sudden uptick of activity on the Dade County GOP Facebook page with a couple of people expressing their ire over their county’s commissioners proposing another T-SPLOST question to be placed on the May general primary ballot after the last one was defeated in November of 2017.

The timing, it can be argued, is a bit quick since the measure was rejected by 57% of voters who cast ballots this past November.  My advice to those who don’t want it if your elected officials don’t listen to you: vote against the additional tax proposal and then vote them out.  Now, that option isn’t going to be an easy one.

The first part will require organization to urge voters to turn out and vote against the measure.  The second part will involve motivated people qualifying for office, raising money, organizing a campaign, and earning votes.  My recommendation is hard work..especially if you’re planning on running against an incumbent, so what are Facebook activists proposing as a solution? Term limits!

I used to be in favor of term limits.  It sounds good, right?  You limit the number of terms a person can serve in local/state/federal office, so you automatically get new blood.  Well, yes, but we already have term limits…it’s just that they aren’t automatic.  Again, it takes the work of organized people working the phones and pounding the pavement to say why their preferred candidate will do a better job than the incumbent.

If they are successful, a majority will elect the challenger.  If voters are happy with their current election official, then they’ll re-elect the incumbent.  Term limits are a lazy way of “fixing” a problem that can be fixed already with good organization, a good candidate, and a willingness to do the hard work.  It may take one or two elections, but beating an incumbent does happen.

“Most” county offices aren’t on the ballot this year, but, depending on the county, some may be.  Of course, all legislative seats and statewide offices are up for election as well as all of the US House seats.  If you’re not happy with your local, state, or federal representatives, then perhaps it’s your time to step up and offer yourself up as an option to voters.  You won’t know unless you try, but that’s just my opinion.

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MikeSilver
MikeSilver

Tim Lee is a good example. After he and the Cobb Commission sold us out to the Braves, he lost the next election.

Sadly, the damage has been done. Now we can’t pay for the police, have to close libraries, will likely see a sales tax increase, and will certainly see our property taxes go up. Thanks Braves, you corporate parasites!

One reform Republicans should push through is that SPLOST authorization votes should only occur in general elections. not primaries, not one-offs, not special elections.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Problem is SPLOST time periods are 5 years. At least every one I work with has been in five year stretches.

Benevolus
Benevolus
Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The thing about the Braves sticking it to taxpayers is that it’s what they do best. The Braves Play Taxpayers Better Than They Play Baseball: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-atlanta-braves-stadium/ “Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the… Read more »

chefdavid
chefdavid

Don’t forget having a GOB name is a plus, especially if your the incumbent helps keep your job because you are a good ole boy. Going to one of the big churches helps as a candidate but you need to start a while before you declare. We have had a few here just start going to a Church right when they started running. Hopefully people will start to wake up here in Dade and vote for someone that actually does research on issues and doesn’t just show up to meetings and vote how the full time chairman tells them.

ron w
ron w

Hmmm… if the only reason incumbents get re-elected is because their constituency is happy with them please explain the extremely low approval ratings in congress in contrast to the extremely high incumbent re election rate. It’s about the money… incumbents raise 3-5x more money than their challengers on average. You can argue that because they “work” harder, but I think it is more about special interests and name recognition. The financial playing field between challenger and incumbent should be level. Then you can argue the “hard work.”

chefdavid
chefdavid

No term limits have worked out for Walker. How about those double property taxes increases lately? And now you have Businesses moving out to other places.

Dannie C. Kemp
Dannie C. Kemp

In most cases, well many, it is a silver bullet. I ran against an incumbent county commissioner in 2010, missed forcing the gentleman into a runoff by a mere handful of votes, 3 as I recollect. This is not to say I would have won if successful but many thought I would have. The incumbent was a fixture, like many of the public offices of my county. I was a reluctant candidate, that is to say I did not want to run but thought it a duty, to make things right, to “stop the shenanigans” I had knowledge, not evidence… Read more »