Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One of the California propositions that isn't a gamble - or is it?

Before I get to, I should note my philosophy with regards to incumbents.

Before I will re-elect an incumbent, I need to determine whether he or she has earned my vote, and whether there is any point in returning the incumbent to office for another term.

Most people have a different philosophy. If they have heard of the name, then the person has to be good, and should be re-elected forever and ever, amen.

Thus, we have introduced term limits into our system (at least in California), which means that the officeholders only serve in a job for a short while. Then they find another job.

Enter Proposition 93, which is represented as a way to make term limits stronger while giving legislators more time to serve in a single position.

Here's the inlandutopia view:

Say NO to PROP 93

Our attorney general in California says its a term limits initiative, but its actually a term extension initiative.

This will give local legislators more time even when they already termed out.

Specific examples of three officeholders - one Republican, two Democratic - are named. Let me name another one:

Bill Leonard served in the State Legislature for 24 years. He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1978 running as a Prop. 13 tax cut advocate. In 1988 he was elected to the Senate where he served in leadership and authored a tough anti-drunk driving bill.

About this time we passed term limits in California, in an effort to get all of this dead wood out of office. So what did Leonard do?

He returned to the State Assembly in 1996 and served as Republican Leader.

Eventually he termed out of both the Senate and the Assembly. I guess that meant that he had to move back down here from Sacramento, right?

Bill Leonard was elected to serve on the Board of Equalization in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006 with more than one million votes.

I'm not sure if this law will allow Leonard to return to the Senate - he's presumably termed out of the Assembly in his two stints - but is it a risk we want to take?

Wonder if he has lifetime Sacramento Kings season tickets.

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