Some things just never go away.
One of them is the idea to impose term limits on members of Congress.
Once a big deal in the 1990s, discussion about imposing term limits has died down to a whisper in recent years. But the idea is apparently not dead.
In fact, just this week an Arizona congressman introduced an amendment to the Constitution limiting terms for House members to three and senators to two. That would mean six years for House members and 12 years for senators.
Now, members of Congress can serve as long as their constituents keep electing them. Joseph Lieberman was elected four times to the U.S. Senate from Connecticut and retired last year. After opposing term limits while in the Senate, he now endorses them.
Strange, isn’t it?
Anyway, have you ever really thought about why people want to impose term limits on members of Congress but tend to ignore everyone else from township auditor up mayor or county commissioner?
There have been exceptions in some states where limits have been placed on state legislators. Plus, Pennsylvania has term limits for statewide offices, including governor, attorney general, auditor general and treasurer.
However, for the most part, the emphasis has been on Washington rather than local government for limiting how long elected officials can serve.
The argument for limiting term of House members and senators is that after a certain point they lose touch with their constituents. Nobody has yet determined when they arrive at this point. Could it be four years, six years, 10 or 20?
So, if they do lose touch with the folks back home, why is that? It can’t be because they aren’t back home in their districts enough. The House, for example, is scheduled to be in session 126 days this year, thus giving them the rest of the year at home.
Could it be that they lose touch when they receive huge campaign contributions from various political action committees and are heavily lobbied by those organizations?
The answer, of course, is yes. As a result, they end up paying more attention to the lobbyists than they do to the constituents who put them in office in the first place.
Candidates for local offices receive campaign contributions, but nothing resembling those received by federal lawmakers. And, they don’t have lobbyists sitting outside their offices on a daily basis.
Furthermore, there have been mayors throughout the country who have served multiple terms and did not fall out of favor with the voters.
The people who get elected to Congress are no different from those who win election locally. But the one thing that distinguishes the two is campaign funding. Limiting terms may make some people feel good, but it will do little to change the culture in Washington as long as the money continues to flow.
Some things just never go away.
- Closer Look
Library friends slate spring yard sale
The Friends of the New Castle Public Library has set the date for its spring indoor yard sale. The two-day event will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 28 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 29 at the New Castle Public Library.
John K. Manna: State says some local people have high incomes
A lot of people fantasize about becoming instant millionaires. That’s why millions of Americans play the lottery, particularly when the jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions exceed $100 million.
Tentative casino hearing date set
May 8 is the tentative date for a public hearing for Lawrence County residents to comment on the proposed casino. The Mahoning supervisors announced the date Thursday.
Training seminar to address handling PennDOT contracts
A training seminar on how to deal with state transportation engineering and construction contracts is planned for this month
Recycling facility’s plan recommended for approval
The New Castle Planning Commission has recommended approval of a land development plan for a recycling facility. Ben Weitsman and Sons of New Castle plans to construct a facility at 526 S. Jefferson St. to recycle scrap metal.
Jameson to move pediatric unit
Plans are under way to relocate inpatient pediatric care at Jameson Hospital. A press release issued Wednesday by Jameson Health System said pediatric care will continue at the hospital and “will be provided in a safe environment by the same pediatricians, physician specialists and pediatric trained registered nurses and staff.”
County asking to divert state bridge money
Lawrence County has an accumulation of state funds designated for its bridges that it cannot spend. It wants to share those funds for local road repairs, but cannot use the money — more than $600,000 — for that because the funds are restricted by a law enacted in 2007, and can be used only as a county match for county-owned bridge projects.
Commissioners make meeting changes
The Lawrence County commissioners have made a couple of changes to their regular meeting schedule this month.They will meet as usual at 10 a.m. Tuesday in their meeting room in the courthouse.
Our Opinion: Some consumers pay price of changing power suppliers
Choice may be good, but an informed choice is even better. That’s the conclusion we draw from reports here in Lawrence County and elsewhere around Pennsylvania about some residents and businesses receiving electric bills that are substantially higher than normal.
SRU addresses alleged audit discrepancy
As Slippery Rock University officials continue to tackle budget issues that include a potential deficit of up to $10 million, they’re also addressing concerns that a recent audit alleges a $1 million discrepancy.
- More Closer Look Headlines
- Library friends slate spring yard sale