No Term Limits

Boulder, CO 80302

 

October 13, 2016

 

Senator Christopher McDaniels

Room: 213 D

P.O. Box 1018

Jackson, MS 39215

 

Dear Mr. Senator:

We urge you as well as the United Conservatives Fund to reconsider the Mississippi Term Limits Amendment, Initiative 51. Placing a two term limit on all state representative as well as elect office positions would not allow you to hold office as you currently do. You are currently serving your third term in the Mississippi State Senate. Pushing forward an amendment which would make your position in the state’s government not legal must feel at least somewhat hypocritical. The reasons for which you have stated that you are in favor of term limits are not based off of legitimate grounds and the current reality is that there actually has been a reasonable amount of turnover among these positions in Mississippi’s recent elections. Furthermore, enacting term limits on the representatives elected to represent your state nationally was determined illegal by a Supreme Court decision in 1995.

We agree with your goal of “increasing participation” (we assume that means in the political process) however, your implications are incorrect: “The power of incumbency has built a wall between people and their representatives. This has caused an increase in cronyism, back room deals, and corruption.” (United Conservatives Fund Press Release, April 20, 2015) There is no such wall between people and their representatives. Offices of representatives must serve all of the people under their constituency regardless of whether they agree with a particular individual’s political preferences or not. If a representative fails to keep up with doing so, the people which vote for that representative have the option to vote for a different candidate in coming elections. Often times, cases in which a representative serves for a long amount of time are directly due to the fact that a certain representative truly is the best representation for their constituency. We respectfully argue that term limits will do nothing to solve corruption, back room deals or cronyism. While a few cases of long time crime among elected officials exist in this country, they are not common. Abolishing term limits will mean new officials will occupy positions that the people believe would be better served by a previous official. Having new, lesser-known people in office more frequently undoubtedly increases the chances that someone corrupt gets a spot in office.

In 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled “that in the absence of a constitutional amendment, neither states nor Congress may limit the number of terms that members of Congress can serve.” (The New York Times) This matter had been long disputed prior to the 1995 ruling. As a matter of fact with this ruling, efforts across many different states to introduce legislation similar to what you seek to introduce in Mississippi gave up just following the ruling as they knew it would not hold legal grounds. The point that different judges in favor of this decision made is very similar with this group’s way of thinking, which is simple. It is not sensical to impose term limits in positions where officials are rewarded for their good work with reelection. Imposing term limits would hinder politician’s motivations to truly benefit their constituencies in the long run.

Sincerely,

Brian Alsberg

Henry Chapple

Alexis Clark

Meghan Gillmore

Josh Bernardy

Sources:

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