Rep-elect Caldwell pre-files HR5 – Term Limits

December 28, 2012 18:26 pm

by Bridget Cantrell · 28 comments

Wow – these rep-elects don’t wait around do they?  You might remember Rep-elect Michael Caldwell for sending refunds to his contributors.  He campaigned on the importance of consecutive term limits and pre-filed HR5: Term Limits yesterday.

This is his synopsis sent via email:

HR 5 proposes a Constitutional Amendment requiring term limits on our State Legislators. These would be consecutive, not complete, term limits. A legislator could run for a particular office for four two year terms in a row, then would be required to take two years away from that seat before running again. This forces every incumbent to run against a sitting incumbent at least once a decade, and also encourages taking two years to go back to life as an ordinary citizen once a decade.

A .pdf of the short and sweet proposed amendment is here.

 

johnl December 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Outstanding, but will it ever become law? It will be interesting to see the arguments against it.

mpierce December 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm

People complain about ethics reform and lobbyist gifts. Now we are throwing legislators out for a 2 year hiatus (regardless of how well his constituents approve of the job he is doing). I wonder if any of those lobbyist have job connections? I wonder if there well now be a bigger incentive to cozy up to those lobbyists from legislators knowing they can’t be re-elected for a few years?

Doug Deal December 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

This is great. This is exactly the type of term limits I have been suggesting for years. No permanent disqualification, but force people to go back to private life every once in a while.

Salmo December 29, 2012 at 10:53 am

With the exception of a small minority of folks in leadership of each chamber, members of the legislature go back to private life every single year when the session ends. Matt Dollar and Ralph Long are the only two I can think of off the top of my head who don’t have a real job or aren’t retired and live on their $17k salary/per diem all year (I’m sure there are more, but there aren’t many).

As to the ones who are in leadership or run the big committees (e.g. appropriations), these are exactly the positions where we need experience the most. I can’t imagine how long it would take to pass a budget (and how many after-the-fact fixes would be required) if appropriations chairs could have no more than seven years’ experience in the legislature at any given time. By this, you will have drastically reduced the pool of potential folks who can do such a thing, e.g. it would be only the folks who have been in for at least two previous terms and who aren’t too dumb/crooked to do it.

Finally, I’ll add that a rule which forces out someone like George Hooks isn’t a good one. The Senate was better off for the past decade with his sense of perspective. He’ll be missed this time around.

LaFayette Underground December 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Senator Mullis technically has a regular job, but it’s a government-funded nothing position. He rakes in approximately $60,000 a year as “director” of the Northwest GA Joint Development Authority, funded by Dade, Walker, Catoosa, and Chattooga county tax dollars. He was given the job after his election to the State Senate and would likely lose it if he wasn’t in the legislature. It keeps him from having to do real work, and keeps him handy if county leaders (two of which are sole-commissioner governments) need him for anything, like interfering with investigations conducted by EPD or GBI.

– LU

Dave Bearse December 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

“Matt Dollar and Ralph Long are the only two I can think of off the top of my head who don’t have a real job…” How could you overlook the Chipster?

Hooks no longer serving will indeed be a loss to Georgians. That’s not the sentiment of the General Assembly powers that be however. Those powers could easily have protected Hooks if they didn’t actually seek to eliminate him. I’m not familiar enough with the details to know how much consideration was given Hooks. Given the priority given to eviserate DeKalb representation (yet make it cozy for Jacobs and Dunwoody), and weakening the Fulton County delegation by crafting districts with only a precinct ot two in the County, it’s logical conclude eliminating Hooks was an objective.

While we’re on wish-list legislation, I’d like to see the enactment of legislation that requires districts boundaires respect municipal and county boundaries in strong measure. Cities of 30,000 or less should all be within a single House district. (That shouldn’t be difficult given that districts include north of 40,000 people, but the bunch in power can’t even keep cities of 10,000 within a single district.)

Likewise there’s no reason for any metro Atlanta House District whatsoever to include parts of more than two counties, but they do. See districts 61, 63, 73, 109 and 114, the ridiculous shape of DeKalb districts, and Fulton County districts that include only a precinct or two wihin the county for yourself: http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/pdf/GeorgiaHouseDistricts2012MetroAtlanta.pdf

Requesting the establishment of a commission to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians, despite the generally accepted fact that re-election generally trumps constituent representation for elected officials, is unfortunately beyond even wishful thinking.

Noralil Ryan Fores December 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I haven’t read this prefile in a few weeks, Dave, but on your last point here, you might want to review
House Bill 10
.

Dave Bearse December 31, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Thanks for brigining HB10 to my attention. It’s a respectable intial proposal.

The Lt Gov appointment needs tweaking. The Lt Gov may not be of the majority party in the Senate, and even if s/he is, may not have majority support of the majority party.

Also, I’m unaware of any official party affliliation / definition in Georgia with respect to citizens, which is problematic with the respect to the requirement that only one of two Gubenatorial appointments be of the same party as the Governor.

David C December 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Ahh term limits. The best guarantee that only the lobbyists will know where to find the car keys.

mpierce December 28, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Absolutely. Nothing like limiting the power of the people to give more power to the special interests.

Rick Day December 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I approve this measure.

Carry on.

saltycracker December 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

Term Limits have been #1 on my list.
As we just raised and spent record amounts on the recent elections, lobbyists are thriving and the methods of distributing taxpayer monies are expanding, it is doubtful we will weaken our game of selecting winner and lossers with the public trough of money.

saltycracker December 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

modify: loosers

Bob Loblaw December 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

Rep. Elect Caldwell: ” I know I haven’t even been sworn in yet, but I have a resolution, here, that says more than half of my soon-to-be colleagues don’t belong here.”

Colleagues: “Welcome to irrelevance. Enjoy your two committees and hearing your bills die upon being read for the first time. You can park over in the Hackney deck with all the lobbyists that would run this state if you had your way.”

Bridget December 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

Ehh, change just takes a well-timed public spark backed by well-laid private research, Bob. Have heart. Some inspiration for your Saturday morning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFuKZphy200

Bob Loblaw December 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Thank you for the inspiration! Having a hard time finding the public spark or the well-laid private research. But I do have inspiration, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

Now everyone go help that charity in that story that Bridg posted yesterday. Where the government safety net fails, conservatives of faith must catch our fallen. Especially for a woman who has a baby that the father finds once sick, he doesn’t want anymore. That place needs your help.

Doug Deal December 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

You haven’t been paying attention if you don’t think lobbyist and the connected few don’t alreadyrun this state and at the very least this will allow the power to rotate and not allow a handful of legislators to accumulate Tom Murphy style power.

The lobbyist bogeyman is a dead horse.

Dave Bearse December 29, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’d much prefer legislation increasing the current one year period where former legislators are prohibited from lobbying to at least two years.

Three Jack December 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

We would do better to term limit voters who show up at the polls with zero knowledge of what they are about to do.

Michael’s intentions are good, but not realistic. Term limiting a politician is the responsibility of voters. If we fail this fundamental candidate review requirement while exercising the privilege of voting, then we deserve the aholes we get.

saltycracker December 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm

It is a bit difficult to upgrade Republicans without term limits.

Three Jack December 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I think term limits are the least of the problems facing Republicans.

Bob Loblaw December 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

A’men!

Bob Loblaw December 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Hogwash. Ralph Hudgens is one heckuva upgrade.

Dave Bearse December 30, 2012 at 12:06 am

It wasn’t voters that made that made that upgrade though. It occurred because Oxendine ran for another office. Oxendine could likely have remained Insurance Commission as long as he wanted to. Perhaps you can offer some other upgrades where voters indeed were responsible for the upgrade.

Three Jack December 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Remains to be seen if it will be an upgrade, but the very subject of this thread beat a four term GOPer.

Nonchalant December 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

“Cemeteries are full of indispensible men.”

Doug Deal December 29, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Exactly.

saltycracker December 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Case for term limits: Of all the issues, in all the spending, the Republicans are ready to go over the cliff if the Democrats don’t yield to altering the way of calculating changes in social security insurance. Perhaps our new GOP slogan will be “let them eat cake” (from subsidized crops).

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