Bill Hayes, an RLCer from Palm Beach Shores, received top billing on
today's letters page of the Palm Beach Post:
Letters to the Editor:
"Eight years is plenty; lobbyists behind push for longer terms"
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
The Post's editorial "Eight isn't enough" (May 24) asserts
that "Florida voters went for emotion over reason in limiting state
legislators to eight years in office" and recommends that voters
undo "some of the damage that has been done."
This assertion is insulting to the 77 percent of us who voted for
and still support term limits. The arguments that eight years isn't
enough time for legislators to learn what is going on and that
legislators need more time to seek key chairmanships, etc., are just
plain silly. Legislators are not elected because they don't know
what is going on, and they don't arrive in Tallahassee as newborn
babes. They campaign for office with a keen sense of what is going
on, and on a platform to accomplish certain things for the voters.
The Post's suggestion that a term-limited legislator is more likely
to "just make friends with the right lobbyists and enjoy those perks
of elected office" is particularly ludicrous. Follow the money; it
is the lobbyists who are so much in opposition to term limits. Watch
who pays for the campaign to extend term limits from eight to 12
years. It will be the lobbyists whose control over legislators is
greatly diminished when citizen-legislators go to Tallahassee to do
a job for the people rather than always looking to the next election
and raising money from the lobbyists. Lobbyists like to keep their
politicians honest. Lobbyists define an honest politician as one
who, once bought, stays bought.
There are many reasons why the people (78 percent of us, according
to the most recent poll) want our legislators to remain term-
limited. Our Founding Fathers did not envision professional
politicians. They envisioned citizen legislators who would make a
sacrifice to serve the people and return to private life, rather
than make a career of looking to the next election and raising money
from lobbyists. Without term limits there are fewer elections
because incumbents, with all their lobbyist-raised money, are so
hard to beat that few candidates even try.
WILLIAM V. HAYES
Palm Beach Shores