Phoenix, AZ – It was 1992 when Sen. Carolyn Allen and others got voters to
impose term limits on elected officials. She said the main goal
was to oust entrenched members of Congress. But the U.S. Supreme
Court ruled states can't regulate federal lawmakers. That left
Arizona with eight-year limits on statewide officials and
legislators. Allen said the result is fewer lawmakers who know
what's come -- and been tried -- before.
(Staff has been much more empowered, for better or for worse. The
lobbyists, of course, have a whole new crop that they can try to
influence, and do, immediately.)
But Philip Blumel, president of U.S. Term Limits which advanced
the idea in the 1990s, said there's nothing wrong a strong staff
because lawmakers make the final decisions. And he disagreed with
Allen that term limits aid lobbyists.
(One of the main things you do as a lobbyist is maintain long-
term relationships with legislators that you have confidence him
and continue to fund them.)
Blumel said lawmakers who oppose term limits just want to keep
their jobs. But Allen, who served eight years in the House and
will be finishing eight in the Senate, said that's not true for
(I'd rather step in front of a moving train.)
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.