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Kirk against term limits

Friday, Apr 25, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* WBBM…

“In general, I don’t support term limits, and do support Rauner,” Kirk said. “I think he’s the right guy for the state.”

Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) have introduced a separate proposal to amend the state constitution to limit the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, and treasurer to two terms in office.

But Kirk said if people want to fire their elected officials, they can vote them out of office.

“If you want to fire your legislator, just vote against them,” Kirk said.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


55 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 7:09 am:

    Kirk against term limits is like a roach against Raid.


  2. - JLD - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 7:28 am:

    The position that voting people out instead of using term limits is absurd. Gerrymanding has made elections irrelevant for many, perhaps most, officials. The legislature should be given the choice of true re-districting reform or term limits.


  3. - K3 - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 7:37 am:

    Term limits are nothing but a political ploy. There’s no evidence they do anything to make government more efficient.


  4. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 7:49 am:

    @K3: “Term limits are nothing but a political ploy. There’s no evidence they do anything to make government more efficient.”

    And yet plenty of evidence from states that have enacted them to show that the net effect of term limits is that lobbyists and long-time staffers end up as the ones ‘in charge’ because they have the institutional knowledge to know how to get bills passed.

    But boy it sure does sound good and could really help a statewide candidate gather a quick 400-500,000 names and addresses….


  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 7:52 am:

    And yet plenty of evidence from states that have enacted them to show that the net effect of term limits is that lobbyists and long-time staffers end up as the ones ‘in charge’ because they have the institutional knowledge to know how to get bills passed.

    No there is not. That is an old line from our government professors from two decades ago that has been disproven after dozens of states have passed and have lived with, term limits.

    Find a new trope, that old saw no longer cuts.


  6. - Frustrated Voter - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 8:28 am:

    Thanks Mr. Kirk…spoken like a true career politician.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 8:33 am:

    ===“If you want to fire your legislator, just vote against them,” Kirk said.===

    Yep. If the other Party is too lazy, or voters are too lazy, making it a law to take away my right to vote for whomever I want for as long as I want is a “victim” mentality, legislated as reform.

    If you can’t beat someone, that’s on the voters.


  8. - Chi - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 8:46 am:

    Gerrymandering does not effect elections for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, and treasurer.


  9. - Walker - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 8:48 am:

    Neither term limits as proposed, nor independent remapping, will have much impact on good government. They are sops for those who don’t know what else to do.

    I admire the idealists who are drawn to these ideas, but pity their misplaced faith in shiny objects.


  10. - PoolGuy - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 8:55 am:

    term limits are silly. they’ve been talking about them regularly for 20-25 years and only 15 out of 50 states have them. votes the bums out or work with what ya got :)


  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    –No there is not. That is an old line from our government professors from two decades ago that has been disproven after dozens of states have passed and have lived with, term limits.–

    Dozens? 15, actually.

    Maybe you should have listened to your math professor.

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/chart-of-term-limits-states.aspx


  12. - Just Observing - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    === The position that voting people out instead of using term limits is absurd. Gerrymanding has made elections irrelevant for many, perhaps most, officials. ===

    Ridiculous… Gerrymandering may, demographically, help a politician keep his or her seat, but voters are free to vote someone out of office. Blaming gerrymandering is nothing more than an excuse for lazy citizens.


  13. - Kerfuffle - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    It’s funny how we have this group mentality to vote all the bums out. And yet when it comes to our specific bum we think they are doing a good job and should be retained in office.


  14. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    Article on Montana looking to repeal term limits. I didn’t realize that both Utah and Idaho used to have term limits, but repealed them.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/10/25/montana-legislators-debate-rolling-back-term-limits/


  15. - PoolGuy - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Kerfuffle i agree, I think many people who support term limits want to throw other peoples/districts’ bums, out but keep their own bums :)


  16. - Just Observing - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Agreed that everyone wants to throw the “bums” out except their own “bum” — but isn’t that their right? Isn’t that democracy? Do we really need term limits to protect voters from their bad choices?


  17. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    Missouri experience.

    http://www.kansascity.com/2012/06/17/3661751/critics-of-missouris-term-limits.html


  18. - Siriusly - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Great example WordSlinger. They have no historical knowledge of anything that they have done in previously years there in Missouri.

    Term limits are great for lobbyists and career staff.


  19. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    It is good to see Senator Kirk embracing the importance of a diversity of opinion in the GOP.

    He will surely remember this the next time another Republican disagrees with him on something.


  20. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    “no evidence they do anything to make government more efficient.”

    We do however have ample evidence to show the cesspool that government becomes with the same old faces making the same old decisions day after day.


  21. - BMAN - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    There are plenty of issues to point a finger at when looking at Illinois politics. As for Mr. Kirk saying Rauner is the right guy, no he is not. It has been years since we ‘ve had anything like a viable candidate for governor.

    As for term limits, lets bring them in so we can get the current bunch of bums out of office. Then we can look at whether we want to keep term limits.


  22. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    After reading the Gallup Poll posted on this blog, I think, the voters of Illinois deserve to see how term limits and fair redistricting work for a decade or two. If the results are bad, then the voters can go back to the previous systems. All this talk about changing to term limits will allow the politician turned lobbyist to run the legislature is hogwash. Look at the number politicians turned lobbyist are in place, now.


  23. - Mr. Big Trouble - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Illinois screams out for change, and at this point, we may as well put it on the ballot. The world wont come to an end w/ term limits, nor will it if Rauner is elected governor. I happily signed a term limit petition in the Barrington train station this morning as did many others. To quote John Wooden, ” failure is not necessarily fatal, but failure to change may be.”


  24. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    An example of how term limits will work. My state Rep resigned her seat in the State House to become an Alderwoman. The person selected to replace her: Her Chief of staff, who then, subsequently, had an advantage over the other candidates, as well as strong organizational backing from the connected insiders, and overwhelmingly won the primary. Term limits will just elect others already connected to the same corrupt organizations. It will do little or nothing to clean up Illinois.


  25. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Term limits will result in politicians turned lobbyist taking over the legislature. Politicians turned lobbyist are doing it now.
    Let’s give term limits a chance. If the voters don’t like the results, they can vote to go back current system.


  26. - MrJM - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Can someone explain how the mere fact that some states did something — and “lived with” it — proves that doing the thing isn’t a bad idea?

    I’ll take my answer off the air…

    – MrJM


  27. - Soccertease - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Kirk’s premise that voters should vote bad politicians out of office is theoretically correct. But some bad politicians will never be voted out because of their Demographics (think M Madigan). Read the MO piece (Word) and it’s true that term limits is a double edge sword. Term limits may not be appropriate at all levels but for President, governors, house/senate leadership positions it seems appropriate.


  28. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Soccertease

    “But some bad politicians will never be voted out because of their Demographics (think M Madigan).”

    Madigan isn’t undefeatable because of demographics, it is because he has a well organized patronage army that works the precincts. All term limits would do is replace Madigan with a Madigan backed lackey, with Madigan calling the shots behind the scenes.


  29. - Walker - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Others opine and guess, Wordslinger does the research.

    Term limits have not proven to be panaceas, where they have been tried, and some states have had problems with them and abandoned them.

    It is difficult to measure the impact of changing power relationships between elected officials, staff, and lobbyists. Therefore it is difficult to make the case that term limits harm government, with tangible evidence. It is also clear that they don’t seem to do much tangible good.

    I prefer to go with the voters’ unrestrained choices, as a matter of principle.


  30. - PoolGuy - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    if Madigan wasn’t speaker would anyone even care if Illinois had term limits or not? passing term limits to basically get rid of one or two people?


  31. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    Now that we’ve heard wordslinger put out the old songs we all heard when Term Limits were first proposed, then backed it up with old news with interviews with professors still singing their old songs - how about something newer that confirms what is good about it?

    “In January, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University released its 2014 state fiscal health rankings. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to test the old cliches put forth by opponents of term limits — about inexperienced public officials supposedly running term-limited states into the ground.

    The study shows that the exact opposite is true. Four of the five most cash-solvent states in the nation (Florida, Ohio, Montana and South Dakota) have eight-year term limits, which is especially impressive when one considers that only 11 states overall have eight-year limits.”


  32. - Wordslinger - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    VMan, what about those dozens of other states you mentioned?


  33. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    That was a typo. No “s”!
    Thanks for catching that!


  34. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Oklahoma was one of the first states to implement term limits. Since they’ve enacted it, it has been extremely popular and voters in Oklahoma have extended term limits across state government.

    Since 1990, the state has had popular governors from both political parties in power and they have term limited the governor’s office to eight years. This was done after the first state legislature had proven that term limits made elections more competitive for both parties and had reduced the costs spent on elections held since they went into effect.

    So - while it seems that the Washington Post can find a disgruntled professor of political science in Montana saying that Term Limits has caused what he had predicted it would cause when he first denounced it 20 years ago - we have a real world result.


  35. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    Our professors were wrong.
    But they just don’t want to admit that, do they?

    Maybe that is why we have both gubernatorial candidates today supporting term limits, ya think?


  36. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Because the status quo is serving our state so well…


  37. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    I didn’t realize that both Utah and Idaho used to have term limits, but repealed them.

    Check your sources!
    Voters in Utah and Idaho never repealed Term Limits!

    Idaho voters passed term limits in 1994. In 1998, the legislature placed an “advisory” question on the ballot, asking voters to reaffirm their support of term limits and they did.

    In 2001, state and local office holders sued Idaho voters in court to repeal it, but the Idaho Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, (because it is!) Then in February 2002, the Idaho Legislature repealed the term limits law over popular opposition by voters.

    Utah’s legislature saw Term Limits happening, so they passed it to apply to them and after they believed it was safe to rescind their law - they did so.

    In both cases, voters never repealed Term Limits. In both cases, it was the state legislators who finagled a way around them in order to stay in power.

    The rest of the states still have them.


  38. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Vanilla, the study underlying the article you quoted but didn’t link to says nothing about term limits. Only the drive by activist website you didn’t actually link to says that. Correlation is not causation.

    http://mercatus.org/publication/state-fiscal-condition-ranking-50-states

    http://termlimits.org/states-eight-year-term-limits-cash-solvent/


  39. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Here’s another, term limits increase spending
    http://ftp.iza.org/dp6456.pdf


  40. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    Looks like my middle comment got eaten up by the filter. One study that fiscal health is worse in term limit states, one that says spending as related to term limits is overshadowed by other macroeconomic effects.

    http://goo.gl/Rvjx3h

    http://www.personal.psu.edu/ljk20/termlimits.pdf


  41. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    The IZA study misreports a number of basic facts that are pretty important to know. However I haven’t read enough to call it biased, but why are they leaving out….?

    I’m looking forward to reading through it too.
    Good find - thanks, but it seems flawed.


  42. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    http://goo.gl/Rvjx3h

    http://www.personal.psu.edu/ljk20/termlimits.pdf
    Thanks!
    More good stuff!

    Once again, it needs to be noted that no states with term limits have had term limits repealed by voters. What we see are state legislators wiggling out of term limits or suing against them in their state supreme courts.

    Studies have clearly proved that once a state goes with term limits, voters support it wholeheartedly even when they are impacted with the loss of a popular legislator.


  43. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Vanilla Man

    “Four of the five most cash-solvent states in the nation (Florida, Ohio, Montana and South Dakota) have eight-year term limits, which is especially impressive when one considers that only 11 states overall have eight-year limits.”

    Now please present evidence that correlates term limits to cash-solvency.


  44. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    “So - while it seems that the Washington Post can find a disgruntled professor of political science in Montana saying that Term Limits has caused what he had predicted it would cause when he first denounced it 20 years ago - we have a real world result.”

    But of course research from a professor atGeorge Mason University that you claim supports your position is valid.


  45. - The Southern - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    Walker. I suppose your yen for pure democracy as a matter of principle is broad based? Or say how about a voter ref on gay marriage?

    I suppose issues of “equality” cannot be left to voters.


  46. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how term limits don’t amount to a weakening of democracy by taking away voters’ right to elect whoever they want. I grew up thinking that what democracy in the U.S. is all about, at least ideally, is that anyone can run for office and voters are free to elect or not elect them. Term limits supporters apparently want to subvert that principle. Is it their opinion that voters are too stupid to be trusted with electing their representatives? That strikes me as a belief a ruler of Russia or China might hold, but not one that fits in with the notion of “government by the people.”


  47. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    ==== AFSCME Steward - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    “So - while it seems that the Washington Post can find a disgruntled professor of political science in Montana saying that Term Limits has caused what he had predicted it would cause when he first denounced it 20 years ago - we have a real world result.”

    But of course research from a professor at George Mason University that you claim supports your position is valid.====

    In a word; Yes. One is theoretical, the other is research of a real case study.


  48. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how term limits don’t amount to a weakening of democracy by taking away voters’ right to elect whoever they want.

    That argument goes back to the 22nd Amendment adoption about 60 years ago. It is in fact, settled. It is constitutional. You got a problem about the principle of it - well we got facts instead, sorry.


  49. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    We do have real world results now. The state legislature in Montana has been fighting term limits since it was forced to adopt them by voters, so the folks there in Helena can find a professor to repeat what has been the same old twenty year old trope. Easily.

    What we’ve discovered so far, though, is anyone who wants to publically come out against term limits in a state with term limits already adopted, is wasting their time.

    There seems to be a lot of wiggle room for state legislators who have to adopt term limits. We’ve seen state legislators publically adopt them, then privately dump them. We’ve seen some legislators pass them only to have them take effect long after they’ve served out their time in office. There seems to no harm in embracing it as a political stunt because voter approval is easy, but implementing it is another thing altogether.

    Knowing Illinois, I bet it passes, then gets ignored by the GA.


  50. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    VanillaMan, how many signatures have you collected for the referendum? 50? 100? Other than posting here, have you actually done anything to advance the ball?

    I hear Rauner is paying $2 per valid signature. That’s pretty sweet cash, and for a guy like you who already believes term limits are a panacea, well sir, cash like that is just a little extra gravy on the meat loaf.

    I think a better idea than term limits would be to make public service mandatory, sort of like jury duty.

    “Oh man, I got called for legislative duty this year. Dang it! I can’t believe I have to do this crummy job.”

    Make everybody serve in public office and then maybe everybody would better understand how difficult the choices really are. Term limits aren’t going to solve the structural deficit in this state or make the tax code fairer.

    But it sure sounds nice.


  51. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==In a word; Yes. One is theoretical, the other is research of a real case study.==

    Apparently you are not a reading guy, A guy. The George Mason research and rankings say nothing about term limits and in fact, the research is not at all about term limits in any way. I posted the link to it. Try reading it.


  52. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Well, at least you’ve got to admire him for taking the “Old-Fashioned” Viewpoint on the subject. Like he says, people can always TRY, at least, to “vote the Bums out,” as the ‘ol sayin’ goes, but, in reality as the Good Senator knows…that ain’t always so easy, especially once they ARE entrenched in Power, as is the case in Springfield now.

    And, keep in mind–at least my underSTANDing of term limits is that even after one would have to leave for a term, he/she can always run aGAIN, after the completion of one term for someone ELSE, and try to get in for another 8 or 10 years (whatever the limit may be in a given Jurisdiction) all OVER again, so it won’t altoGETHer stop such Scenarios from occurring, e.g. in which some State Rep., works to have his Top Precinct Captain, or Son-in-Law be elected for a single term, only to jump right back in after 2 measly years and take OVER again…!

    Plus, it’s muvh EASIER for Mr. Kirk to take this stance at present as it’s not a real issue for one not UP for Re-election, like himself, whereas it is one of a few “Hot-Button” issues in the GOVernor’s Race and in Illinois, so the Senator is in the position to downplay all of the ruckus goin’ on about it re. Springfield/State Government at the moment…!


  53. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    That was meant to read above, “…much EASIER…!”


  54. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    “That argument goes back to the 22nd Amendment adoption about 60 years ago. It is in fact, settled. It is constitutional.”

    I never said anything about it being unconstitutional. I said it weakens democracy by limiting voters’ ability to elect whoever they want to office. The end result is less freedom for Illinois voters. As for having “a problem about the principle of it,” well, yes, because I happen to think democracy is a foundation of our system of government. How else would term limits supporters like to take away voters’ rights? IQ tests before you can vote? Poll taxes? Property owners only? Once you start limiting voters’ rights and choices, it is a slippery slope.


  55. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    Precinct Captain, 30 pages. I’m actually downloading it and printing it. It deserves a careful read. In the tables where the comparisons are done, it’s going back 20 years before any term limits were imposed, and in most cases (just like here) it takes about 8 years to flush into the effect, with 4 states repealing through their Legislature or their State Supreme Courts. Gotta really dissect this one. I’d be most interested in a study of places where the terms are limited to 10 or 12 years in both chambers. The places where one chamber is limited to 6 (I’m assuming that might be one senate term in certain states) and an unequal time of 8 in the other chamber would strike me as difficult. 8,10,12 and out for all would seem to be the best approach, and I’d favor 10 in Legislatures (house and senate) and 2 terms for Constitutional officers.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Verizon chops Yahoo’s price by $350 million, still a $4.5 billion deal
* LG G6 design deserves a company spiel
* Latest update to Google Phone app might be the root of Bluetooth issues
* Apple Shares a Series of AirPods Ads on UK YouTube Channel
* The Average iPhone User in the U.S. Spent $40 on Apps in 2016
* Hanging out at Snap’s unremarkable IPO roadshow

* White Sox earn praise for reshaping club
* Giolito feels work from offseason paying off early in camp
* White Sox content with group of catchers entering 2017
* This is not a typo: Soto throws to Soto during BP
* This is not a typo: Soto throws to Soto during BP
* Garcia driven to reclaim outfield spot
* Garcia driven to reclaim outfield spot


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