Term Limits

ballot-box-2The cornerstone of new ethics reform should be term limits on all State elected officials.–Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss

Gibson (R-NY-19) long ago pledged to serve no more than eight years in the House. Tuesday’s announcement that he won’t run for re-election in 2016 cuts two years off that self-imposed term limit.–Brian Tumulty

Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss writes:

If we enact term limits, we effectively do away with the current broken power structure, and the eventual corruption that inevitably arises from it.

This is an astonishing claim; corruption may be more robust than Chris Moss imagines. Moss continues:

Limiting the number of years that an elected official is allowed to hold office would go a long way in fighting the corrupt culture in Albany. It would also promote fresh ideas constantly being fostered by newly elected officials, encourage qualified candidates to run for office because it would be more affordable, and create higher accountability on legislating and less emphasis on fundraising. It boils down to reducing incumbents’ focus from solely working on their reelection so they could instead focus on voting their beliefs and principles.

Moss’s points:

  • fight corruption
  • fresh ideas
  • qualified candidates
  • more affordable
  • higher accountability
  • less emphasis on fundraising
  • focus on beliefs and principles

These are all dubious claims. Moss offers no proof. In practice, experience suggests that term-limited legislators are likely to concentrate on their next job opportunity. Moss writes:

True ethics reform in Albany will never be attained as long as the voters leave it up to the Legislature to enact it. Many of these Legislators simply have too much to lose.

The NYS legislature may well enact some ethics reform measures. One key issue is outside income for part-time legislators. Ethics reform is certainly possible without term limits. It is unlikely that the NYS legislature would enact term limits. However, Moss suggests no other way.

Before Tom Reed was elected to Congress, he claimed to favor term limits. After he was elected, he said he planned to serve no more than six terms. Since then he has been silent on term limits.

Does Chris Moss favor term limits for the office of Sheriff? He doesn’t address that.

© William Hungerford – March 2015




About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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5 Responses to Term Limits

  1. josephurban says:

    Term limits is the worst idea since the Edsel. (Look it up, young uns). We would have a constant rotation of unqualified, corporate financed “young guns”. They would flood the election process with falsehoods (Reed vs Robertson) to get elected. Would not matter. they would have no long term goals.In for a few years then revolving out to lobbyist positions.
    they would develop no working relationships which lead to compromise. Government would become even more polarized than it is now. No long term commitment to government. A Koch Brothers dream come true. Buy em. Use em.Throw em away. Bring in the next group. Nothing would add more to the corruption of the political process than term limits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. whungerford says:

    I believe the above is what did happen when the Michigan Legislature adopted term limits.


  3. pystew says:

    Term limits limits my right to vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne says:

    On the other hand, Reed at one point said he was a big believer in term limits and would therefore self-limit to just six terms as congressman.


  5. whungerford says:

    Tom has said little if anything about term limits since becoming entrenched in office.


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