By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published March 30, 2012
There is an old saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
In 1992, 77 percent of Florida voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to limit the terms of Florida legislators to eight years.
The consequence of the amendment has created multiple obvious problems, including a lack of institutional knowledge and effective leadership. Tallahassee insiders say the last legislative session was one of the worst in the state’s history — due in large part to a leadership vacuum.
In 2000, the year Florida’s term limits law took effect, 220 years of legislative experience was forced out of the chambers of the state House and Senate.
Since then, power in the capitol has been transferred from somewhat accountable elected members to unelected bureaucrats, career political staffers, lobbyists and special interest groups.
John Grant served 21 years as a legislator before being forced out of office in 2000. By then, Grant was something of a career politician — though he says “at that point my work was done,” and says he didn’t plan to run for re-election the following term. Twelve years later Grant admonishes the will of the people as it relates to term limits. It’s hard to disagree with his rationale. Grant believes valuable institutional knowledge can’t be attained in just eight years. He asks rhetorically, “If an airline said after eight years a pilot can’t fly a plane anymore, where are your experienced pilots?” The analogy may be imperfect, but the point is clear.
“[Term limits] has provided fractured politics and a broken system,” Grant says. “The fact that the [the person who will serve as] speaker of the House six years from now is selected before that person is even sworn into office is disturbing to me.”
Grant is referring to… (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune. You can now post a comment on the Tampa Tribune’s website using your Facebook account. Or feel free to comment here.)
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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