Monday, September 10, 2007

It is time for Term Limits

Graphic linked from Sid in the City

New Jersey has had Gubernatorial term limits since 1844.

Sixteen states have term limited their legislatures. It is time we do the same here in New Jersey.

U.S Attorney Christopher Christie's record has shown that here in New Jersey corruption is a disease that is rampant from top to bottom. From the Governor's office (remember the unindicted co-conspirator who used the word "Machiavelli") to school boards and planning boards, our current governmental culture attracts people either are looking to accumulate wealth and power in the name of public service, or who do not have the character to resist the temptations.

Those who argue that we have a system for term limits, elections, are naive at best. More likely they are disingenuous. They know the power of incumbency thwarts intra-party challenges and that gerrymandering prevents real competition in most cases.

In Monmouth County, Freeholder Rob Clifton is currently in a position where he has the power to make real reform stick in county government by making sure term limits become law. He can do it now, unlike the governor who wants to wait until after the election to make real reforms.

I hope Rob does it. It is the right thing to do and it is good politics. His current running mate, Jeff Cantor has endorsed term limits. His former running mate, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin proposed state wide term limits only to have her bill buried in Mims Hackett's committee. This week, Clifton can do what his running mates have so far only been able to talk about.


ambrosiajr said...

Term limits are needed now...but Clifton will never get that through the Freeholders. Bully Barham will not relinquish control, and Lillian Burry would not even give up her seat on the Colts Neck Township Committee after she won Freeholder. She has never come out against dual office holding, because she has a horrendous record on that account. She is on more committees in Colts Neck and in Freehold than anyone else in recent memory. Anna Little would have voted for it, but hey, she voted to have Carton back as counsel, so who knows how she would have voted. McMorrow would certainly vote for it. Bully Barham will not give up the power without a fight.

Art Gallagher said...


Anna Little and Rob Clifton voted against Malcolm Carton as county counsel.

If Rob proposes a term limit resolution, there will be at least 3 yes votes. If there are 4, there will probably be 5.

legal beagle said...

To be clear, Freeholders can not put limits on how many times a freeholder can run for office. That is governed by state law. They can put limits on the number of times that they can be Chairman. That is governed by internal rules.

Art Gallagher said...

legal beagle:

That sounds like a scholarly opinion from Malcolm Carton.

What would happen if Freeholders passed term limits anyway? Who is would challenge it? Let someone challenge it, let the courts decide and/or put pressure on the legislature to act.

Like I've said before. Its the right thing to do and good politics to boot.

ambrosiajr said...

I stand corrected on Anna Little....again. Thank you for the clarification.

As to state law on term limits...its not necessary as long as everyone agrees to serve a certain number of years. In Colts Neck, the Township Committee has a voluntary rule on no more than 3 - 3 year terms....and they have stuck to that, to their seems to have been in place for quite some time now and works well. I hope it continues. This at least give someone a chance to offer new perspectives on running the township...bad part of this is that its been all Republican for over 20 years, so the perspective is a bit skewed. What they need is oversight and a sometimes dissenting voice. It can't hurt.


a thoughtful post.

legal beagle said...


Lewis Walsh said...

The States are the training camps for future massive federal corruption specialists.

After citizen imposed federal term limits are in effect, the training camps will dwindle. Federal term limits must come first.

Legislators are unlikely to approve legislation that would limit terms of office. And, if such a law were to pass, the Supreme Court is likely to strike it down. We can clean up the mess in Washington if we individually take action to limit congressional terms. The most skillful of the wealthy minority and the most unethical of the permanent political class can not stop action taken by the Six Years and Out movement because it is citizen imposed. We need no legal or judicial concurrence.

Six Years and Out, The Pledge:

With the recognition that there are huge numbers of intelligent, talented and qualified citizens who are prepared to limit their public service. I hereby pledge that I will not vote a second term for any United States Senator and no more three terms for any United States Congressman.