Arizona Voters Denied Term Limits By Legislators’ Manuevers

By Archie Dicksion

In 1992 the voters of Arizona passed Proposition 107 with 74% of the voters voting in favor of the measure. And what was that measure? It provided for what we refer to in Arizona as TERM LIMITS.

It is clear that the voters wanted to eliminate career politicians in the State of Arizona. As is usual with much legislation, initiatives and referendums, the language of the Proposition was carefully drafted to achieve its intended result. The relevant provision, as it relates to our state legislators, is as follows:

“ – – -No state Senator shall serve more than four consecutive terms in that office nor shall any state Representative serve more than four consecutive terms in that office. This limitation on the number o terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. No Legislator after serving the maximum number of terms which shall include any part of a term served may serve in the same office until he has been out of office no less than one full term.”

What the provision left open was that a person serving in one branch could after serving four full terms immediately seek office in the other house with no intervening time limit. Thus today, we have people who have served a full term limit in one branch, eight years, then ran for election in the other branch and now having served eight years are going to see re-election to the other branch of the legislature. This could continue indefinitely until members serving in the state Legislature have more time than John McCain in Congress.

That is simply not what the voters intended by approving Prop. 107 in 1992. They wanted to eliminate professional politicians. Perhaps it is time for a new initiative to eliminate this loophole. Will we lose some good legislators? Yes, but hopefully we will also get some talented new legislators with fresh ideas.

3 Comments

  1. Confidently proclaiming “what the voters intended“ demonstrates Hubris to the nth degree. How the hell do you know what the voters intended? Especially since the word “intended“ presumes a sentient being. I doubt that anyone who has talked to a goodly number of voters would attribute sentience to a majority thereof. An assembly of what must be described as some of the most brilliant political philosophers ever gathered in one place, who formed this union, determined that the voters could not be trusted to elect a president, without the buffering effect of the electoral college. And determined that Senators would be elected by a vote of the house in each state, rather than by the electorate. The United States is a republic, not a democracy. Our founding fathers warned against democracy, and established mechanisms to avoid democracy, also known as mob rule. Governing is difficult. The assumption that the man on the street can legislate as well as an experienced politician is absurd. If the man on the street is smart enough to govern, why wasn’t he smart enough to draft a proposition which would actually accomplish what you propose was intended by the voters? It seems to me that your premise actually proves the opposite.

  2. So once again you cheat the citizens of our State, by changing what they say and want. Nothing new here until your all voted out or fired.

  3. Folks we already have TERM LIMITS, just that no one want to enforce them. Vote for others not the incompetent as we seem prone to do. the inbred semi professional politicians think they are the ‘LEADERS” when i reality they are just suckers of the public tit. Everyone knows that we have some of the sorriest, yet we cannot or will not elect people of quality. Continuing examples are greedyhalfa, mclame, the flake (house then senate, now to be the governor?). Just look at what has been offered for years and see why the term limits have not be held to be effective. Remember it was some DEM/liberal from from Wash state that sued and won in that he was ‘denied’ the right to seek his employment by ‘term limits’ and the idiotic courts agreed. So you dont want the clowns who are running, vote against them in the primaries or vote for the other guy (if qualified, but none have been in some time, remember poor little wodney who could not make it on the city clowncil, then who moved to east la to be closer to the movers and shakers and lost again?)

    No seek and then elect qualified people if they determine to run or if nothing else if a known waste of time and space vote for the other guy then vote him/her out next cycle. How do you think we have had greedyhalfa and mclame for so long?

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