Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tyrone Yates is right.

Legislative term-limits in Ohio have been an utter and complete failure.

And State Rep. Tyrone Yates, Democrat from Walnut Hills, wants to do away with them.

Unfortunately, that has about as good a chance of happening as Ted Strickland doing a background check before hiring someone.

When voters enacted term-limits in 1995, they effectively took away their power to hold their representatives accountable.

Why? Yates explains....
...others argue Statehouse lobbyists and special interest groups have gained too much clout in writing laws. New legislators have to leave just as they gain institutional knowledge, Yates said. The loss of continuity is ever apparent this year, he said, as legislators struggle to close an $850 million state budget gap.
In policy making, there is a finite amount of power and influence to be shared between legislators and lobbyists. Since term-limits were enacted, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to find any person involved in state government, private or public, that would honestly deny that the power of lobbyists has increased. If lobbyist power increases, then empirically, the power of the legislator decreases. When the power of the legislator decreases, the voter's ability to voice their choice for the direction of the state decreases.

Unfortunately, this is clearly too nuanced a position to effectively communicate to voters, and therefore is dead on arrival. But attention and respect must be paid to Tyrone Yates for speaking up on such an unpopular issue.

Well done, Representative.

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