October 9th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—U.S. Term Limits President Philip Blumel today condemned Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) for calling California’s legislative term limits “crazy.”
“The only thing that’s crazy is thinking that out of 36.7 million people, only a confined, elite class of individuals are qualified or ‘experienced’ to hold public office,” said Blumel. “Does Schwarzenegger think he’s the only one ‘experienced’ to be governor, too?”
Schwarzenegger made his remarks in San Francisco at a speech to the Association of Community College Trustees’ Leadership Congress yesterday, after he was introduced by former State Senator Jack Scott.
Schwarzenegger said, "I actually miss him now that he’s not there but I know he was termed out because we have these crazy term limits here in California and people that are that experienced like him then have to leave and move on."
“Legislators should move on,” said Blumel, adding that, “Term limits promote competitive elections and encourage politicians to concentrate on doing the business of the people, not in filling up their campaign coffers to keep their jobs.”
“It should be noted the CA Legislature is the highest paid legislature in the U.S. which in part helps explain why they want to lengthen their terms so badly whenever possible,” Blumel explained.
Term limits were originally enacted in California in 1990. The current law places three two-year terms on the State House and two four-year terms on the State Senate, and took effect in 1996 and 1998, respectively.
“Schwarzenegger is unwittingly serving the interests of the political establishment with his unfortunate remarks, who would like nothing more than to have entrenched, permanent politicians to keep on the dole and in their Rolodexes,” Blumel said.
Legislative term limits is currently under debate in California. The bill, SCA 24, is currently in the State Senate. It lengthens the terms of office to 12 years in either House, “doubling the amount of time that can be served in the House and increasing by one-third the time that can be served in the Senate,” said Blumel.
“Time and again, Californians have supported attempts to weaken and repeal term limits. In 2002, with Proposition 45 that the people struck down, and in 2008, Proposition 93 was defeated. And so too will SCA 24. And U.S. Term Limits urges all Californians to oppose this and any future attempt to weaken term limits,” Blumel concluded.
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