Local Paper Laments Career Politicians
Kitsap Sun says Dicks is part of the problem.
Larry Killion, TPP Citizen Journalist. 12-19-11.
An article by Rob Woutat takes issue with “Congressional Careerism.” Norm Dicks, 70, (D-WA.) was first elected in 1976. Fourteen others have been in Congress anywhere from 36 to 56 years. Men, that did not see Congress as a career, wrote the Constitution with the idea that once a man did his civic duty in an elected office for a term or two at the most, he would then return home to his real job and career.
According to records from the first hundred years of Congress, those that stayed a second term in the Senate were veterans and half of the Senators did not stay for their entire first term. Seeing the need to cap the number of terms a Senator or Congressman should serve was not in the mindset of our first century patriots. The need was not there. Things have changed. Some say we are making progress with the professional politicians we have in office. Others say we should remember the intent of those that drafted our nation’s Constitution and stay within their founding principles.
The conservative Heritage Foundation reported that the idea of term limits has a diverse demographic support from men, women, blacks, whites, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, all favoring term limits, typically by 60 percent.
Regarding the question about term limits, Tea Party leaders were swift to respond. Greg Woodworth, President of the Tacoma 912 Project said, “Since this has already been tried back in the ’90’s, and determined by the courts to require a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of federal offices, it is now the responsibility of “we the people” to limit their terms. Term Limits would have helped with the turnover, but the bureaucrats that actually run the show don’t have such limits, and would just corrupt the “rookies” as fast as they arrive in D.C. It is encouraging that the Tea Party caucus members, those Republican freshmen who went to D.C. to stand by their principles have actually done what they promised, and are changing the way government is run. We need about 300 more of them in that town. The danger here is that the oligarchy that runs D.C. will spend a lot of money to make sure that only patsies get elected that they can control. Our job is to keep the pressure on the ones we send there, to continually remind them of who they really work for. Since it is highly unlikely that congress will vote themselves out of office with a constitutional amendment, it falls to the Tea Party to get the corrupt politicians out of office through elections.”
Woody Hertzog, Washington State Tea Party Coordinator said, “Personally, I strongly support term limits. The careerism is responsible for many of the problems we face in government. It has led to politicians voting for career instead of country, and for personal gain instead of the will of the people. Term limits would reduce arrogance in out of touch and out of date politicians.
The staff and support team of each elected official will bring the necessary experience to Washington and Olympia.”
Representative Dicks declined to discuss the question about term limits. Candidates running against him fielded the same question. The first to respond was Bob Sauerwein, GOP, running for WA. 6th Dist. Rep. He said, “It was, I believe, the intent of our founding fathers to trust in the dignity of man and be a SERVANT leader. That means they serve the people for a time and then return to our own place of work. Jefferson and the fathers had a long battle about this issue. Jefferson understood where not having term limits would take us, and indeed, he was correct. As a candidate, I have been asked this very question many times, and my answer has always been, yes. We need term limits. I would note that it should be long enough to allow new congressmen or senators to learn their jobs well, so I would propose something like three 2 year term limits on congress, and two 6 year term limits on senators and of course the presidency already has one. I would also note that a congressman or senator could run for the other office as long as he/she has not held it before. I think this would create a system of SERVANT leaders. I know that servant leadership is very hard to find, yet it is what our constitution requires of every representative of the people.”