Term Limit Pledges and the FL US Senate Race

A nice post in the Orlando Sentinel on Tallahassee insider Adam Hasner’s effort in 2005–when he was a state lawmaker–to refer a  constitutional amendment on the ballot which would have raised legislative term limits from eight years to 12 years. The legislature reversed itself the following year, removing the measure from the 2006 general election ballot.

Hasner’s unbridled hypocrisy was highlighted by the campaign of fellow US Senate GOP hopeful, George LeMieux.  But Hasner’s effort isn’t new. Several state lawmakers have tried–some even successfully, such in Idaho in 2002–to overturn or extend legislative term limits imposed upon them by the voters at the polls.

That Hasner has taken a term limits pledge should he be elected to the US Senate should be taken for what it is–a meaningless publicity stunt.  As I’ve opined elsewhere, term limit pledges are essentially costless to those candidates who sign them.  Just ask two Florida Congressmen who have signed term limit pledges, Republican Representatives John Mica and Cliff Sterns. Both have overstayed their self-imposed limit of terms in office.