Md. needs term limits

September 07, 2010

I was stunned by the contradictions between two recent editorials published by your newspaper. In the first ("Term limits are back," Sept. 2), you bemoaned new calls for legislative term limits in Maryland. You stated that term limits would suck the experience out of the legislature and transfer more power to the governor, staff, lobbyists and political parties. You called it a "formula for machine politics." You then declared that frustrated voters could overcome the lock entrenched politicians have on their offices by simply voting them out.

In a subsequent editorial about redrawing political districts ("Drawing a line," Sept. 5), you affirmed that entrenched incumbent legislators have completely rigged the system from top to bottom. You commented that incumbents enjoy the "huge advantages" of taxpayer financed staffs and generous communications budgets, becoming "magnets for cash contributions from special interests once they are elected."

Excuse me, but isn't this the machine politics you assert would result from imposing term limits? Our current system is more like old Soviet-style elections than what our founding fathers had in mind.

Count me as one of the nearly 8 out of 10 Americans, including Democrats, Republicans and Independents, in recent opinion polls who support term limits as one tool of restoring meaningful and truly "representative" democracy. Your editorial against term limits completely avoids the irrefutable fact that term limits guarantee voters new choices for representatives.

Ed Priola

The writer is a candidate for the House of Delegates in Howard County's District 13.

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