I really am starting to wonder if George LeMieux isn't very good at math.
A few days ago, LeMaestro's team sent out a press release, breathlessly claiming that Adam Hasner was a flip flopper on the issue of term limits, screeching that he had sought to "severely weaken" Florida's term limits.
Yawn. The LeMieux campaign slogan should be "Much Ado About Nothing."
The real story is that Adam Hasner has actually been perfectly consistent on the term limits issue. A few months ago, after the launch of his Senate campaign, Hasner published a list of promises on his website titled "Adam's Pledge to Floridians." (Read it here: http://bit.ly/osgpMq)
One of Hasner's pledges was that if he were elected to the Senate, he would serve only two terms. Senate terms are six years each, so two terms would be a total of twelve years.
What has LeMieux excitedly hopping up and down like a puppy who has to pee is a vote Hasner took in 2005. A constitutional amendment had been proposed that would have raised the term limits for the Florida Legislature from eight years to twelve, and Hasner voted in favor of putting the amendment on the 2006 ballot.
As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported in July 2005, Hasner had said that he supported the amendment because "giving legislators more time would give them a better understanding of the process, thereby lessening the influence of legislative staffers and special-interest lobbyists."
OMG, it's the end of the world, y'all. Hasner wanted elected legislators to be more influential than unelected bureaucrats, lobbyists, and other special interests. Gosh, what a terrible idea! [Insert rolled eyes here.]
Here's my honest opinion on term limits: they are a good idea, as long as their duration is reasonable. Just one term would be too short. Legislators would barely have time to learn where their offices were before they had to leave, resulting in bureaucrats and lobbyists wielding disproportionate power. On the other hand, too long of a term limit (say, 20-25 years) would not be helpful in preventing politicians from becoming entrenched and corrupt.
I think about a term limit of about 10-12 years is a good balanced number for most offices. Right now our Legislature is limited to only 8 years, and I do think that's a bit short. There are a number of State Representatives whose Legislative Aides have been in the Capitol Building for years longer than they have.
So, here's the situation: Hasner has pledged to serve only two Senate terms, which are 6 years long. And in 2005, he voted to put a measure on the ballot to raise the Florida Legislature's term limits from 8 to 12 years. Sounds pretty consistent to me.
So, can someone please tell George LeMieux that 6 + 6 = 12?