Term Limits Proposed For SC House Leadership

SIX-YEAR LIMITS CONTEMPLATED FOR TOP POSTS By FITSNews  ||  It’s not often this website admits it was wrong about something … because let’s face it: This website is not often wrong … about anything. And in addition to being a fount of truth and wisdom, we’re humble? Anyway, we were…


By FITSNews  ||  It’s not often this website admits it was wrong about something … because let’s face it: This website is not often wrong … about anything.

And in addition to being a fount of truth and wisdom, we’re humble?

Anyway, we were wrong on one issue: Term Limits.  Sure the concept sounds nice – and we applaud lawmakers who limit themselves to a specific number of terms – but at the end of the day the notion is fundamentally anti-democratic.

Yet while we no longer support term limits at the ballot box, we do embrace them for leadership positions – at the local, state and federal level.  The old quote from British Lord John Dalberg-Acton – “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – rings truer today than when it was penned back in 1887.

Especially in South Carolina …

Permitting the same politicians to remain in leadership positions in perpetuity fosters an environment of favor-trading and corruption – one in which the merits of a proposal or an expenditure take a back seat to back room deal-making.  Imposing term limits on legislative leadership posts and committee chairmanships obviously wouldn’t eliminate such shadiness – but it would remove a powerful incentive to behave badly by limiting the ability of one politician to wield disproportionate influence for too long.

Accordingly we’re pleased to see a movement of state lawmakers – led by Speaker Pro Tempore (and acting Speaker of the House) Jay Lucas – embracing the notion of term limits for these critical positions.

Sources tell FITS Lucas and his fellow reform-minded legislators haven’t agreed upon a specific rules package yet – but word is they are looking at six-year limits for all House leadership positions as well as chairmanships of committees.

We support that … for both the House and the Senate.  Moreover, we would encourage lawmakers to enact the measures not just as internal changes to their respective chambers, but as statutory and – if necessary – constitutional fixes.

Again, this proposed rule change is not a panacea for eliminating corruption in Columbia – but along with other reforms it could represent a good first step.

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euwe max September 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm


Alternate Headlines September 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm

“I.V. started for Stage 4 cancer patient.”

Smirks September 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

So instead of one guy ruling the House until he wants to retire, it’ll just be one guy looking to trade favors to hand it to the next guy.

Term limits are just an admission that democracy is wrong and the people aren’t capable of holding bad politicians accountable. It may be correct in a lot of cases, but that admission renders term limits useless, because the source of the problem (bad voters) hasn’t been addressed and the problem itself (bad pols) will simply work around the limits accordingly.

Democracy, the god that failed September 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

“Term limits are just an admission that democracy doesn’t work and the people aren’t capable of holding bad politicians accountable.”

Seems like a reasonable admission to me.

Let us all reflect on the “original democracy”, in Athens, in which those in office were chosen by lot:

“The use of a lottery to select officeholders was regarded as the most democratic means: elections would favour those who were rich, noble, eloquent and well-known, while allotment spread the work of administration throughout the whole citizen body, engaging them in the crucial democratic experience of, to use Aristotle’s words, “ruling and being ruled in turn” (Politics 1317b28–30). The allotment of an individual was based on citizenship rather than merit or any form of personal popularity which could be bought. Allotment therefore was seen as a means to prevent the corrupt purchase of votes and it gave citizens a unique form of political equality as all had an equal chance of obtaining government office.”-wiki

So despite the many failings of the first democracy, they were in many ways still wiser than those that institute government today.

CNSYD September 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

So Alvin Greene would have a chance?

Democracy, the god that failed September 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Yep. Would you prefer 10 Alvin Greene’s in office or 10 Bobby Harrell’s?

euwe max September 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Why don’t they have gravy boats around the dome?

And iron pigs slopping at the trough?

Point of order September 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Boats would be too tacky, so it’s Escalade’s with 24’s instead.

Tom September 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I cannot agree. While democracy, as any other system, has some problems. It is sill the best system, with the least problems; and there is nothing wrong with trying to solve some of those problem.
One huge problem is that we have today is one party is successfully changing the rules so that unlimited dark money can flow politicians. This is nothing more than legalized bribery, and drowns out criticism of the politicians receiving the money. Term limits would at least help that issue to some degree. People will be reluctant to commit millions to a politician if there isn’t enough time for a payback plus.
I actually think term limits for everyone would be best. If its good for the President and the Governor, its good for the Congress and State Legislature. We are not a pure democracy. There are constitutional limits on what the majority can do. I see no reason we could not add giving someone a lifetime job to the list of things the majority cannot do.
Democracy is not a failure, far from it. It is still the only fair system of government. It is still the system that has brought the most people out of slavery, servitude, class structure; and coupled with education, poverty. People who think Democracy has failed should move to a country where there is no democracy, and see if they like that better.

WW September 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Which will ALSO INCREASE their ALREADY exorbitant retirement!!!
We need term limits for all office holders period!!!
We also need recall elections for ALL office holders period!!!
South Carolina should have had a gut full of these self serving, immoral, unethical, feckless legislators need an axe over their heads, to keep them inline period. The ability of the people to have recall elections will be one more tool in our ,the voter/taxpayer’s pouch. From what I’ve seen of Sanford, Eckstrom, Haley, Harrell, the Peelers, Leatherman, Ravenel and the others. The HOT rumors of other possible criminality, ethical and moral malfeasance convinces me of the need for recall of these out of control opportunist!

Tom September 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm


john dozier September 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Move those deck chairs around! Have the band play “Happy days are here again”.

Paul September 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm

It is great to watch the house dismantle itself and give its power to the Senate.
If you think corruption is bad now, just wait till the Senate has all the power.

Nan September 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

One house should not surrender its power to the other. It is bad governance and bad for the State.

Ace September 24, 2014 at 5:51 am

Lucas is simply a Leatherman tool. Lucas is doing as instructed, and Leatherman will take good care of him for his deeds.

“Leadership” is persuading the Senate to reform at the same time as the House, otherwise, the House is abdicating its responsibilities to the Senate in breech of our Constitution.

Haley, as Gov, should provide this leadership but of course she is/will not. She is busy worrying about herself, as usual.

Thomas September 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Oh come on. The truth is that whitey sees blacks rising up into leadership positions and now all of a sudden they want to squelch their impact at forming statewide policy. The new 2018 Gov/Lt Gov on the same ticket referendum (passed in 2012) is taylor made for our first black governor. The ground swell of black candidates now and then will translate into other leadership positions. Leave it the way it is cause I will vote for anything black for statewide offices and relish the day we have a black Speaker and Pro Tem and Governor and Lt Governor. I also want more blacks on the Supreme Court and heading legislative committees. Any effort to place term limits now is an affront to the inevitable future of SC, black leadership positions across the board.


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