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Katie Arrington: Walking The Walk (Again) On Term Limits

On an issue that’s usually “all talk,” one citizen leader is taking action …

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This news site doesn’t embrace term limits.  There was a time when we did, but we’ve come to realize the issue is “all hat, no cattle” as the expression goes.

It’s populist pablum … and it will stay that way until the politicians who are promoting it start “walking the walk.”

What are we talking about?

Term limits is all for show.  Politicians rush to embrace it – but then refuse to hold themselves accountable to the standard they claim to endorse.  They use the issue for electoral gain, with no intention of ever passing term limits – and certainly no intention of ever limiting their own terms in office.

Take U.S. congressman Tom Rice, who waxed effusive in support of term limits during his 2012 election – yet is currently preparing to seek yet another term as one of the most liberal “Republican” lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Such populist bloviation is opportunistic and hypocritical.

“A politician who is eager to make political hay off of an issue ought to be willing to see it through,” we wrote earlier this year. “Seriously … show us don’t tell us.”

Well, state representative Katie Arrington is doing just that … again.

Arrington, who is running for the Palmetto State’s first congressional district seat (map), said this week that in addition to sponsoring term limits legislation she intends to hold herself to the same standard.

“I will not serve more than four terms as a member of Congress,” Arrington wrote in an email to supporters this week.  “Four terms. Eight years. Period.”

Nice …

(Click to view)

(Via: VoteKatieArrington.com)

Whatever you think of the term limits issue (and to be clear, most voters reflexively support it), that’s refreshing.

This isn’t a typical politician saying “I support term limits,” it’s a citizen leader saying “I support term limits – and I’m holding myself accountable on this issue.”

Arrington is walking the walk, in other words.

This is the promise that launched the career of the politician Arrington is currently running against, U.S. congressman Mark Sanford.

Of course we all know how Sanford turned out.

Once the gold standard for fiscal conservatism and individual liberty, he’s become a creature of the Washington Swamp … the very sort of career politician he once loathed.

“If you will recall, our current congressman, Mark Sanford, made a similar pledge back in the 90s,” Arrington wrote in her email message. “Then, he said he would only serve 6 years, (but) twenty years and $2,000,000 of taxpayer-funded salaries later, Mark Sanford is still in elected office, living off our dime. He has become Washington.”

“While Mark has become part of the swamp, I have no desire nor a need to do so,” Arrington added.  “I have worked hard in my life. I have achieved success. While I certainly do not need another job, I have a true calling right now to serve our community.”

This isn’t the first time Arrington has impressed us with decisive action on the term limits issue.

Back in April, she sponsored legislation calling for term limits for committee chairs in both the S.C. House of Representatives and State Senate.  That’s a proposal we overwhelmingly support – but it was an incredibly unpopular move for her to make within the S.C. General Assembly, where the be-all, end-all of “service” for most members is to earn (and keep) these influential chairmanships.

At any cost …

Despite the political risks, Arrington pushed for this reform regardless.  She accompanied her convictions with action, in other words … and while we haven’t always agreed with her votes, we respect her for the consistency and passion she brings to the issues she cares about.

In addition to her term limits pledge, Arrington has said she will accept no more than the median household income of $52,000 per year during her time in Washington, D.C.  The remainder of her congressional salary (an estimated $125,000 per year), she has vowed to donate to charities in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties.

Again, walking the walk …

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