Letters: Should our representatives be term limited?

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With Monday’s Question of the Week, we asked readers whether state and federal representatives should be subject to term limits. Here are some of the responses we received.

Stop making millionaires

Yes, there should be term limits to our Tennessee representatives and also our United States senators.

Seems after they get elected they no longer represent the people who voted for them, and their campaign promises vanish into thin air as special lobbyist groups start padding their lifestyles and making them millionaires. Term limits may stop this.

In my opinion, they should have an eight-year limit, just like our Presidents.

ROBERT K. LIVINGSTON

Watauga

Slow the inertia

We need term limits for elected representatives to control incumbent power and inertia. First-term representatives clearly reflect the current will of the people and usually perform well as they climb the learning curve in their new positions. They settle into their work of legislation and serving their constituents and are often re-elected. With each re-election, however, incumbents gain powerful advantages in name recognition, media coverage and campaign war chests over their opponents in primary and general elections. With each additional term, inertia also increases as incumbents become more comfortable and set in their ways. Over years, long-time representatives grow more powerful and more out of touch with their changing constituents.

Where’s the sweet spot between new blood and old guard? No specific number will be perfect for everyone, but I believe that 12 years is a very good compromise. With that limit U.S. representatives could serve up to 6 terms (as Phil Roe did) and senators could serve up to two terms (as our presidents do).

I oppose a constitutional convention as the first step toward term limits. Instead, our state representatives and senators, as well as their opponents in primary and general elections, should publicly pledge to limit their own terms of service in the legislature. Moreover, our state legislators should enact term limits so that Tennessee joins the 21 states that already have term limits.

DAVID VOLLRATH

Johnson City

We need fresh ideas

I am all for it for every branch of government including the federal branches.

The president and governors of states are term limited and have and can do a lot of damage to this country or to their states in the time they stay in office, and I believe the same for government.

People become lazy in re-electing their representatives because they are afraid to basically step outside the box regarding values, morals and beliefs. I think the following should apply to term limits at all levels of government: House: 12 years or six two-year terms; Senate: 12 years or two six-year terms; judges: 12 years total.

Power is the name of the game now for everyone, and it doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, Democrat or independent. We need to have fresh ideas presented to lead this country. We are behind in STEM and other programs that would I believe benefit the people and actually make America a contender in world power and peace, which to me right now we don’t have it.

We need to rebuild this country and term limits I believe would help do that.

PAM LAFLUER

Elizabethton

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