- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Larry Frankel on Term Limits
Shortly before his promotion to the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union, Larry Frankel,Legislative Director of the ACLU for Pennsylvania, testified before the Speaker's Commission on Legislative Reform, on which I served, on April 26,2007. Here's what he said about term limits:
"The ACLU does not support efforts aimed at reducing the size of the legislature or setting term limits. We believe that both of these "reforms" are misguided attempts that would only result in a loss of wisdom, expertise and years of institutional memory by forcing legislators out of office even though the voters have not ousted them.
"I have come to appreciate, in my many years of lobbying, that legislators do learn a lot over the years. They study bills, attend hearings, speak with constituents, take advantage of other educational opportunities and develop a sound understanding of policy, procedure and how to build a consensus among those with conflicting views and interests. Why would we want to sacrifice that kind of experience? In what other line of work would we devalue those who have put in years to master their trade?
"Furthermore, as someone who has lobbied the Pennsylvania General Assembly for more than 14 years, I believe that term limits end up enhancing the power of folks like me. In fact, it might be more appropriate (although undoubtedly unconstitutional) to establish term limits for lobbyists. After all, if term limits are adopted, it would be the lobbyists and longtime staff would have the knowledge about how bills become laws and how the process really works. To me, this sounds like giving way too much power to the unelected."
Larry went on to become the national director for state legislation at the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union, before dying in the course of jogging in Washington, D.C. last year. He was a man deeply involved with the progressive communities of Philadelphia, as the huge outpouring of grief on this site last year dramatically showed.