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Letter: We need term limits for politicians to be put into place immediately

Published: Sunday, Sept. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

I believe that the best thing that could happen in our country is term limits for all elected politicians. Maybe then they would start caring more about what's good for America than what's good for their re-election.

In 1994, under pressure of a citizen's initiative to impose term limits, our Legislature passed term limits of 12 years, set to take effect in 2006. But in 2003, our Legislature voted on the last day of the session to repeal that law.

Now it just so happened that in 1994, Sen. Orrin Hatch was running for re-election. He'd served 18 years in the U.S. Senate and wanted six more — a total of 24 years. Only one other man had served Utah 24 years in the U.S. Senate.

In a 1995 op-ed, Hatch argued against term limits and mentioned that his running for re-election in 2012 was "not on the list." "I have strong reservations about a constitutional amendment on term limits. Let me at the outset emphasize two points. First, I have no personal interest in the prospects of the amendment. Even were it to become part of the Constitution tomorrow, it would not bar me from running for re-election until the year 2012, when I would be 78 years of age. There are many things I hope to be doing in the year 2012. Spending time with my great-grandchildren at that time would be higher on my list than spending time with Senate colleagues, esteemed though they are. Running for re-election is not on the list." We need term limits now.

Debbie Swenson

Salem

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