Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
If you talk to a politician opposed to term limits, chances are that person will use this soundbite: "We already have term limits -- they're called elections." That's a simplification, but it comes to mind with the news that Andy Dillon, the Michigan House speaker, faces a recall election this November.
Dillon is one of several legislators targeted for recall votes due to last year's unpopular tax legislation. In his case, his critics have made the ballot. Yesterday, a federal appeals court gave the go-ahead to a recall vote.
That's too bad for Dillon -- but for everyone else, it's really a waste of time. Michigan is a term limits state. Even if he survives the recall, Dillon would be forced out of office six weeks later anyway.
A few days ago, I talked with a former district attorney in Oregon who was recalled a couple of years ago. She, too, had already lost her job in the spring primary and only would have lasted a few weeks past her November recall election.
Recalls may have their place, but they seem nothing but vindictive if you're targeting someone who will be gone within weeks anyway.
Update: Whoops -- I guess Dillon is running for reelection. But that makes for an equally absurd scenario. He can be recalled and reelected on the same day. He'd have to stay away from the capitol for a few weeks, but then he can lead a transition from his former regime to his new one.
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