Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Fran posted a comment about the failure to extend term limits in California, making the plausible argument that if current officeholders -- notably Speaker Nunez and Senate boss Don Perata -- hadn't attempted to grandfather themselves in and extend their own time in power, the initiative might have passed.
It's worth remembering that in California, as in some other states, term limits were originally passed based on enmity toward particular longtime leaders. The poster child in California was Willie Brown, who was Assembly speaker for 14 years before beating booted from office by term limits, and then served as mayor of San Francisco.
During a recent interview on KQED radio in San Francisco, Brown had this to say about the failure of Proposition 93:
I thought yesterday's vote was a continuation of the public's desire to treat politicians as if they are not necessary, period. As a matter of fact, I think the public has the idea that anybody can do the job at any time without any experience. The public does not understand the need to build relationships...
As a result of that, they will impose upon politicians all kinds of limitations on conduct that they think might bring better quality persons to be the person trying to make the decision.
The interview was part of Brown's publicity campaign for his autobiography, Basic Brown. Brown makes two appearances in DC today, speaking and signing at the Howard University Bookstore at noon and at the Sumner School at 6:30.
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