The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 28, 2013

Term limits won't solve problems

---- — I am dismayed by what seems to be the naive expectation that term limits will solve our problems in Washington. Limiting our elected officials to two terms in Washington is likely to produce little improvement. Sure, some officials lose touch with their home base and become beholden to various PACs for money to finance their campaigns; however, to replace these "old timers" with new, naïve officials is going to produce a population of officials susceptible to all kinds of manipulations via PAC folks. What we really need are two things.

First, we have to eliminate the awful process of gerrymandering by which parties in power have the ability to redraw district lines to their own profound advantage. Gone is the idea of everyone's vote counting equally. A process to select independent committees immune to political pressures needs to be instituted for all states. Those processes have been developed! but both political parties are guilty of non-support when they see their potential advantages disappear. Both political parties need to clean up their act and get rid of this archaic system.

Second, we need to take the money out of politics. Citizens United was an awful decision; it opened the flood gates to all sorts of money. We have a system in Washington now where most things are bought and sold. I have come to the conclusion that we need to have a system of publicly financed elections. I see no other way to take the money out of politics; as of now almost all decisions in Washington are bought and sold.

Finally, history should teach us, but I am afraid it does not. In early America, in order to vote one had to be a moneyed landowner. We got rid of the need to be a landowner, but in today's politics you again need the money. Money buys in Washington. Will we never learn?

Sally Nyquist, Lewisburg