Experience and knowledge are indisputable assets in most any enterprise and are the underpinning for success. However in politics it hardly ever works that way, evidence the very poor rating of the United States Congress and the Alabama Legislature. Their creditability in most all surveys is near the bottom, and there is an obvious reason for this.
In our system of government, the political bodies under our constitution make the laws that govern themselves, as well as the rest of us, and this is where the rub is, in making laws for themselves. History has shown that once the well-meaning citizen gets elected to these governing bodies and experiences the power of the office.
With all the perks and benefits available to them, many begin to forget why the folks back home put them there. When exposed to all the many ways to enrich themselves, once they become experienced in how to gather the largess available to them, the mission of governing sorta takes a back seat to: ‘How can I keep my seat here and how can I increase my take’. All this results in gridlock and corruption. Typical of the Alabama legislature.
Legislators set their own salary and expenses. Not much oversight here. Legislators make the laws that govern the ethics commission who is suppose to insure that they act in an ethical manner, This too is self serving as they are free to create loop holes for themselves, such as the very lax reporting standards of just who are they taking things of value from, and no limit campaign finance contributions.
Consulting contracts for clients , some of which are reported to pay in 6 figures leaves the average citizen to wonder , how did we let our governing process get so far from what our fore-fathers envisioned. Well it doesn’t take a Philadelphia lawyer to see that career legislators don’t benefit the people, only themselves and their benafactors, It’s time for a change.
Senators Cruz and DeSantis, in the U.S. Senate, have introduced a constitutional amendment to set term limits for congress at three two year terms for House members and two six year terms for Senators. Alabama needs to do the same starting with the next session of our legislature and we the people should get behind it.