Term limits will take away the power of the voter, governor

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Oct. 31, 2010 at 5:31 a.m.
Updated Nov. 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.

Victoria resident Rosalie Sykora said voters should decide if the state has term limits for governors.

The 63-year-old has always voted.

"If we keep putting them in, we have no right to complain," she said.

One of the best rights Americans have is the right to vote, Sykora added.

If a governor is only given a set term limit, this doesn't only limit the governor's potential, but the power of the voter, she said.

If people do not like who is representing the state, they need to help make the change by voting, not by letting a term limit time out the official, she said.

"It comes down to when you're at the ballot box," she said. "We have to hold their feet to the fire."

Victoria College Professor Joe Sekul, a government instructor, is not very keen on term limits, but did refer to former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, who was forced out of office because of the term limits after being elected three times.

As far as Sekul is concerned, the former mayor was popular among many Houston voters, he recalled.

Sekul doesn't support term limits. "I do think you can have very good people who are thrown out of office," he said.

Also on the gubernatorial chopping block is California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose second term will end in January.

Sekul is not sure if Schwarzenegger is a good or bad governor or how the majority will vote, but said it's plausible the governor has grown into the job.

"I don't like limiting options," he said. "I have faith in elections."

If people inform themselves enough so that their vote matters, having or not having the same governor for several terms should not be a problem, he said.

Texas governors have been without term limits since the 19th century.

The limit was removed in the 1869 Constitution of the State of Texas. In the 1876 Constitution of the State of Texas, each term was downgraded from four years to two years until an amendment in 1972 upgraded the term to four years again, according to information provided by the Tarlton Law Library.

Sykora doesn't want any future amendments to take away the power she experienced each time she votes.

"Voting is a great privilege and a great right," she said. "We have the power of the vote."



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