One of the biggest mistakes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has made in recent years was letting veteran reporter Terry Ganey leave for the Columbia Tribune. Apparently experience in journalism is not prized any more than it is in state government where even effective legislators have to leave after eight years in the House or Senate.
In today's Tribune, Ganey examines term limits, with both sides presented fairly. Those who remember my columns from the Carthage Press days may recall that I have always been an opponent of term limits. If they had been the law a few decades back, the state would not have had the benefit of powerful legislators such as Richard Webster and Robert Ellis Young.
While not every legislator has the abilities possessed by those two gentlemen, at least the way it was back then, the voters had the ultimate power to determine who represents them and who has the power in government. Though some abused the power they had, at least we had some say.
Unfortunately, as I argued back in the early '90s, term limits have shifted the balance of power to bureaucrats, and even worse, to lobbyists.
The focus of Ganey's article is a bill by Rep. Gayle Kingery, R-Poplar Bluff to allow a legislator to serve 16 years total in the legislature, even if all 16 comes in one chamber.
While Kingery's idea has some merit, a better idea would be to toss out term limits altogether.