Former Springfield News-Leader Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger writes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, can be added to the list of legislators who wants to do away with term limits:
“I think the voters made a mistake,” Richard told reporters during his weekly breakfast meeting today.
Richard said term limits are becoming almost a daily discussion in the Legislature because of how they’ve changed the nature of debate. He believes there is less respect for the traditions of the Capitol because of them, and that the Legislature has ceded control to forces outside the building.
“There’s always a vacuum up here. There’s always someone seeking power,” Richard said. “If the legislative branch doesn’t get it … forces outside the building might set policy.”
It would be easy to take a shot at Richard as another term-limited politician who suddenly sees the light, but I am not going to do that. He is right. Ever since term limits were put into effect in the 90s, the legislature has been under the control of the lobbyists and special interests.