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Potentially dangerous side effects of term limits

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Worthy of an honorable mention in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Florida politicians are scrambling for leadership positions in the state legislature — before they’re even elected into office.

According to a Miami Herald article:

Without question, this is one of the most illogical and potentially dangerous side effects of term limits.

House candidates are limited to eight years — four, two-year terms. The instant they hit the campaign trail, they can hear the ticking of that term limits clock.

Consumed with ambition, they run for speaker without first showing the ability to lead. This is the speed-dating version of running for class president, with much more serious consequences.

Why should you care who’s speaker of the House? That person helps decide whether your taxes go up, whether your kids can receive health care or how long you’ll be stuck in traffic.

A speaker could become a U.S. senator, like Marco Rubio, or be driven out by controversy, like Ray Sansom.

Against this backdrop, Miami Lakes Rep. Jose Oliva is looking ahead to 2018.

Oliva is building friendships with candidates the best way Tallahassee politicians know how: by raising money for them. Oliva, 39, a father of three, is CEO of his family’s cigar business, and said he’s not asking people to support him for speaker.

“Talking to people, understanding what they want and building those relationships,” is how Oliva described it. “If I get the opportunity, I would like to be in leadership.”

The entire Miami Herald article can be read here.


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