The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 June 2004

What part of "term limits" don't you understand?

Oklahoma legislators are limited to twelve years in office. Not all of them are enthusiastic about the limitation, either.

Senator Jim Maddox (D-Lawton), who was holding that office in 1992 when term limits began, would complete twelve years under the provisions of the law in 2004. Maddox, who was reelected in 2002 (half the Senate is chosen in "off-year" elections), argued that the voters intended to send him back to the Capitol for four years and that he should be allowed to complete those four years.

The state Supreme Court has now decided otherwise; Maddox is gone after 2004, and a special election will be held to fill the District 32 seat for the following two years.

Posted at 7:48 AM to Soonerland

TrackBacks if any:

Sounds like the OK legislature wasn't very careful drafting that term limits law. Usually they exclude the current terms of sitting members and kick in at the next election to avoid just such problems.

Posted by: Dodd at 9:42 AM on 29 June 2004

Well, this measure was passed via referendum in 1990, with about two-thirds of the vote; the decision was made to exclude everyone serving in that legislative session and start the clock after the 1992 election.

The other quirky (to some) provision is that the twelve-year maximum covers both houses; you can't, for instance, do twelve years in the House and then run for the Senate.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:56 PM on 29 June 2004

If a Special Election is like the Special Olympics, then what makes it any different than the regular elections?

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 5:55 PM on 29 June 2004

In the Special Olympics, everyone wins. In special elections everyone loses.

[...]

Y'know what? Terk's right.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:34 PM on 29 June 2004