State Senate President and constitutional scholar Malcolm Smith was on NY1 last night to discuss Governor Paterson's State of the State speech, which focused partly on a call for enacting widespread ethics reforms. When asked specifically if he would support term limits which, under Paterson's proposal, would allow state senators and assemblymen to serve a maximum of six two-year terms Smith made a shocking revelation: New York already has term limits.
We obviously consider everything the governor puts forward, but I will remind you that in ten months we're all running for office again, so we have sort of a term-limit plan already, which is, every two years, we have to run for office. And I think the public would rather be the ones to tell us it's time to leave than for the 212 members to make that decision ...
I'm not arguing against it, it's what the facts are. We do have an election in ten months from now, every two years we run for office. That's a term-limit process that we subject ourselves to.
Paterson and all those good-government groups calling for term limits are going to have egg on their faces when they hear about this.