• “The more secure an office holder, the more his interests would diverge from those of his constituents.” Andrew Jackson
  • A study of 2002 legislative elections by the National Conference of State Legislatures, for instance, found that only two states had senates with a lower turnover rate than New York. Only three statehouses had lower turnover rates than the New York Assembly: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/27/nyregion/27incumbent.html?_r=0
  • “New York has witnessed the rise of a perpetual professional class of politicians who view elective office as a lifetime career rather than a temporary privilege to serve the public. Career politicians – and the corollary of careerism politics – pose clear and present threats to the health of New York’s democracy.” – Brian Kolb, Assemblyman (R).
  • Incumbents enjoy strong name recognition, and can mobilize extensive resources (chiefly financial) to solidify their position. It is an uphill task for any challenger to enter the ring. Good government advocates, political operatives, and political scientists seem to agree on the reasons that so many races are run unopposed: imbalanced campaign financing, unchecked gerrymandering, and the absence of term limits.
  • “You don’t have to wait for 20 years, until someone dies or their kid takes over or they are indicted. With term limits you lose friends, but you also lose enemies.” –Joshua Klainberg, New York League of Conservation Voters.
  • “Term limits would also strike at a problem more pervasive in Albany than corruption: legislative careerism. The longer they serve, the more many Assembly and Senate members naturally seek to preserve their positions. This, combined with the power of legislative leaders, gives rise to an insular culture that makes individual lawmakers overly reluctant to advance new ideas, challenge entrenched special interests or demand higher ethical standards.” – The New York Post, January 27th, 2015.