Singing a different tune
A reader recently mentioned that during the run up to the 1994 'revolution' many Republicans were claiming that the cure for what ailed governments was term limits. So I started to wonder what has become of the drive to get term limits put into the Wisconsin Constitution and funny little story unfolds.
In 1995 there were 23 sponsors of a resolution to put 12-year term limits on those in the state legislature. A resolution was again introduced in 1997 but only had 13 sponsors. 1999's resolution had ten sponsors, 2001's resolution had six sponsors, and 2003 had only two lonely sponsors.
And this session? Why, there is no resolution.
A lot of the folks that have sponsored the resolution are either past the 12-year point or are coming up to the election this year where they should bow out gracefully with a self-imposed term limit. Congressman Scott Klug held to his word even though he was popular enough to probably still be in office today if he chose to run again.
Definitely the funniest sponsor of the bunch is Bob Ziegelbauer (D-Manitowoc) since while most people were sponsors at one point and then realized they wanted to stay and quietly stopped being a sponsor, he kept on introducing the resolution over and over again. Seems kind of odd to have a bill about term limits being introduced by the same guy for a decade. He even introduced the bill in 2003 and then ran again in defiance of himself!
But Rep. Ziegelbauer has plenty of company in the hypocrite club on this one. Other former sponsors of one or more of the term limit resolutions that are currently serving despite their own beliefs: Rep. Dean Kaufert (elected 1990), Senator Dale Shultz (elected to Senate 1991), Rep. Robin Kreibich (elected 1992), Rep. Gene Hahn (elected 1990), Rep. Gregg Underheim (elected 1987), Rep. Sheryl Albers (elected 1991), Rep. Steve Nass (elected 1990), and Senator Alberta Darling (elected 1992).
There are a couple of folks that I am sure we can expect an announcement from any day now saying that they are not running again in order to keep the 12-year term limit dream alive. They are: Senator Dave Zien (elected 1993) and Rep. Frank Lasee (elected 1994).
And for those keeping score, all of those listed in these two paragraphs are Republicans.
I may have also stumbled on the real reason Senator Glenn Grothman ran against former Senator, and now hopefully full-time French language student, Mary Panzer. Senator Grothman was just about to run out of time on his 12 years in one office. He sponsored the resolution in 1997 and true to his word, got out of the Assembly just in time.