Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

January 25, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

AZ Legislature: A to Z "Term Limits"


  • Arizona voters imposed term limits on state lawmakers more than a dozen years ago. It's caused some to leave office after eight years, but other legislators have found a way around them.
Guests:
  • Bruce Merrill - Director, KAET-ASU Poll
  • David Berman - ASU political science professor


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on "HORIZON", Arizona voters imposed term limits on state lawmakers more than a dozen years ago. It's caused some to leave office after eight years, but other legislators have found a way around them.

>> Lora Villasenor:
I think I'm surprised by the number of people switching seats now. And what's clear is that there is still a desire to serve the institution, they're just going to find a new way to accomplish that end.

>> Michael Grant:
As we continue our weeklong look at the Arizona legislature, "HORIZON" examines the facts of term limits.

>> Mary Hartley:
So it's not really holding its effect. It's done nothing for the institution itself or the process.

>> Jack Brown:
We live with term limits I don't think people are ready to vote it out yet but I think they will be.

>> Michael Grant:
Also tonight, this gay couple sued for the right to marry in Arizona. The latest KAET-ASU poll looks at support for a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriages in our state.

>> Announcer:
"HORIZON" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "HORIZON". Arizona voters strongly support all-day kindergarten, term limits and English only, but don't like the idea of making abortion illegal or privatizing part of Social Security. That's what we found out in the latest KAET-Walter Cronkite School of journalism and mass communication at Arizona State University poll. The poll of 442 registered Voters was conducted January 20th through the 23rd, and has a margin of error of 4.7\%. Here are the results.

>> Mike Sauceda:
The poll revealed strong support for several statewide issues. 77\% support funding for all-day kindergarten, 17\% oppose. 76\% would like to keep term limits, 19\% said do away with them. 72\% are for a statewide smoking ban in public places, 45\% oppose such a ban. 69\% support a bill making English the official language, 27\% are against the bill. Moderate support was revealed for other issues, 54\% said they supported amendment to the constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, 39\% oppose such a measure. When asked if they would support a same sex marriage ban if it also prohibited all domestic partners from receiving benefits, such as health insurance and retirement pay, the numbers virtually reversed. 33\% supported gay marriage ban under those conditions, while 59\% opposed it. 53\% of those surveyed favor a bill to legalize suicide in certain cases, 37\% oppose such legislation. Three issues we surveyed voters on did not receive majority support. We asked about a bill eliminating the AIMS test. 48\% say they support it, while 44\% oppose it. 40\% support a law making abortion illegal except when needed to save the life of the mother, 55\% oppose such a measure. Receiving the least support in our survey, privatizing at least part of Social Security. 36\% are for that, 51\% oppose the idea.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is Bruce Merrill, director of the KAET-ASU Poll. I'm exhausted looking at the results. We polled on every possible public opinion issue in the whole world.

>> Bruce Merrill:
We made a lot of people unhappy out there.

>> Michael Grant:
Poll indicating some disconnects on some issues between the legislature and at least what our respondents said.

>> Bruce Merrill:
Absolutely. I think we have found very strong support for all-day kindergarten, the AIMS test I thought was very interesting. Evenly divided. And we didn't look at whether or not there ought to be some kind of another diploma if they don't pass, it was just saying get rid of it. Pretty interesting.

>> Michael Grant:
The balance of this program after you and I get through chatting, will talk about term limits. I expected it to still be supported by the public. I didn't expect it to be supported as much. Why.

>> Bruce Merrill:
It's a little stronger, we have found 65 to 75\% of the people support it so it's a little bit stronger. I think there's just after the last election, the war and the kind of negativity of the last campaign there is more and more suspicion about politics and about legislatures and political candidates. I think it's an another way of saying we have to control these people a little better.

>> Michael Grant:
Expression of frustration, that when you're testing, you may be testing the level of frustration than the issue involved?

>> Bruce Merrill:
I'm not sure that people really know much about it, in terms of in depth. I think it is a measure of frustration and trust.

>> Michael Grant:
We have, as you indicated, polled before on all-day kindergarten funding. I can't recall, Bruce, is it stronger than it was in some of our previous polls?

>> Bruce Merrill:
A little bit, not much. We have consistently found 70-75\% people of the legislature want the legislature to fund this. Maybe some will get the message.

>> Michael Grant:
Any time you get a result like 77\%, I think I can guess what the answer to this is, but this probably is very broad-based in terms of the sub demographics?

>> Bruce Merrill:
That's a very good point. We call this a consensus issue. When you get 75-80\% of the people supporting, if it were negative or positive, it's virtually a consensus, which means it cuts across all political and demographic grouping.

>> Michael Grant:
Supporters of a statewide smoking ban have indicated they're going to gather signatures on that issue. Looks like their timing couldn't be better

>> Bruce Merrill:
It's very early, we're probably 18 months away before these campaigns get started. These are measuring general predispositions toward these issues. It does tell us there is strong support for a statewide smoking ban.

>> Michael Grant:
Interesting juxtaposition between not supporting making abortion illegal, supporting in certain instances legalized suicide.

>> Bruce Merrill:
I think if there was one surprise in this poll, that 53\% of those we polled would support a bill out of the legislature legalizing abortion if supervised by a physician and if the medication were prescribed by a physician. That's kind of surprised me a little bit in Arizona, but that was interesting.

>> Michael Grant:
Oregon of course passed that some number of years ago.

>> Bruce Merrill:
Yes.

>> Michael Grant:
Not much support for privatizing part of Social Security. Is that the kind of issue that as more information gets out on it peoples get more comfortable or not?

>> Bruce Merrill:
It does depend upon the message and how effective the president is at communicating that message. Particularly in Arizona, we have a lot of retired people. A lot of those people live on Social Security. I would suspect that the president has to be very careful in terms of how he presents this or he is going to make a lot of those people very nervous.

>> Michael Grant:
That's why it's been referred to as the third rail of politics. You were making the comment that polls toward younger age groups don't show a lot of support.

>> Bruce Merrill:
I think CNN came out with poll voters under 35, two-thirds did not want the president to mess around very much with Social Security.

>> Michael Grant:
Bruce Merrill, interesting results.

>> Bruce Merrill:
Thanks to the volunteers.

>> Michael Grant:
As always, thanks to the volunteers. Arizona is one of the 15 states that impose term limits on its lawmakers. As we continue our weeklong series Arizona legislature "A" to "Z," "HORIZON" looks at the impact term limits have had on the legislature. Paul Atkinson reports, the law has forced some lawmakers from office early, but others have found a way around it.

>> Paul Atkinson:
A Senate page wheels the belongings of Jack Brown in his new office in the House of Representatives. He ran for the house after term limits forced the longest-serving current lawmaker from the Senate.

>> Jack Brown:
I decided to run for the house and have a few others around here that have been around a long time and maybe be a leveling influence with some of the new-comers.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Mary Hartley runs into old colleagues. A Democrat from west Phoenix left after eight years of service.

>> Mary Hartley:
If I had my druthers, I might have run for one more term but I doubt I would have gone beyond 10 years.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Arizona voters passed term limits by a 3-1 margin. It came on the heels of two political corruption scandals.

>> Paul Atkinson:
An undercover legislative sting operation called AZscam in 1991 resulted in indictments against seven lawmakers and 11 others in 1991. Arizona's two senators, John McCain and Dennis Deconcini, were two of the Keating five. They intervened in a federal banking investigation of Charles Keating, Jr. after having accepted large campaign contributions and free trips from the founder of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan.

>> Lora Villasenor:
Some folks today will say the intention of the voter was to impose congressional term limits. If you remember this is the year after AZ scam it's possible that people were very much focused on the legislature.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Laura Villasenor is a senior research analyst at Think AZ, a Phoenix-based public policy think tank. Villasenor is updating a study she did on term limits released before last November's election.

>> Lora Villasenor:
The popular thought was that term limits needed to be done away with because they were creating too many turnovers. We wanted to take a look at that, see what the effect term limits was actually having on the legislative body.

>> Paul Atkinson:
As passed by voters, Arizona law limited senators to two terms. Members of the U.S. house to three terms, Arizona state senators and house members, four terms. The U.S. Supreme Court found term limits for members of Congress unconstitutional.

>> Lora Villasenor:
a person can only serve eight continuous years in one seat. Somebody can serve eight years in the house but then eight more years in the Senate.

>> Paul Atkinson:
26 left the legislature, 16 simply switched houses and two came back after sitting out an election.

>> Lora Villasenor:
People's perception is not what's actually happening. I think that this report debunks that term limits were really pushing turnover in both of the houses. This last time we only got 17 brand new members, two people came back again that had left.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Jack Brown is one of the 16 who switched from one chamber to the other.

>> Jack Brown:
It's following the law as people voted it in. I think it was good that people that wanted to could run for the other body. That's all we're doing is following the law. I just think it's okay.

>> Paul Atkinson:
As part of her research on the effects of term limits Villasenor compared lawmakers elected after term limits to those elected before. She found that 34\% of lawmakers elected from 1960 to 1990 served more than 8 years. Since term limits that number has dropped by 10\%. Term limits forced out veterans, such as a former Senate president, former house minority leader and a 28-year veteran.

>> Jack Brown:
I find that normally those people come back for a reason, people think they're doing a good job. We had term limits before this and we have them now, by the ballot box. If they don't like me, they can vote me out of office at any time.

>> Paul Atkinson:
That happened to former house speaker Jeff Groscost. Term limits forced him to run for the Senate. He lost. Two words: alt fuels. Mary Hartley isn't a fan of term limits because of the changes she saw while in office.

>> Mary Hartley:
It's done nothing for the institution itself or the process and it's put a lot of people that probably shouldn't be moving as fast as they should be, it's actually detracted from stepping back, learning and taking time and preparing legislation thoughtfully and in a systematic fashion.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Two states have repealed term limits, Utah and Idaho.

>> Jack Brown:
We live with term limits because I don't think people are ready to vote it out yet but I think one day they will be.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is ASU political science professor David Berman, who has conducted a study on term limits as a senior research fellow at the Morrison Institute. Also here is public affairs consultant Sidney hay. Ms. Hay is a term limits supporter. Rounding out our panel is APS lobbyist Marty Shultz. Mr. Shultz is an opponent of term limits. Welcome to each and every one of you. Professor Berman, you did a study on it, give me what you consider to be your key findings on term limits in there. What are we up to, a 12-year life span?

>> David Berman:
That they were adopted '92. We've had some experience so we could make some Observations. I think we have found term limits have contributed to more competition for legislative seats. The voters have more choice with the candidates. We also find that they contribute to turnover, a lot of things have contributed to turnover. On the balance we have had more turnover because of term limits. The area where we get into some problem, I think, is the effect on the institution. Good or bad effects depend on how you look at them, but I think probably the most obvious one has been the decline in leadership. Not only here but also in other states we have studied have been really hurt by term limits.


>> Michael Grant:
You get to be a committee chairman after you've been there 15 minutes -- in fact, I think they have just rotated again.

>> David Berman:
the senior guys are sophomores.

>> Michael Grant:
What about the tape piece, people serving four terms in the house and then going over to the Senate and for that matter, vice versa? I know you were involved in the first campaign. Did you think about that one when you were moving it through?

>> Sydney Hay:
I think that when we were talking about this initially we thought that would be something that would happen. I don't think that's a problem. The change in leadership is viewed by supporters as a good thing. The jury is out a little bit, because they only went into effect in 2000. We have yet to find out the real impact. I think it's great when you have legislative power spread around more.

>> Michael Grant:
I guess my point being, are you submarining the intent if you move from the house to the Senate and then as you know, some people turn right around and move from the Senate to the House? Do you think if I had asked people in 1992, I know you're voting for term limits but you ought to know that a person is going to be able to spend 32 years moving back and forth across the mall?

>> Sydney Hay:
It changes the structures of the committees. They were saying freshman legislators couldn't find their way around the building the first two years. We have some people in their second term, I think we elected some people who could find their way around the House and Senate. I think that's a good thing.

>> Michael Grant:
Marty, recognizing you oppose term limits.

>> Martin Shultz:
That is correct.

>> Michael Grant:
Does that subvert the purpose of getting them out?

>> Martin Shultz:
I know we're talking about structure. I think those people who are analyzing this should lock at substance. In '92, they were reacting to AZscam. We came up with this system which has unintended consequences. What is more important is that the voters have a right to throw legislators out if they choose to or to keep them in. To have an artificial barrier of 8 years and potential of flip-flopping is a subversion of the system. We're talking substance here. The legislators are dealing with complex public policy issues and it takes time for anybody in any profession to learn about complex public policy issue, social, business, taxation, and environment issues. They don't get the time to do that.

>> Michael Grant:
To the extent that you want a learning curve, a learning period, and you want people to be able to rely on the data they have amassed, keeping in mind you don't like term limits it would seem you don't have the full legislative body lose what they have picked up in their first 8 years in the house when they go to the Senate.

>> Martin Shultz:
Right, under that system I guess that is a saving grace. I think it's inconsequential compared to the issue, do they have the capacity to handle the increase in population, the greater dollars required, we have some very smart and good people coming into the legislature, I am not reflecting on this group or last year's group of legislators. They rely more on their staff, they rely on lobbyists, including veterans like myself, and they don't have institutional memory, which is very important. I believe institutional memory is very important but I don't take any solace that I have it and they don't. They should have more time at the legislature to make better decisions.

>> Michael Grant:
You also drew that conclusion. But you found that it didn't shift it universally to all staff and all lobbyists. I wasn't sure how you reached that conclusion.

>> David Berman:
On the loss of institutional memory, I don't think there is any doubt they have lost. People coming in have less incentive because they are not going to be around as long to learn the job. There are going to be a lot of people who have progressive ambition. More people are running who know they aren't going to be very long, they don't identify with it, they are thinking about Congress or corporation commission or the next move. And the void has been partially filled by staff. On the lobbyist side, it seems sort of a mixed message. I think some of the lobbyists who had depended on contacts discovered they are not there anymore and they had to deal with a lot of new people they didn't know, they had to reintroduce themselves to all these new people. They were sort of lost for awhile. But I get from other people I talk to down there that some of these young guys come in off the streets don't know what they're doing and they are being wined and dined by lobbyists and going off on the wrong track. I get confusing stories about what's happening.

>> Michael Grant:
About the impact. I understand the point a little better. Sydney, any value to the institutional memory aspect? You have a veteran who can't have something pulled on him?

>> Sydney Hay:
I must have a much higher opinion than some people do of the people that we're electing these days. I think the lobbying situation has changed. So rather than the old networking and long-term relationships and what have you done for me lately that may have existed in the past is more tell me the substance of your argument and defend the position based on the merits rather than the relationship. I think these are good things and I don't think the concept of a citizen legislature was something thought about 200 years ago and is no longer relevant. It is relevant to have people who have worked a farm, met a payroll, take that kind of knowledge to the legislature, that is much more important to me.

>> Martin Shultz:
I would agree those individuals -- I happen to share your high opinion of many of the individuals elected are qualified for the job. Except for one thing. The specific issue they deal with, the $17 billion budget and the complexities of public education, taxation of growth, these are very complex issues. The teacher who is very smart and talented needs some time in order to learn the business of the issues as does that business person, as does that citizen who comes to the legislature. Under our system I can tell you at least this is my observation supported by the various data, that we're pushing people through the system and we've had unintended consequences that have occurred, people are jumping from the House to the Senate, leadership if they can, they want to be chair men 15 minutes after arriving. These are the unintended consequences.

>> Michael Grant:
I wanted to run that, your side is not winning in our poll.

>> Martin Shultz:
Tell you what. My side is getting an opportunity to at least talk about it.

>> Michael Grant:
Sydney, what about the poll results? Did at least the margin surprise you at all?

>> Sydney Hay:
No, it didn't because it's within margin of error of the same amount it passed in 1992. Every article you see, here or elsewhere, you get all kind of quotes from legislators and lobbyists who don't like it. They don't go out and find the average person who signed the petition, those people have a healthy distrust of the system and it's a good thing.

>> Michael Grant:
We got feedback that the term limits have made the place less decorous, the courtesy and those sorts of things have kind of gone out the window. Are you finding that?

>> David Berman:
We compared our results to what's happening in other place, I think you find a little more of that because people don't have the time or incentive to get to know each other very well. The bonding that used to take place over years is not there. You find, also issues are coming to the surface. Issues are coming to the fore, that wouldn't have happened a couple years ago. You knew you were going to get hit by the leader.

>> Martin Shultz:
I think the new people coming in are quite civil. My concern is just simply, as a practitioner in the field, I've seen it and they don't have the time to learn the job. You wouldn't want to have a dentist; you wouldn't want a doctor or somebody who is a professional that didn't have time to learn the job. These folks are really in charge of issues that impact us. They don't have the time and I think we should have a conversation about modifying term limits in Arizona.

>> Michael Grant:
Marty, thanks for joining us. Sydney, good to see you again. Professor Berman, we appreciate your background.

>> Michael Grant:
If you'd like to learn more about the effects of term limits, please visit the channel 8 website at www.az.pbs.org. Just click on the AZ legislature "A" to "Z" graphic and look for today's date and you'll find links to studies and websites related to term limits. You'll also find complete results from the KAET-ASU poll.

>> Merry Lucero:
How much influence do lobbyists have in crafting and passing our state laws? Get an inside look to find out how lobbyists work and the Capitol reporter on the journalist's view at the state legislature. Wednesday at 7 on "HORIZON".

>> Michael Grant:
Thursday, "HORIZON" looks at how the average Joe can get a bill passed in your legislature. Former Senate president Randall Gnant joins me to talk about what can be a complicated process. And of course a simple process on Friday when journalists join me to talk about the week's news events. Thanks for joining me this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a terrific one. Good night.

KAET-ASU Poll


  • The latest KAET-ASU poll looks at support for a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriages in Arizona.
Guests:
  • Bruce Merrill - Director, KAET-ASU Poll
  • David Berman - ASU political science professor


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on "HORIZON", Arizona voters imposed term limits on state lawmakers more than a dozen years ago. It's caused some to leave office after eight years, but other legislators have found a way around them.

>> Lora Villasenor:
I think I'm surprised by the number of people switching seats now. And what's clear is that there is still a desire to serve the institution, they're just going to find a new way to accomplish that end.

>> Michael Grant:
As we continue our weeklong look at the Arizona legislature, "HORIZON" examines the facts of term limits.

>> Mary Hartley:
So it's not really holding its effect. It's done nothing for the institution itself or the process.

>> Jack Brown:
We live with term limits I don't think people are ready to vote it out yet but I think they will be.

>> Michael Grant:
Also tonight, this gay couple sued for the right to marry in Arizona. The latest KAET-ASU poll looks at support for a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriages in our state.

>> Announcer:
"HORIZON" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to "HORIZON". Arizona voters strongly support all-day kindergarten, term limits and English only, but don't like the idea of making abortion illegal or privatizing part of Social Security. That's what we found out in the latest KAET-Walter Cronkite School of journalism and mass communication at Arizona State University poll. The poll of 442 registered Voters was conducted January 20th through the 23rd, and has a margin of error of 4.7\%. Here are the results.

>> Mike Sauceda:
The poll revealed strong support for several statewide issues. 77\% support funding for all-day kindergarten, 17\% oppose. 76\% would like to keep term limits, 19\% said do away with them. 72\% are for a statewide smoking ban in public places, 45\% oppose such a ban. 69\% support a bill making English the official language, 27\% are against the bill. Moderate support was revealed for other issues, 54\% said they supported amendment to the constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, 39\% oppose such a measure. When asked if they would support a same sex marriage ban if it also prohibited all domestic partners from receiving benefits, such as health insurance and retirement pay, the numbers virtually reversed. 33\% supported gay marriage ban under those conditions, while 59\% opposed it. 53\% of those surveyed favor a bill to legalize suicide in certain cases, 37\% oppose such legislation. Three issues we surveyed voters on did not receive majority support. We asked about a bill eliminating the AIMS test. 48\% say they support it, while 44\% oppose it. 40\% support a law making abortion illegal except when needed to save the life of the mother, 55\% oppose such a measure. Receiving the least support in our survey, privatizing at least part of Social Security. 36\% are for that, 51\% oppose the idea.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is Bruce Merrill, director of the KAET-ASU Poll. I'm exhausted looking at the results. We polled on every possible public opinion issue in the whole world.

>> Bruce Merrill:
We made a lot of people unhappy out there.

>> Michael Grant:
Poll indicating some disconnects on some issues between the legislature and at least what our respondents said.

>> Bruce Merrill:
Absolutely. I think we have found very strong support for all-day kindergarten, the AIMS test I thought was very interesting. Evenly divided. And we didn't look at whether or not there ought to be some kind of another diploma if they don't pass, it was just saying get rid of it. Pretty interesting.

>> Michael Grant:
The balance of this program after you and I get through chatting, will talk about term limits. I expected it to still be supported by the public. I didn't expect it to be supported as much. Why.

>> Bruce Merrill:
It's a little stronger, we have found 65 to 75\% of the people support it so it's a little bit stronger. I think there's just after the last election, the war and the kind of negativity of the last campaign there is more and more suspicion about politics and about legislatures and political candidates. I think it's an another way of saying we have to control these people a little better.

>> Michael Grant:
Expression of frustration, that when you're testing, you may be testing the level of frustration than the issue involved?

>> Bruce Merrill:
I'm not sure that people really know much about it, in terms of in depth. I think it is a measure of frustration and trust.

>> Michael Grant:
We have, as you indicated, polled before on all-day kindergarten funding. I can't recall, Bruce, is it stronger than it was in some of our previous polls?

>> Bruce Merrill:
A little bit, not much. We have consistently found 70-75\% people of the legislature want the legislature to fund this. Maybe some will get the message.

>> Michael Grant:
Any time you get a result like 77\%, I think I can guess what the answer to this is, but this probably is very broad-based in terms of the sub demographics?

>> Bruce Merrill:
That's a very good point. We call this a consensus issue. When you get 75-80\% of the people supporting, if it were negative or positive, it's virtually a consensus, which means it cuts across all political and demographic grouping.

>> Michael Grant:
Supporters of a statewide smoking ban have indicated they're going to gather signatures on that issue. Looks like their timing couldn't be better

>> Bruce Merrill:
It's very early, we're probably 18 months away before these campaigns get started. These are measuring general predispositions toward these issues. It does tell us there is strong support for a statewide smoking ban.

>> Michael Grant:
Interesting juxtaposition between not supporting making abortion illegal, supporting in certain instances legalized suicide.

>> Bruce Merrill:
I think if there was one surprise in this poll, that 53\% of those we polled would support a bill out of the legislature legalizing abortion if supervised by a physician and if the medication were prescribed by a physician. That's kind of surprised me a little bit in Arizona, but that was interesting.

>> Michael Grant:
Oregon of course passed that some number of years ago.

>> Bruce Merrill:
Yes.

>> Michael Grant:
Not much support for privatizing part of Social Security. Is that the kind of issue that as more information gets out on it peoples get more comfortable or not?

>> Bruce Merrill:
It does depend upon the message and how effective the president is at communicating that message. Particularly in Arizona, we have a lot of retired people. A lot of those people live on Social Security. I would suspect that the president has to be very careful in terms of how he presents this or he is going to make a lot of those people very nervous.

>> Michael Grant:
That's why it's been referred to as the third rail of politics. You were making the comment that polls toward younger age groups don't show a lot of support.

>> Bruce Merrill:
I think CNN came out with poll voters under 35, two-thirds did not want the president to mess around very much with Social Security.

>> Michael Grant:
Bruce Merrill, interesting results.

>> Bruce Merrill:
Thanks to the volunteers.

>> Michael Grant:
As always, thanks to the volunteers. Arizona is one of the 15 states that impose term limits on its lawmakers. As we continue our weeklong series Arizona legislature "A" to "Z," "HORIZON" looks at the impact term limits have had on the legislature. Paul Atkinson reports, the law has forced some lawmakers from office early, but others have found a way around it.

>> Paul Atkinson:
A Senate page wheels the belongings of Jack Brown in his new office in the House of Representatives. He ran for the house after term limits forced the longest-serving current lawmaker from the Senate.

>> Jack Brown:
I decided to run for the house and have a few others around here that have been around a long time and maybe be a leveling influence with some of the new-comers.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Mary Hartley runs into old colleagues. A Democrat from west Phoenix left after eight years of service.

>> Mary Hartley:
If I had my druthers, I might have run for one more term but I doubt I would have gone beyond 10 years.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Arizona voters passed term limits by a 3-1 margin. It came on the heels of two political corruption scandals.

>> Paul Atkinson:
An undercover legislative sting operation called AZscam in 1991 resulted in indictments against seven lawmakers and 11 others in 1991. Arizona's two senators, John McCain and Dennis Deconcini, were two of the Keating five. They intervened in a federal banking investigation of Charles Keating, Jr. after having accepted large campaign contributions and free trips from the founder of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan.

>> Lora Villasenor:
Some folks today will say the intention of the voter was to impose congressional term limits. If you remember this is the year after AZ scam it's possible that people were very much focused on the legislature.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Laura Villasenor is a senior research analyst at Think AZ, a Phoenix-based public policy think tank. Villasenor is updating a study she did on term limits released before last November's election.

>> Lora Villasenor:
The popular thought was that term limits needed to be done away with because they were creating too many turnovers. We wanted to take a look at that, see what the effect term limits was actually having on the legislative body.

>> Paul Atkinson:
As passed by voters, Arizona law limited senators to two terms. Members of the U.S. house to three terms, Arizona state senators and house members, four terms. The U.S. Supreme Court found term limits for members of Congress unconstitutional.

>> Lora Villasenor:
a person can only serve eight continuous years in one seat. Somebody can serve eight years in the house but then eight more years in the Senate.

>> Paul Atkinson:
26 left the legislature, 16 simply switched houses and two came back after sitting out an election.

>> Lora Villasenor:
People's perception is not what's actually happening. I think that this report debunks that term limits were really pushing turnover in both of the houses. This last time we only got 17 brand new members, two people came back again that had left.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Jack Brown is one of the 16 who switched from one chamber to the other.

>> Jack Brown:
It's following the law as people voted it in. I think it was good that people that wanted to could run for the other body. That's all we're doing is following the law. I just think it's okay.

>> Paul Atkinson:
As part of her research on the effects of term limits Villasenor compared lawmakers elected after term limits to those elected before. She found that 34\% of lawmakers elected from 1960 to 1990 served more than 8 years. Since term limits that number has dropped by 10\%. Term limits forced out veterans, such as a former Senate president, former house minority leader and a 28-year veteran.

>> Jack Brown:
I find that normally those people come back for a reason, people think they're doing a good job. We had term limits before this and we have them now, by the ballot box. If they don't like me, they can vote me out of office at any time.

>> Paul Atkinson:
That happened to former house speaker Jeff Groscost. Term limits forced him to run for the Senate. He lost. Two words: alt fuels. Mary Hartley isn't a fan of term limits because of the changes she saw while in office.

>> Mary Hartley:
It's done nothing for the institution itself or the process and it's put a lot of people that probably shouldn't be moving as fast as they should be, it's actually detracted from stepping back, learning and taking time and preparing legislation thoughtfully and in a systematic fashion.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Two states have repealed term limits, Utah and Idaho.

>> Jack Brown:
We live with term limits because I don't think people are ready to vote it out yet but I think one day they will be.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is ASU political science professor David Berman, who has conducted a study on term limits as a senior research fellow at the Morrison Institute. Also here is public affairs consultant Sidney hay. Ms. Hay is a term limits supporter. Rounding out our panel is APS lobbyist Marty Shultz. Mr. Shultz is an opponent of term limits. Welcome to each and every one of you. Professor Berman, you did a study on it, give me what you consider to be your key findings on term limits in there. What are we up to, a 12-year life span?

>> David Berman:
That they were adopted '92. We've had some experience so we could make some Observations. I think we have found term limits have contributed to more competition for legislative seats. The voters have more choice with the candidates. We also find that they contribute to turnover, a lot of things have contributed to turnover. On the balance we have had more turnover because of term limits. The area where we get into some problem, I think, is the effect on the institution. Good or bad effects depend on how you look at them, but I think probably the most obvious one has been the decline in leadership. Not only here but also in other states we have studied have been really hurt by term limits.


>> Michael Grant:
You get to be a committee chairman after you've been there 15 minutes -- in fact, I think they have just rotated again.

>> David Berman:
the senior guys are sophomores.

>> Michael Grant:
What about the tape piece, people serving four terms in the house and then going over to the Senate and for that matter, vice versa? I know you were involved in the first campaign. Did you think about that one when you were moving it through?

>> Sydney Hay:
I think that when we were talking about this initially we thought that would be something that would happen. I don't think that's a problem. The change in leadership is viewed by supporters as a good thing. The jury is out a little bit, because they only went into effect in 2000. We have yet to find out the real impact. I think it's great when you have legislative power spread around more.

>> Michael Grant:
I guess my point being, are you submarining the intent if you move from the house to the Senate and then as you know, some people turn right around and move from the Senate to the House? Do you think if I had asked people in 1992, I know you're voting for term limits but you ought to know that a person is going to be able to spend 32 years moving back and forth across the mall?

>> Sydney Hay:
It changes the structures of the committees. They were saying freshman legislators couldn't find their way around the building the first two years. We have some people in their second term, I think we elected some people who could find their way around the House and Senate. I think that's a good thing.

>> Michael Grant:
Marty, recognizing you oppose term limits.

>> Martin Shultz:
That is correct.

>> Michael Grant:
Does that subvert the purpose of getting them out?

>> Martin Shultz:
I know we're talking about structure. I think those people who are analyzing this should lock at substance. In '92, they were reacting to AZscam. We came up with this system which has unintended consequences. What is more important is that the voters have a right to throw legislators out if they choose to or to keep them in. To have an artificial barrier of 8 years and potential of flip-flopping is a subversion of the system. We're talking substance here. The legislators are dealing with complex public policy issues and it takes time for anybody in any profession to learn about complex public policy issue, social, business, taxation, and environment issues. They don't get the time to do that.

>> Michael Grant:
To the extent that you want a learning curve, a learning period, and you want people to be able to rely on the data they have amassed, keeping in mind you don't like term limits it would seem you don't have the full legislative body lose what they have picked up in their first 8 years in the house when they go to the Senate.

>> Martin Shultz:
Right, under that system I guess that is a saving grace. I think it's inconsequential compared to the issue, do they have the capacity to handle the increase in population, the greater dollars required, we have some very smart and good people coming into the legislature, I am not reflecting on this group or last year's group of legislators. They rely more on their staff, they rely on lobbyists, including veterans like myself, and they don't have institutional memory, which is very important. I believe institutional memory is very important but I don't take any solace that I have it and they don't. They should have more time at the legislature to make better decisions.

>> Michael Grant:
You also drew that conclusion. But you found that it didn't shift it universally to all staff and all lobbyists. I wasn't sure how you reached that conclusion.

>> David Berman:
On the loss of institutional memory, I don't think there is any doubt they have lost. People coming in have less incentive because they are not going to be around as long to learn the job. There are going to be a lot of people who have progressive ambition. More people are running who know they aren't going to be very long, they don't identify with it, they are thinking about Congress or corporation commission or the next move. And the void has been partially filled by staff. On the lobbyist side, it seems sort of a mixed message. I think some of the lobbyists who had depended on contacts discovered they are not there anymore and they had to deal with a lot of new people they didn't know, they had to reintroduce themselves to all these new people. They were sort of lost for awhile. But I get from other people I talk to down there that some of these young guys come in off the streets don't know what they're doing and they are being wined and dined by lobbyists and going off on the wrong track. I get confusing stories about what's happening.

>> Michael Grant:
About the impact. I understand the point a little better. Sydney, any value to the institutional memory aspect? You have a veteran who can't have something pulled on him?

>> Sydney Hay:
I must have a much higher opinion than some people do of the people that we're electing these days. I think the lobbying situation has changed. So rather than the old networking and long-term relationships and what have you done for me lately that may have existed in the past is more tell me the substance of your argument and defend the position based on the merits rather than the relationship. I think these are good things and I don't think the concept of a citizen legislature was something thought about 200 years ago and is no longer relevant. It is relevant to have people who have worked a farm, met a payroll, take that kind of knowledge to the legislature, that is much more important to me.

>> Martin Shultz:
I would agree those individuals -- I happen to share your high opinion of many of the individuals elected are qualified for the job. Except for one thing. The specific issue they deal with, the $17 billion budget and the complexities of public education, taxation of growth, these are very complex issues. The teacher who is very smart and talented needs some time in order to learn the business of the issues as does that business person, as does that citizen who comes to the legislature. Under our system I can tell you at least this is my observation supported by the various data, that we're pushing people through the system and we've had unintended consequences that have occurred, people are jumping from the House to the Senate, leadership if they can, they want to be chair men 15 minutes after arriving. These are the unintended consequences.

>> Michael Grant:
I wanted to run that, your side is not winning in our poll.

>> Martin Shultz:
Tell you what. My side is getting an opportunity to at least talk about it.

>> Michael Grant:
Sydney, what about the poll results? Did at least the margin surprise you at all?

>> Sydney Hay:
No, it didn't because it's within margin of error of the same amount it passed in 1992. Every article you see, here or elsewhere, you get all kind of quotes from legislators and lobbyists who don't like it. They don't go out and find the average person who signed the petition, those people have a healthy distrust of the system and it's a good thing.

>> Michael Grant:
We got feedback that the term limits have made the place less decorous, the courtesy and those sorts of things have kind of gone out the window. Are you finding that?

>> David Berman:
We compared our results to what's happening in other place, I think you find a little more of that because people don't have the time or incentive to get to know each other very well. The bonding that used to take place over years is not there. You find, also issues are coming to the surface. Issues are coming to the fore, that wouldn't have happened a couple years ago. You knew you were going to get hit by the leader.

>> Martin Shultz:
I think the new people coming in are quite civil. My concern is just simply, as a practitioner in the field, I've seen it and they don't have the time to learn the job. You wouldn't want to have a dentist; you wouldn't want a doctor or somebody who is a professional that didn't have time to learn the job. These folks are really in charge of issues that impact us. They don't have the time and I think we should have a conversation about modifying term limits in Arizona.

>> Michael Grant:
Marty, thanks for joining us. Sydney, good to see you again. Professor Berman, we appreciate your background.

>> Michael Grant:
If you'd like to learn more about the effects of term limits, please visit the channel 8 website at www.az.pbs.org. Just click on the AZ legislature "A" to "Z" graphic and look for today's date and you'll find links to studies and websites related to term limits. You'll also find complete results from the KAET-ASU poll.

>> Merry Lucero:
How much influence do lobbyists have in crafting and passing our state laws? Get an inside look to find out how lobbyists work and the Capitol reporter on the journalist's view at the state legislature. Wednesday at 7 on "HORIZON".

>> Michael Grant:
Thursday, "HORIZON" looks at how the average Joe can get a bill passed in your legislature. Former Senate president Randall Gnant joins me to talk about what can be a complicated process. And of course a simple process on Friday when journalists join me to talk about the week's news events. Thanks for joining me this evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a terrific one. Good night.

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