The voters in Hillsborough County limited county commissioners to two 4-year terms in office. County commissioners skirt the will of the voters by switching from one county commission seat to another, what is referred to as "musical chairs" on the county commission. According to the county's lawyer, this resets the clock, allowing a single person to continually occupy a seat on the commission for an unlimited term, merely by switching from a district seat to a county wide seat and back again. This makes a mockery of term limits.
Thirty-five years ago, when I graduated from West Point and accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, I swore to uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The U.S. Constitution begins with three words: "We the people...." Those are three important words, because our founding fathers intended for "we the people" to serve in elected office, representing our neighbors.
Term limits serve a useful function, providing an opportunity for "we the people" to serve in local government. Otherwise, experience shows a corrosive influence of paid professional politicians and big donors with business before government. This leads to a culture of corruption, which makes a mockery of elections and erodes trust in government.
My opponent has raised more than $450,000, more than any other candidate, largely from developers, contractors and big corporate interests with business impacted by decisions made by county government. "Tax-Happy" Hagan, as I call him, is the "poster politician" for term limits! Just watch him for yourself in the video to the right.
A 16-year career county commissioner, with his deep pocket corporate cronies, can skirt campaign finance laws and outspend any challenger, getting elected and reelected again and again. Enough is enough! "We the people" want our public servants to serve the public, not their big donors and corporate cronies.
The answer is simple. Term limits for Hillsborough County Commissioner should allow politicians to serve for a maximum of two consecutive 4-year terms on the county commission with no exceptions and regardless of the district or county-wide seat held by the politician.
Term limits are popular with voters, because term limits prevent just the type of too-cozy relationship between professional politicians and big money donors that "Tax-Happy" Hagan exploits. Taxpayers have paid him more than $1.3 million in salary over his 16-year career as a county commissioner. How does he keep getting reelected? Tax-Happy Hagan says that politics is a science, but it's less a science and more like "politics as usual."
Ken "Tax-Happy" Hagan
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Chris Paradies, Republican, for Hillsborough County Commission, District 2
Chris Paradies Campaign, PO Box 340611, Tampa, FL 33694