Shaun Kenney agrees that our current legislative model isn’t working—as I wrote about recently—but proposes basically the opposite solutions as I: shorter sessions and no pay. It’s sort of the opposite of the free market approach. Shaun also coins the phrase “argumentum ad Jeffersoniam,” which I intend to repeat long and often enough that I come to believe I invented it, and start claiming credit for it.
Shaun is right about one thing: this would be a serious discussion in Virginia’s blogosphere before August 2006.
I agree with neither Shaun nor yourself. I disagree with Shaun’s prescription, for eliminating compensation would only allow the wealthy or those with explicit business/corporate financial support to run and hold office (and I am sure those providing the support would expect something in return). I disagree with you because more money never made anyone more honorable.
The best solution is for both parties to police their own members (please stop laughing), and voters to police the lawmakers as well (I asked you to stop laughing). Then when the GA passes non-partisan redistricting in 2010 all the lawmakers can vote for increased salaries and stricter ethics rules because none of them will expect to be back January 2012 due to competitive districts.
Like Waldo, I fail to see how paying them $17,640 changes that argument much.
Is this boy Kenney supposed to represent conservative intellectual prowess? Because after too many words and wandering logic he ends up at this jackass statement.
Here’s the short version: “I’m a conservative ideologue, I hate representative government and want to see it replaced with really smart nobles like me who know what you need. Thomas Jefferson agreed with me so you know I’m right.”
Wouldn’t the more nearly correct contrived Latinization take the masculinized accusative suffix, as in ad Jeffersonium rather than the feminized Jeffersoniam?
“Personally, I would shorten the seeino. And I’d reduce every delegate’s and senator’s pay to zero and cut their staff to nothing. Why? Because I do believe that public service is just that — a service to the public.”
While I have legitimate fears about a delegate’s ability to keep track of every other delegate’s little pet projects and bills (especially with a shortened session reducing the amount of time they have to read it all), I nevertheless feel some guilty pleasure in picturing a state delegate reduced to handling his own constituent services.
Having no staff would be a disaster. I can’t see any way that’s plausible. A legislator’s office is a small business, and a business needs to have a staff sufficient to serve its customer base. That would last about a week.
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