By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 at 2:17 pm in California Legislature.
Several election experts cited in a Sacramento Bee story today agree with former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla’s opinion that a term-limits measure on the Feb. 5 ballot — Proposition 93 — could allow him and termed-out legislators to return to Sacramento.
I wrote in my Sunday column about how Canciamilla may challenge in court — if voters pass it — the proponents’ contention that the measure specifically excludes lawmakers who have already termed out.
Canciamilla served six years in the Assembly and say that Prop. 93 would allow him to serve a total of 12 years. (See my column for details on how the measure would change the law.)
Bee reporter Shane Goldmacher contacted several election law experts who concurred with Canciamilla’s interpretation:
“I don’t see any basis for saying a person who has previously served six years is precluded from serving another six years,” said Daniel Lowenstein, an election law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who helped write the state’s Political Reform Act in the 1970s. “It is quite clear.”
Richard L. Hasen, a professor who specializes in election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said that while the measure “may have been written to provide a specific rule for current members, it does not appear, on its face, to limit already termed out legislators” from returning to the Assembly.
This throws an interesting curve at Prop. 93.
If sitting legislators are allowed to seek re-election, why not allow all those termed-out lawmakers another shot at Sacramento? Let me know what you think.
Photo of Joe Canciamilla as it appeared on www.halfwaytoconcord.com on Feb. 7, 2007