Rumble in the Office: Justin vs. Vanessa

I was sitting at my desk last week when a fight broke out between Justin and Vanessa. There was yelling and  throwing of office supplies, doors were slammed and alliances were formed.  I sat by as the paper clips whizzed by my head and thought, “how did this happen?” And then I opened my email.

Two words: Term limits.

Turns out that Justin is against them and Vanessa is for them and all of this chaos stemmed from an article in the Los Angles Times, “Study Upends Term Limit Theory”. I read both the article and the study itself and was conflicted; I see both sides and feel like I need to learn more.

But, “what does this mean for tobacco control,” I wondered? 

Well, terms limits can have an impact on those legislators who fight for tobacco control…or those who are notoriously against it. I think that with District Days quickly approaching, the impact legislators have on the work we do is on our mind here at The Center, and may have added fuel to the fire in the argument between Vanessa and Justin.

So instead of allowing this fight to continue in such an unprofessional manner (I mean how many paper clips do I need to pluck out of my hair before I’ve had enough?), I called for a debate.

Justin vs. Vanessa.

Pro vs. Con.

Mano a mano.

Over the next two days, on Center’s Stage, we will see two posts starting with a pro-term limit post from Vanessa and followed by an anti-term limit post from Justin.

We will need you to weigh in in the comment field of our blog to help ask questions and challenge each side – think of it as a virtual town hall meeting but for all of California.

So tell me, are you up for the challenge? Will you join the debate?

Erin Reynoso


  1. Bill Hall
    Posted Aug 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I am for term limits. I also have to back my man Justin, strictly on the bro rule #3651.247 of the bro code.

  2. Serena Chen
    Posted Aug 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    The problem is with an unengaged electorate. Without voters who pay attention, we’re stuck with elected officials who become complacent and make self-serving decisions. For those of us who remember, the term limits vote was actually a backlash against the stranglehold that one long term politico had in Sacto. He blocked every piece of tobacco control legislation during his tenure.

  3. Vanessa Marvin
    Posted Aug 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Totally. I feel like the unengaged electorate and the tons of money being spent in Sacto are the bigger problems. Getting rid of term limits (as some are proposing) won’t even begin to solve all of the problems w/ the legislature.

  4. Vanessa Marvin
    Posted Aug 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    By the way… Am I the cat or the dog in that photo? 🙂

  5. Justin Garrett
    Posted Aug 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I think the dog is a much better representation of someone who is against term limits

  6. Derek
    Posted Aug 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few years. It seems all our politicians are thinking about their next step since they know their career might be over after they are term limited out. The result seems to be that we lose some pretty great elected officials just because of a rule intended to “mix things up.” In our local experience, there often isn’t a next branch for a good local politician to swing to after they are termed out of their current office.
    I know there are plenty of great things about term limits, like forcing out politicians we don’t like. But the other side of the story is losing really excellent, experienced people who know how to work within the system and create compromise with colleagues. I think the revolving door system for politicians might be partly responsible for the toxic environment between legislative colleagues we seem to see at all levels of government now. Is there any evidence that legislative bodies are less productive with term limits? I feel that they are, since they hardly get to know the system and don’t seem to have strong personal relationships with colleagues anymore.
    Who knows the answer to this, but it seems highly unlikely to me that voters would ever overturn a term limits law.

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