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Lobbyist nightmare

Perhaps lost amid Sen. Harry Reid’s quixotic remarks to the Legislature this week about banning rural brothels were his equally tone-deaf comments about term limits.

“These restrictions don’t limit terms, they limit our ability to move forward,” the Democrat told Nevada lawmakers during his Tuesday address.

The senator was referring to the state’s voter-approved constitutional amendment, which over the past two years has finally started to thin out the old growth in state and local governments . He argued the law is wiping out vast amounts of institutional knowledge in the Legislature and elsewhere.

But considering the bang-up job our federal and state career politicians have done steering the ship over the past few decades, Sen. Reid’s idea of “moving forward” without any turnover in representation sounds downright dangerous.

Sen. Reid and others who oppose term limits like to claim that such measures let seasoned lobbyists run roughshod over inexperienced legislators. But aside from entrenched incumbents, what group of people hates term limits the most? The lobbyists, of course. They have no desire to build new relationships from scratch.

The public overwhelmingly supports term limits as the only way to extract partisans from “safe,” gerrymandered districts that let incumbents play to the most extreme elements of their base.

But Sen. Reid is pretty sure of himself. So we have a suggestion: Why doesn’t he use his considerable clout and resources to launch an initiative petition to repeal Nevada’s term limits?

That he instead asked lawmakers to undermine the will of the electorate says everything about the chances of such a campaign succeeding.

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