Today, Bill White, former Houston mayor and democratic candidate for governor, is calling for gubernatorial term limits as he challenges Governor Rick Perry for the top job in Texas.
Perry is currently the state’s longest-serving governor, having spent ten years in the office. If he wins in November, he’ll serve another four years. He’s never mentioned how long he plans to keep running for office.
White is touting his plan as a “solution to excessive centralization and special interest power in Austin.”
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison had a similar message when she was running against Governor Rick Perry in the republican primary
In a media statement White said, “Texas needs term limits to avoid excessive centralization of power in Austin and the use of power by special interests to entrench a governor in office,” said Bill White, in supporting a referendum on whether to limit the governor to two four-year terms.
“Perry’s use of board appointees as a political fundraising machine demonstrates the need for term limits, which are in effect for the governors of 37 out of 50 states,” said White.
“The public deserves to know from Rick Perry, not some spokesperson, whether he supports or opposes term limits for governor, and whether he supports letting voters decide,” said White.
It didn’t take long for Rick Perry’s campaign to respond to White’s call for term limits. Perry’s spokesman Mark Miner called White a “hypocrite” and said White has flip-flopped on his position from a statement made to the media in November 2009:
From the Texas Tribune:
In November, amid Hutchison’s call and the ongoing discussion in Houston, the Tribune asked White about the concept of term limits. “Voters always have the right to limit the term of an elected official by voting them out of office, but some believe that there is a reasonable feeling that incumbents become too entrenched and lose accountability,” he said. “Voters should take into account that experienced elected officials are often in a better position to hold bureaucracies accountable, against their [voters’] desire to make the political process more competitive with term limits.”
(SOURCE: “Bill White Calls for Gubernatorial Term Limits,” Texas Tribune, 8/31/10, http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/2010-texas-governors-race/bill-white-gubernatorial-term-limits/)
“It is unfortunate that Bill White doesn’t trust the people of Texas,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Just last November Bill White was against term limits, but now in a desperate attempt to save his struggling campaign he is proposing term limits. The people of Texas want a leader, not someone who wakes up in the morning and argues with the mirror about which way the political wind is blowing. Governor Perry has been consistent in believing Texans should determine who they want to serve in public office.”