In a fiery op-ed published in several Texas newspapers tdoay, State Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) calls for term limits for statewide elected officials and, without mentioning him by name, escalates his ongoing feud with Gov. Abbott, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Think of a current elected official who represents the polar opposite of your political beliefs. Now, imagine that person occupying the Texas governor’s office for decades," Larson writes.
Abbott is widely expected to win a second term as governor in November.
"That exercise can be just that, or it could be a reality if the Legislature fails to enact term limits on state officeholders. As we have observed in the past, allowing the same individual to serve as governor creates a consolidation of power by virtue of state agency board and commission appointments that has proven to be problematic."
Larson and Abbott tangled in the last session of the Texas Legislature, when Abbott proposed a bill to strip the governor of his or her time-honored authority to appoint major campaign donors to powerful offices, particularly the University of Texas and Texas A&M System Boards of Regents. Abbott's bill would have prohibited the governor from appointing individuals to key boards and commissions who had donated more than a certain amount to the governor's campaign.
Not only did Abbott retaliate by vetoing two key water related bills sponsored by Larson, but Abbott used money from his very significant campaign warchest to bankroll a candidate who unsuccessfully challenged Larson in the March Republcian primary.
In his opinion article, Larson blasts conservatives who 'claim to want to drain the swamp' and minimize government's role in the lives of citizens but also want 'to hold onto political power into perpetuity.'
Larson calls for three 4-year terms for governor, lieutenant governor, and other statewide elected officials and two 6-year terms for railroad commissioners, a maximum of six 2-year terms for Texas House members, and a maximum of three 4-year terms for a Texas Senate member, totaling 12 years for each.
Larson is calling on the Legislature to place the term limits proposal on the Constitutional amendment ballot in 2019.
Larson also obtained the disfavor of movement conservatives in the Legislature through his close association with retiring House Speaker Joe Straus. Larson and Straus have been friends all their lives.
Larson is a former member of San Antonio City Council and the Bexar County Commission. He was elected to the Texas House in 2010, so he has two terms left under the proposal he is sponsoring.