AMENDING the state constitution to enact term limits for the Legislature similar to those already imposed on the governor has supporters and detractors.

While there are valid points on both sides, you wouldn't expect a politician who, in the dark of night, voted to raise his own salary to have the audacity to oppose giving the public some form of constitutional protection against politicians who cast votes and exploit the benefits of office in an attempt to remain in power indefinitely. But that is exactly what takes place in Rep. Daylin Leach's "Don't dumb down the Legislature" op-ed (April 24).

Rep. Leach tries to generate fear by implying that term limits undermine the democratic process. The truth is that formal term limits have been intertwined with democratic forms since the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. In our own country, term limits have roots that go back to our founding. The advocates among the founding fathers include Washington and Jefferson. And it is contemptible that Rep. Leach would refer to Thomas Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Madison as "career politicians." Unlike many in today's Congress and the state Legislature, these men were not "career politicians." They did not seek to enrich themselves through their public positions nor did they entrench themselves into office for decades. They were lifelong public servants, who by serving in a variety of positions imposed voluntary term limits on themselves.

The sole reason for term limits is to have a defense mechanism to curb the potential for corruption and abuse of power by elected officials Rep. Leach fails to recognize that if we had leaders in our legislative bodies who acted solely in the public interest and at the highest level of ethical behavior, we wouldn't even be discussing limits.

Many of today's politicians (most of whom are voted in by a minority of the citizens they represent) tend to approach their tenure like a tick does a dog, attaching themselves with no intent of ever letting go.

Michael D. Rotz, Bridgeport