Capitol Connections: Term Limits And Reaching Across The Aisle

Apr 27, 2017

The legislative session wraps up at the state capital building in Helena.
Credit Jackie Yamanaka

As senators who are both hitting their term-limits, Chas Vincent, R-Libby, and Mary Caferro, D-Helena, both agree that as a state with term limits, elected officials must understand and communicate with each other, not only in their own caucus, but across the aisle.

Chas Vincent holds a sign "This family supported by timber dollars."
Credit Jackie Yamanaka

Senator Chas Vincent says that the upper-hand that senior legislators have is the ability “to not personalize policy. You have to separate personality from the policy.”

Vincent says that to try to change term-limits in Montana is “foolish and a waste of time for our body to try and change that, but we still have to deal with it, and how best do we deal with that? I believe that the best way we do that is to invest in each other as a legislature, and that means we need to take the time to sit down and get to know each other.”

Caferro, who is also at the end of her term-limit says that when dealing with members of the opposite party, it’s most important to “talk to them. Understanding what's important to them," as an effective way to get things done. 

Chas Vincent (L) and Sen. Mary Caferro
Credit Legislative Services

They both discuss why they decided to run for office, their activism before running, and what they are most proud of since taking office. 

(Beatles, The Long and Winding Road Let It Be, May 8, 1970 EMI Records, Ltd) You’ve been listening to Capitol Connections. Thank you for joining us.Our theme music is courtesy of the Alex Nauman Trio. You can find this and past programs on our website: Capitol Connections is a production of YPR news. This week on Capitol Connections, 2 Senators – Republican Chas Vincent of Libby and Democrat Mary Caferro of Helena – talk about how their backgrounds in activism led them to seek political office, the lessons they’ve learned, and what’s next as both can’t seek re-election because of term limits.