Skip to comments.Miller backs repeal of amendment for Senate elections
Posted on 10/05/2010 1:18:33 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller told a Fairbanks audience Monday that he would back an amendment to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitition.
That’s the 1913 amendment that shifted the job of selecting U.S. senators from each state legislature and required a popular vote in each state.
The issue has garnered support from some Tea Party candidates across the country.
The idea, apparently, is that if senators are selected by legislators, they would be less susceptible to special interests and more supportive of states’ rights.
A Wall Street Journal law blog summarizes the argument this way: “Nowadays, Senate candidates have to raise so much money to run that they become beholden to special interests. But state legislators aren’t as compromised and would choose senators who truly put their state’s needs first.”
Given our experience in Alaska with the corruption scandal, I don’t know how anyone can argue that the Alaska Legislature is in a better position to select senators than the voters of Alaska.
Matt Bai of the New York Times wrote in June that, “Putting Senate seats in the hands of lawmakers would not empower states so much as it would resurrect the old-fashioned American political machine – a condition voters in the Internet age would tolerate for about 10 minutes.”
A Sept. 27 Wall Street Journal blog posting notes that the repeal of the amendment has become an issue in several states.
"A few Republican candidates indicated that they supported its repeal, before changing their minds. That’s not stopped advertisements from Democrats trying to portray those candidates as ‘extreme’ and out of touch," wrote Louise Radnofsky.
In Colorado, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has funded an ad against Republican candidate Ken Buck, saying he “wanted to rewrite the Constitution” to eliminate the direct election of senators. Buck’s campaign says that he reconsidered his position the evening after he made comments in support of repeal at a June 2009 event and that the advertisement was an attempt to distract voters from economic issues.
In Florida, Democratic Rep. Allen Boyd, has a TV ad attacking his Republican opponent, Steve Southerland, for wanting “the Florida legislature to choose our senators for us.”
Southerland was filmed in July responding to a question about the 17th Amendment at a candidate forum; he said that he was concerned at the extent to which the Constitution had been tampered with since the 18th century. “To that question, I’m fine with that. I think that… the more we tinker with those men did, I think the farther we get away from their original intent,” he said.
Southerland’s campaign said the candidate doesn’t support repeal. “Steve believes in the guiding principles set forth by our Founding Fathers, but he has no intention of overturning the 17th Amendment to take away the direct election of our senators,” said spokesman Matt McCullough.
Another Florida ad from Democratic Rep. Suzanne Kosmas says her GOP opponent, SandyAdams, “has some strange ideas,” including repealing the 17th Amendment. The Adams campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
I’m likin” this guy!
I like Joe, and I know he makes liberals froth at the mouth. Don’t worry about the comments on the News-Minor site. Those are from regular posters who are mentally insane and most likely unemployed as a lifestyle choice.
That's the sort of topic better left for after he's been elected.
I agree. We might see Leeeeeeza win this one yet.
Unfortunately, you are right — as is he. Unfortunately, it is too complex a subject to be addressed in the middle of a political campaign. Now, however, he is stuck. So, he needs to keep repeating the short answer, “I’m just saying that I think the Founding Fathers had it right. Their way kept the Senate from being out of touch, spending money like drunken sailors, and raising taxes willy nilly.”
Lisa is not going to win just because Joe likes the repeal of the 17th amendment, most of Alaska is libertarian conservatives and independents, Joe has already said that he’s a libertarian for the most part....this isn’t going to change minds about Princess Lisa.
I recon’ if the states still had a voice in DC we could have avoided much of this mess...
With rare exceptions, nobody more “conservative” than John McCain or Lindsay Graham would ever be elected to the Senate.
At least with the current system, the voters have the option of neutralizing all the special interest money by simply ignoring all the media propaganda purchased with it.
Also, if you think you have earmark problems now, wait until each Senator is beholden to dozens of corrupt state legislators, all demanding pork for their districts and their friends and relatives.
In theory, the Senators would represent their states. In the real world they would represent the special interests and the party bosses even more than they do now.
Miller is a perfect example. If the Alaska legislature picked the Senators a Murkowski would probably hold BOTH seats.
The only upside I see is that it might cause voters to pay closer attention to who they elect to their state legislators.
You’re right, of course. Which is one of the reasons Joe should never have brought it up.
The last polling I saw showed Joe and Leeza neck-and-neck. It’s not as though the election were his to lose.
As it is now the states have virtually no power, they simply dance to the music played by the feds.
What the heck is he smoking?
I completely agree!
The 17th amendment was part of the socialist movement to transition us from a Republic to a Demoncracy.
The talk about eliminating the electoral college is towards the same end.
I am liken this guy more and more.
Actually, I'm not sure there is a "right" answer where Senators are concerned. With direct election vs. legislative appointment, you're pretty much just substituting one set of problems for another. I certainly don't think a change in the way they're sent to DC would have much effect on the tendency of the Senators to act as they do.
The Senators were originally intended to protect States' rights, and they have done the opposite. However, repealing it will be spun as removing power from the hands of voters and putting it in the hands of politicians.
It is meant to provide some protection from the weaknesses of a Democracy as opposed to the Republic that we are supposed to be.
The average voter doesn't even realize that we aren't strictly speaking a Democracy. They grasp that the Senate is a pit of corrupt vipers, but think that making them directly responsible to the voters is part of the solution, not part of the problem.