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.
The direct election of Senators has led to an elite class in American politics.
A combination of state legislative appointment and term limits WOULD keep the Senate answerable to the state legislature.
And state legislative districts are so small that those legistlators are regularly seen by their constituents. It doesn’t take a fortune to overthrow one, given the relatively limited size of a state legislative district.
As a conservative living in California, all I can say is “No, no, no!”
Direct election of our senators is the only way a Republican (let alone a conservative) could ever be elected from this state.
If our idiotic, uber-liberal State Legislature had that authority, all our Senators would be as insanely left as Babs Boxer (and there would never be a single one with an R behind their name).
“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.”
Nice in concept, but it won’t do what they want. I lived in a state that for years had a legislature controlled by liberal democrats while the people still sent conservative republican senators to Washington. If the legislature had of picked Senators, they would all be liberal democrats.
People often vote differently on “local” reps than they do “national” ones.
What is a better idea is to put term limits on Senators and Representatives to stop intrenched incubents.
That close polling data was an outlier poll and a joke...Miller is well ahead over the Dem and Lisa,
Instead, I would propose term term limits for senators. Two at most. And pension paid according to time served.
I would also propose that no senatorial campaign can accept money from foundations, companies and businesses not founded in and located in the senators state and no money allowed from people not living in the State. Period.
Any senator who moves into a job after leaving the senate that is attached to a company that contributed to his campaign would have to forgo the federal senate pension.
Nothing can be accepted from lobbyists, including lunches, dinners, vacations, services of any kind. The only time a senator would be permitted to entertain lobbyist would be IN HIS OFFICE and it would only be for a stated period of time for this kind of push each week. This would open a LOAD of time for the senators to actually take actual calls from folks in their states, would allow them actual time to read the damn bills, and would allow for a lot less corruption.
I can accept that. So, let's figure out a way to correct the problem.
The idea behind the appointed Senators was to defent the interests of their state. How about the Senate set become a political appointment of each state governor. It could be similar to a cabinet position. He reports to the governor and serves at the will of the governor. Governors are already high-profile positions. Increasing his/her responsibility would not make the position more political.
That would effectively give the governor a dictatorial/monarchical power, regarding the appointment of Senators. I would prefer that the legislatures do it, provided that we’ve broomed them a few times first.
Agreed. Obviously it’s risky business either way, but how happy are we now when a governor chooses a replacement and we have no say until the next election? I doubt Kennedy’s seat would’ve gone to Brown.
I’m for it.
——————I would approact it a different way. I would never support the idea of a small group electing a senator. I like having a say. A vote as it were.-—————
This comment is ironic from someone with the username of “republic”.
The only point of the senate originally was to give the states a say; it was a part of the check and balance system.
You have a say. The US house of reps.
Most of the founders knew that democracy didn’t work, which is why senators were sent from the states.
-———————Instead, I would propose term term limits for senators. Two at most. And pension paid according to time served.
I would also propose that no senatorial campaign can accept money from foundations, companies and businesses not founded in and located in the senators state and no money allowed from people not living in the State. Period.-—————
The unintended consequences of directly elected senators.
Here is the real key to the 17th amendment. The progressives wanted it, and they wanted it real bad.
They wanted it for specific reasons. I’m sure you realize what those reasons are, the question is, will you enumerate those reasons?
You laid that out very well.
Now for the main reason-----evasive responsibility tactic?
No, actually it’s a lousy idea. Were this the case, Scott Brown and a plethora of southern GOP senators would never have been elected. Reagan would likely not have had a senate majority nor would he have had any of his conservative nominees confirmed; Jesse Helms would never have been a senator. I’d go on but you get the point.
Repeal the 17th
Electoral seats to be awarded on a per congressional district system. The two “state” electorial seats goes to the winner of most seats in a state and to the candidate that received the most votes.
Balanced budget by taking last years total spend, divide it in half Part A - Divide by 50 = Senate cost - is distributed to each state. The second half Part B - Divide by 435 = House cost - is distributed to each state according to the number of congressional districts in that state. Each state then decides how best to collect monies from it’s citizens to pay the tax bill. States which don’t pay lose their votes in Congress.
No pay for any Senator or Congress member if after Oct 1st there is no passed budget. Budgets which spend less than the prior year require simple majority of both houses. Budgets that spend more but less than the rate of inflation, require +4% (or 55% of both houses). Budgets that exceed the rate of inflation require +9% (or 60% of both houses). If no budget passed by Oct 1st, prior years budget is used.
Adopt Gold Equivilant Oz measure of the total value of US Federal unfettered assets each cenus based up the average spot price of gold for the prior year. Congress then sets the official gold exchange rate and can not delegate.
These five create a self correcting feed back loop to reduce long term spending.
—————I guess that is a challange. Let me first say that the rampant corruption done on a statewide, voter system is no les than the corruption that can occur with the small group sending a senator. -————————
It’s just as big a problem on a state level as it is on a national level true, but when (most of)the states start having fiscal problems their senators would be feeling the heat a lot sooner than they do now. They’ve gotten to be so reckless, even in the eyes of the voters. They just don’t care what we think.
But even your most ardent elitist takes the opinions of their peers more seriously. And IIRC, the recall options are easier to trigger by state representatives than they are by voters.(which is probably the best part)
There are reasons why James Madison chose these form of checks and balances, not to mention every one of the other founders. They all frowned upon democracy. The founders in general and Madison in particular were very well read on past governing styles. If they didn’t want it, I don’t want it.
-—————Now for the main reason-——evasive responsibility tactic?———————
That’s one. The ‘main’ reason would be hard to peg.
But perhaps I’d do better to simply point out words from america’s first democratically elected dictator, Woodrow Wilson: (Obama isn’t america’s first chavez. IMHO. Neither was FDR)
============For it is very clear that in fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members.=================
Woodrow Wilson’s “new freedoms” may not sound so bad on the surface, but for anybody who’s read Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”, new freedoms and liberties and civil rights are something that’s as talked about in dictatorships as it is in free societies. But what the ruler really means is that HE wants to be set free.(in this case, freed from the shackles of the COTUS)
With all that in mind, the insidiousness of the 17th amendment starts to come into clearer view.
BULL****..... Give politicians the power to choose my U.S. Senator. When pigs friggin’ fly!!!
SAY IT AIN’T SO JOE.
There are Freepers I miss on the boards here on FR. Some have moved on, some left in snits :^), some passed away and others just drop in occasionally. You remind of a couple. I will be watching for comments made by you in the future as I am sure others already do.
( P.S. I wish I could hug every single one of those boisterous, dramatic, brilliant, sincere and dedicated men who began, with just words, to craft one of the most important documents in the history of the world. Surely God was looking over their shoulder.) Thanks again -I believe the amazing part of your name :^)
You aren’t very bright, are you?
Wow, you know more than the Founding Fathers.
Politically, this wasn’t very smart, but he’s absolutely right. It really boils down to this: Do you believe the Founding Fathers or Woodrow Wilson?
The founding fathers were wise but not infallible. They recognized their own fallibility and made it possible, though quite difficult, to amend the Constitution.
Would you have us return to slavery, no vote for women and have whomever comes in second in the presidential election become VP (what do you supposed the life expectancy of Republican presidents would be under the founding father’s original design - 15 minutes?)
There is a saying that a person can be judged by the amount of or the degree of reaction from his or hers enemies.
Joe Miller is doing all the right things, he already has a hate fan base in Anchorage the liberal nirvanaville of Alaska.
-——————In all of the years I have been a member of Free Republic, I do not think I have ever had more elegant response in a discourse with another freeper.——————
Well, I appreciate that. Though, if you catch me on a bad day I can be as brash as anybody else. :-)
-—————Maybe one or two perhaps, but none so instructive.—————
I just hope you will use it as a springboard to look into the progressives of the past.
Progressives today will never tell you the truth, even behind closed doors they are sometimes guarded in the things they say.
But that’s not how it was back then. Early 20th century progressives were remarkably honest about things by comparison.(which is why it’s so instructive to study them)
I am incredibly threatened by these progressives, so I’ve taken to studying their predecessors so I can help those around me to know what’s going on. There are so many answers........ to questions you may not have even thought of asking.
Once you start digging, this rabbit hole is so so deep.
And even tho we all 'get it'-I want to know the details of the progression of this insidious drive to strip us of our self-determination. Mostly because I want to not only promote my ideals, but I want to be able to speak with knowledge about trends that were a firm warning to our grandparents, then parents, then all of us as to where we could end if we are unable to muster the wisdom and will to face it head on.
The end game of what is going on in our nation right now is truly horrific and difficult to envision because of the nightmare it induces. This is not drama, just fact.
We all do. I won’t pretend to say that I’ve read every speech, every book, or overturned every proverbial rock.
And what’s worse, is that a large portion of progressive books from the early 20th century are still under copyright. Only books published prior to 1923 are freely downloadable online.
What I do know is that we’ve all got to do our part, because we aren’t going to get help from anybody else, especially the media.
Oh please, now you’re sounding like a liberal. Any time you tell a lib you’re an originalist, they pull out the slavery card. As far as women not being able to vote, Ann Coulter is in favor of that. It was women who gave us Jimmah and Bubba. You do realize it was the Progressives early in this century that gave us the 17th Amendment. Over the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that they were wrong about virtually everything. The original purpose of the Senate was to represent the interests of the states while the House was to represent the interests of the individual citizens. Now, we essentially have 100 prostitutes running around the Senate. Well, maybe only 90 or so. I’ll exempt DeMint, Coburn, Inhofe, Sessions and maybe a few others.
I apologize for being rude. Just because you’re incorrect on this issue doesn’t mean you aren’t otherwise quite intelligent because I’ve found most people on here are. I’m basically at the point where I have a knee-jerk reaction against anything the Progressives of the early 20th century supported. I feel that the 17th Amendment took rights away from the states and made us less of a republic and more of a democracy. Direct election of senators is almost akin to mob rule.
I’m at a loss for words.