Posted by | May 15, 2010 17:38 | Filed under: Top Stories

The Seventeenth Amendment calls for the direct election of senators, rather than having the states appoint them. Radical states-rights tea partiers want to take that right away from the people and have state governments appoint its national senators. That is quite bizarre, given that these are people who claim the want less government and more individual freedom. And some Republican candidates who tried to suck up to tea partiers by signaling that they favor the “Repeal The 17th” movement, are now walking back those views.

Supporters of the plan say that ending the public vote for Senators would give the states more power to protect their own interests in Washington (and of course, give all of us “more liberty” in the process.) As their process of “vetting” candidates, some tea party groups have required candidates to weigh in on the idea of repeal in questionnaires. And that’s where the trouble starts.

In Ohio, Steve Stivers (pictured, right)– the Republican attempting to unseat Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in the state’s 15th District — came under fire from Democrats when it was revealed he had checked the box saying he would repeal the 17th Amendment on a tea party survey…

Upon sobering up from drinking too much tea, Stivers now says he checked the box by mistake. “I made a mistake,” he said…”I answered that question wrong. It was not intentional.” Never mind that he also supported repeal in a January interview.

Similarly, Idaho Republican Vaughn Ward (left), who is trying to out-conservative Raul Labrador for the Republican nomination for a Congressional seat flip-flopped on the issue.

On April 30, Ward told a TV audience in Boise that he, like Labrador, favored repealing the 17th Amendment. But after the issue drew some heat in the press, Ward thought better of the idea and changed his tune.

“I do not want to take away the power of people to elect senators,” Ward told the Spokesman-Review newspaper. “What I do support is amending the Constitution and adding a two-term limit for U.S. senators.”

Ward said “I’m not changing position, I’m clarifying,” but reporters in Idaho called it like it was. One columnist put it this way: “Um, no.”

But here is already support for overturning the amendment in established GOP circles.

Tim Bridgewater, the man who got the most votes at the Utah GOP convention that ousted Sen. Bob Bennett, says on his website that he’d support rewriting the constitution to put the power of choosing Senators in the hands of the states. And Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has actually put forward legislation that would repeal the amendment.

So much for power to the people.

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By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.