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Stivers advocates repeal of the 17th Amendment

From the Department of Colossally Stupid Ideas comes the Tea Party's quest to repeal the 17th Amendment, which provides for direct popular election of U.S. senators. And it has support from Republican candidate for the Ohio's 15th Congressional District, Steve Stivers.

Stivers said in a 9-12 Project questionnaire last year that he supported repealing the 17th Amendment. He reasserted that same position in a January 2010 interview with The Hill. And in a January news story, Stivers was receptive to the idea of repealing the amendment, calling it a states' rights issue.

Here is Stiver's unconditional answer in his response in the Tea Party questionnaire:

Under the original Constitution, U.S. Senators were chosen not by the people, but by state legislators. By the early 1900s, bribery and corruption by corporate interests became widespread among state legislators and backroom deals effectively drove the selection of U.S. Senators. As Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar writes in America’s Constitution: A Biography, the 17th Amendment, which provided for the direct election of U.S. Senators by the people they represent, had the effect of improving legislative accountability at both the state and federal levels.

A May 31, 2010, NYTimes Op-Ed mentions Stivers' almost immediate flip-flop --- Stivers now claims he didn't really mean it when he called for an end to Senators elected directly by the people they represent:

Around the country, Tea Party affiliates and some candidates have been pressing for repeal — though there also has been a lot of hasty backtracking by politicians once the voters realized the implications. .... Steve Stivers, the Republican candidate in an Ohio Congressional race, said he wanted to repeal the amendment, until his Democratic opponent, Representative Mary Jo Kilroy, made an issue of it, after which he seemed to back off.

Stivers also “disagrees” with the statement that global warming is a scientific fact and that catastrophe will ensue if carbon emissions aren’t lowered. In addition, he suggests that any of the federal departments not mandated under the Constitution — everything except State, Defense, Justice and Treasury — could be eliminated to return to a “constitutionally pure government.”

Imagine repealing away voting rights that citizens of the United States have enjoyed for nearly a hundred years --- the right to vote directly for one's representative in the U.S. Senate.

Countdown's Keith Olbermann weighed in on 17th amendment repeal: As he says, "Don't tread on me -- just take away my vote!"

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