21 May 2010

 

How Did State Legislatures Spend Their Time Prior to Passage of the 17th Amendment?

It only takes a modicum of interest in the history of these United State to know that prior to passage of the 17th Amendment, state legislatures spent an undue amount of time trying to figure out who would be the U.S. Senator from that state, sometimes to the detriment of those legislatures fulfilling other roles assigned to them by their state constitutions.

Repeal of the 17th Amendment would accomplish at least two things: (1) It would tie up legislatures in electing U.S. Senators, as was s.o.p. prior to its passage; and (2) It would make the cost of electing Senators equal to the cost of influencing a very small number of people, 50%-plus-one of the several legislatures. Contrast that now with the situation where buying influence for election of a Senate seat is cheap in low-density, cheap-media states like Wyoming and the Dakotas but extremely expensive in states like New York, California, etc.

This whole "repeal the 17th Amendment" issue just reeks of big business looking for a cheaper way to buy influence in the Federal government while sealing the deal with legislators in the states, which is where a vast array of regulation actually takes place (in contrast to what some would have you believe about the over-regulation at the Federal level). It is very difficult for me to believe this is some grass-roots issue swelling up from frustrated citizens.

My TP friends: I believe you're being snookered.

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