It was a bit lost in the hubbub over rules and credentials fights, but the platform committee at the Idaho Republican Party convention in Moscow today voted to remove one of the most controversial planks in the party’s platform: The one calling for repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would have the effect of doing away with direct election of U.S. senators and instead letting state legislatures choose senators. “I was the one who made the motion,” said Rep. Brandon Hixon, R-Caldwell, a delegate from Canyon County. “It passed the committee. Now it will go to the general assembly for a full vote.” That’ll happen on Saturday.
Dan Cravens of Bingham County proposed the change, saying under the current platform, the Idaho GOP is advocating removing Idaho voters’ ability to re-elect GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch. “The adoption of the language advocating the repeal of the 17th Amendment has placed a burden on Republican candidates throughout Idaho,” Cravens wrote in his proposal. “Candidates that agree to accept the tenets of the Idaho Republican Platform are forced to accept and defend the notion that the voters of Idaho, or any other state, should not have the right to elect their U.S. Senators.”
Hixon said, “Idahoans want their voices to be heard. … I can’t imagine taking the voting power away from all 1.6 million people in Idaho and giving it to just 105 people in the Idaho Legislature to elect our United States senators.”