Sen. Russ Fulcher is offering lukewarm support for a divisive tea party tenet — repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ratified in 1913, the amendment provides for the direct election of senators by the people rather than by state legislatures. “I see the argument of that and I’m sympathetic to it,” the challenger to GOP Gov. Butch Otter said in an interview with the Statesman editorial board Tuesday. “I’m a little bit cautious in trying to make that a priority.” Earlier, Fulcher affirmed his support of repeal as part of his wholesale agreement with the Idaho Republican Party Platform. Fulcher attached a note to the survey, adding, “I believe there is room for legitimate debate regarding repeal of the 17th amendment.” Returning the power to elect senators to legislatures is a key issue among some tea party followers, a wing of the GOP Fulcher counts on for upsetting the two-term governor. Otter opposes repeal/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
DFO: I simply can't think of a loonier plank than the one in the Idaho GOP platform that calls for the repeal of the 17th amendment. That may play in Tea Party circles. But you will never -- ever -- get a single state to OK the repeal of this amendment. Take the vote away from the people in the election of U.S. senators. Absolute nonsense. Thoughts?