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Eye On Boise

House dumps 17th Amendment repeal measure that cited ‘pettifoggery’

Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, proposed a resolution to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution this morning that was so wildly worded that the House State Affairs Committee voted 13-6 against even introducing it; that's the amendment that authorized the voters to elect U.S. senators, rather than have them appointed by state legislatures. Nielsen claimed he worked with Gov. Butch Otter on the wording and that the governor supported it, something the governor's office couldn't immediately confirm. Check out Lewiston Tribune reporter Bill Spence's blog post on the matter, which is entitled, "Pettifoggery and populism prevail." Among the choice phrases in Nielsen's  resolution on the results of the amendment that was ratified in 1913:

"Numerous tyrannies, including, among other things, the imposition of unfunded mandates and the threat of withheld dedicated funds owed the States by either the unresponsive Congress or the arrogant bureaucracy;" "The electoral process for choosing a United States Senator has devolved into a chaos of pettifoggery, populism, bribery, cronyism, demagoguery, outside influences and outside money that unfairly favors the rich or connected;" and "A Senator no longer is responsible to his State, nor to the populace that elected him."

Nielsen's resolution also called for convening a meeting of "the several states" in Boise on Sept. 17, 2011, to take action if Congress failed to act on the call for 17th Amendment repeal.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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