Arizona Tea-Publicans want to negate the Seventeenth Amendment


Here we go again … the Tenthers and Secessionists in the Arizona Legislature want to negate the Seventeenth Amendment (popular election of U.S. Senators) and return the selection of senators to the Arizona legislature.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Panel okays proposal for state lawmakers to tap U.S. Senate nominees:

Claiming they’re being ignored by John McCain and Jeff Flake, Republican state legislators took the first steps Tuesday to allowing them — and not the voters — to choose who gets to run for the U.S. Senate.

On a 6-3 party-line vote, members of the House Committee on Federalism, Property Rights and Public Policy approved a  measure which would give lawmakers the power to nominate Senate candidates. Legislators from each political party would choose two nominees for each open seat, with the four names going on the general election ballot.

HCR 2022 now goes to the full House. If it gets approved there and by the Senate, the change would have to be ratified by voters in November.

In essence, the proposal would partly return Arizona to the way things were prior to 1913 when U.S. senators were chosen outright by the legislatures of each state, with no popular vote at all.

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution overruled that, providing for direct election of senators in the same way voters get to choose members of the House of Representatives. But Rep. Travis Grantham, R-Gilbert, said nothing in that amendment requires a popular vote to determine who gets to be on that general election ballot.

Grantham argued that his measure would bring Arizona back closer to the original intent of the Founding Fathers who wanted the Senate to be not only a check on the popularly elected House but also to be responsive to the states and their lawmakers.

That argument hit a responsive chord with Rep. Noel Campbell, R-Prescott.

“Does anybody think that Sen. Flake and Sen. McCain pay any attention to the Legislature of this state?” he asked.

“I think not,” Campbell continued. “They don’t talk to us, they don’t consult us, we’re irrelevant to them.”

Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, agreed that the state’s U.S. senators pretty much ignore state lawmakers.

“I’ve called a number of times to try and get help,” he said.

“I don’t even get a secretary,” Finchem explained. “I get a voicemail that says, ‘We are currently not taking any more messages.’ ”

But that’s not the only problem Finchem has with the current method of choosing senators.

“The purpose of the Senate and the way it was originally constructed was to exempt it from the passions and the emotions of the people,” he said.

“What we have now is 100 panderers,” Finchem said. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve got trillions of debt.”

So these Tea-Publicans are pissed that Sens. McCain and Flake do not return their calls. Maybe the problem is you and your craziness. Sounds like a personal problem to me, not one that gives rise to denying Arizona citizens their constitutional right to select their candidates for the U.S. Senate by popular vote in a primary election.

Kill this bill!


  1. Rep. Mark Finchem is a member of the Coalition of Western States (COWS). This group is made up of a few legislators that came together during the Bundy standoff in 2014. They keep their membership secret from public viewing. but we know the names of the original leadership.
    Their goal is to take over Public Lands and bring the Posse Comitatus into power at the County level.

  2. ‘They’ complain about not getting calls answered? Try living in a rural county and having to live with the East Valley Cohort shoving their cultist extreme golden age fantasies down to you. Imagine a legislature balancing budgets by forcing locals to pick up the tab for state responsibilities. Or if the Feds took dedicated streams of money like HURF and used it to guard Mara Lago from the peons… Karma.

    What happened to the party of local control?

  3. You just cannot make up this level of stupidity. The 17th Amendment was partially in response to blatant corruption in many State legislatures Senatorial selections. In Montana big mining industrialists bought Senators. In some States the Liquor industry bought Senators. Some historical interpretations have the idea that the direct election of Senators was essential to the national prohibition effort because so many state legislatures were controlled by the liquor industries. I am sure in this State the dark money Koch/Goldwater/DeVos interests would love to buy senators like they have bought the governors office.

  4. Very wealthy Republicans have wanted to repeal the 17th for decades, because they miss the good old days when corrupt people appointed corrupt Senators.

    The GOP isn’t even pretending to work in the interest of their constituents anymore.

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