Miller’s ’17th Amendment’ comment draws criticisms

—Posted by Rod Boyce, News-Miner managing editor

News-Miner reporter Chris Freiberg writes about reaction to GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller’s statement Monday night that he supports repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment stripped state legislatures of the power to elect senators and made the position one of direct election by the people.

Excerpts from Freiberg’s story:

Opponents of Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller, were on the attack Tuesday after he suggested that senators should be elected by state legislatures rather than by popular vote.

Blogs from the Huffington Post to the Washington Post quickly seized on the comment. A Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog posted the story with the headline “Tea party candidate boils over.”

Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto did not return multiple calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Reaction from the other two leading candidates was as follows in Freiberg’s story:

Republican write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski: “We have seen Joe Miller take some extraordinary positions in this campaign, but I never imagined he would support disenfranchising himself and every other Alaskan,” Murkowski said in a statement. “Joe is no longer content with simply taking away federal support for Alaskan families, now he wants to take away their right to select our United States senators.”

Democratic candidate Scott McAdams: “This is just one more example of how Joe wants to repeal the 20th century and hurt Alaska. Alaskans embrace their power to elect their candidates — Joe should know that — that’s the American — and the Alaskan way.”

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