By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
ST. LOUIS — U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri, provided a new twist on a recent argument when he said during a Friday debate he would favor repealing the 17th Amendment.
That 1913 addendum to the U.S. Constitution allows state voters to elect U.S. senators rather than having state legislatures appoint them.
“I’m very concerned about states’ rights, and if I were to lean one way or the other it would be leaning going back to repeal,” Akin said during a debate sponsored by Springfield television station KY3.
The repeal of the 17th Amendment and elimination of other laws that move power from states to the federal government are issues advocated by the tea party movement and other far-right conservatives.
The issue came to the national forefront in 2010, with some Republicans advocating a Repeal Amendment to give state legislatures more power. Some Virginia GOP Senate candidates said they were not interested in eliminating the 17th Amendment during a recent debate in Roanoke.
Calling himself a “strong conservative,” Akin said he has “a very serious concern about erosion of states’ rights and reversing this decision might pull that balance back.”
Akin’s two main rivals in the GOP race — John Brunner and Sarah Steelman — said that while they agreed too much power has migrated to the federal government, they were in favor of keeping the 17th Amendment in place.
Supporters say the amendment reduces corruption by reducing the influence of state legislators and gives more power to the public. Opponents say allowing legislatures to pick senators would make them more accountable to their states and reduce the number of unfunded mandates handed down by Congress.