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Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Loosing Democracy to Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC]

ALEC unveils Const. Amendment to let Gov’s, Legislatures pick US Senators
With a majority of state legislatures in Republican hands in 2010, the GOP redrew the lines giving them huge advantages in Congressional and state legislative races, but a new Democratic surge in response to President Trump threatens to reduce their majorities in several swing states.
To get ahead of that, Betsy DeVos, one of the Trump administration’s best-known cabinet members, will join the Koch brothers this week at ALEC’s conference to pitch a new Constitutional amendment to state legislators: repeal the 17th amendment allowing voters, not governors or state legislatures, to pick their US Senators.
CMD’s first reported on the meeting and the debate:
Now that GOP state legislators have control over 32 state legislatures (both chambers), thanks in large part to partisan gerrymandering, some extremists are preparing to use their clout to gerrymander the U.S. Senate.
This week in Denver, July 19-21, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will welcome Republican state legislators and its corporate funders, including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, K12 Inc., Peabody Energy, and PhRMA, to vote on corporate legislative priorities and create cookie cutter “model” bills in task force meetings that are still closed to the press.
ALEC will welcome U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Newt Gingrich and other Trump loyalists to the meeting.
On the agenda for debate and discussion? A model bill to repeal the 17th Amendment, which established the popular election of United States Senators in 1913.
Previously, U.S. Senators were selected by state legislatures and political party bosses beholden to powerful industries. The corruption scandals erupting from the wheeling and dealing fueled some of the great muckraking investigative journalism of the early 20th Century. In 1912, progressive Republican U.S. Senator Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette campaigned for the popular election of U.S. Senators as a means of cracking down on political corruption and corporate control of the democracy. Reformers introduced direct primary elections, ballot initiatives, and recall votes, in the same time period.
Now right-wing extremists want to roll back the clock to enable Republican state houses and Republican governors to hijack at least 10 U.S. Senate Seats held by Democrats in Republican trifecta states, and force an ever more extreme agenda through Congress.
The “Draft Resolution Recommending Constitutional Amendment Restoring Election Of U.S. Senators To The Legislatures Of The Sovereign States” is scheduled to be debated by ALEC’s Federalism and International Relations Task Force in Denver.
The resolution reads in part:
Section 1. The seventeenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. Senators shall be elected exclusively by the State legislature, upon a majority vote of legislators present and voting in a joint session. If a vacancy shall exist for more than one hundred-eighty days, then the Governor shall appoint the Senator to serve the remainder of the vacant term. This procedure may not be modified by state initiative or referendum.
One only needs to examine the electoral map to understand why ALEC is pushing for a repeal of the 17th Amendment now.…/alec-unveils-const-amendment-to…/
Junior Broadhurst

Must Read via Richard at PC United
First, election of Senators by state legislatures was part of the original Constitution ( Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2). It was changed in 1913 with the ratification of the 17th Amendment. So direct election of US Senators has only been the practice for just over 100 years. One of the reasons it was changed was that appointments to Senator seats by state legislatures had become a political payoff system with direct bribes of state legislators being wide spread.

Second, ALEC and Republican state legislatures are already pushing for an Article V convention to amend the Constitution. The current push of the Article V convention is in order to introduce and pass a Federal balanced budget amendment, which has the potential to be a fiscal and economic disaster for the country. Only 34 states are needed to call for an Article V convention. As of March 2017, there were already 28 states that had passed resolutions calling for a Constitutional Convention. Several other states were expected to introduce Article V resolutions this year.

If an Article V Convention is called, it opens up the way for a complete rewrite of the Constitution, not just amendments for a balance Federal budget or restoring election of Senators by state legislatures. In theory, it could open up the Constitution to being rewritten to include restricting the vote only to white property holders, restore treatment of blacks and other minorities being counted as 3/5 of a person, prohibiting abortion and same sex marriage, elimination of all income based taxes, elimination of all social programs including Social Security and Medicare, eliminating anti-trust provisions and eliminating all regulatory agencies including food and environmental protections. An Article V convention would give ALEC and wealthy corporate interests the chance to not just move the USA back to the beginning of the 1800s, conceptually, but to impose a new Constitution that would convert the USA from having one of the most progressive Constitutions in the world to instead having one of the most regressive Constitutions in the world. It could effectively make income inequality and oppression of minorities and the poor a constitutionally mandated system.

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