To all citizens seeking clarification on Glen Bradley’s position on the 17th Amendment, establishing the popular election of US Senators.
The direct mail and television attacks from my opponent are a distortion of my position on the 17th Amendment. In the original text of that platform page (which remains unedited from the original) clearly contrasts the repeal of the 16th Amendment, the reform of the 14th Amendment and the repeal or reformof the 17th Amendment.
The 17th Amendment was passed to address corruption when a man in Montana paid his State House $10,000 a head to elect him Senator. The corruption was in the State House, where it is possible for voters to rally a district and fire a State House Rep.
Today, the winning candidate is most often the one backed by the most special interest money.
The avenue of US Senate corruption was taken away from the State Legislatures and handed to the corporate lobby.
The corporate lobby is able to buy the media needed to reach the whole State. Now, your best hope of unseating a favored Senator is to vote down the CEO of a giant corporation. The 17th Amendment actually made it more difficult for an electorate to send a corrupt incumbent home.
Now despite our troubles, incumbents enjoy a 95% re-election rate.
To restore an informed process to electing US Senators, we need to work from smaller lobbies. That’s why I support a popular caucus model for US Senate election. Set up precinct caucuses in State House and Senate districts, and then hold town hall caucuses on your US Senators by district. Through these caucuses, select representatives to an electoral college equal to all State House and Senate districts to elect the US Senator.
The idea of reforming the US Senate election process, is to put more of the decision into the hands of the electorate, and to tie down the corruption of corporatism that threatens the integrity of our process today.
It should never have become an issue in 2010
I don’t expect the State or Nation to even be in a position to address the 17th Amendment for another 10 years, and to show support for term limits I have pledged to serve only three terms in the NC State House.
People who study the Constitution are aware of the issues arising from the ratification of the 17th Amendment, and as a constitutionalist I was letting others in the field know where I was on that debate. Honestly I didn’t expect 17th Amendment discussions for another 10 years. We have to stop the bleeding before we can set the bone. Before we can even stop the bleeding, we have to get the victim off the highway.
Having never been a politician, I accept full responsibility for any lack of clarity in explaining my position in the first place, and I hope this clarifies where I stand.