UPDATE: This article has been updated to note MIRS reports a Hoekstra spokesman said Hoekstra has “never exerted any energy” on the 17th amendment repeal issue.
LANSING, MI – Democrats are criticizing Republican Pete Hoekstra for his comments earlier this year related to whether U.S. senators should be elected directly by voters.
The publication Roll Call on Monday reported that Hoekstra has said he supports repealing the 17th amendment, which allows for the direct election of senators by popular vote.
Prior to the 17th amendment, which was ratified in 1913, U.S. senators were chosen by state legislatures.
Roll Call says Hoekstra, a former U.S. congressman from Holland, faces an “uphill climb” to beat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November. The publication rates the Hoekstra-Stabenow race as “likely Democratic.”
Michigan Democratic Party chairman Mark Brewer calls the Hoekstra position “shocking” and “out-of-the-mainstream.” Brewer also said the stance is hypocritical, since Hoekstra is asking voters to support him in November.
Hoekstra easily won last week’s U.S. Senate Republican primary, setting up a November matchup against Stabenow in the November election.
In a statement Monday, Hoekstra campaign spokesman Greg VanWoerkom said Democrats were trying to create a distraction.
“It is clear that Democrats will do anything to distract from Sen. Stabenow’s failed economic record,” VanWoerkom said in a statement. “People are ready for real solutions that will get Michigan families working again and that will be Pete Hoekstra’s focus as Michigan’s next Senator.”
MIRS — the Michigan Information Research Service — quoted VanWoerkom as saying Hoekstra has “never exerted any energy” on a push to repeal the 17th amendment.
Roll Call said that Hoekstra has explained his rationale for repeal as a states rights issue. A repeal of the 17th amendment also would be a move back to the original provisions of the Constitution.
Stabenow is seeking her third term in the U.S. Senate. Stabenow supports keeping the 17th amendment in place.
You can read the rest of this article at: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/08/hoekstra_stabenow_michigan_sen.html