I recently stumbled over the website for OpenSecrets.Org, and found the information contained very interesting. I was astonished to learn that one of our candidates for the Senate (the incumbent) has raised 88% of his campaign funds from out of state. I suspect this is not unusual, although I have not checked every race it does seem to be the norm.Interestingly enough, this does not seem to be as big an issue with House candidates perhaps because there are more of them and they get elected for shorter terms.
All this raises the question “Who are they really representing?” It also makes me wonder if perhaps we were done a disservice by the 17th amendment which changed the selection of senators from: “…chosen by the Legislature thereof ….” to: “…elected by the people thereof ….“. The original idea was for the House to be elected for short terms by the people, sort of a populist/federal office, and the Senate to be appointed by the states themselves, thus protecting states rights, since the Senators would serve at the pleasure of the legislature. Is the answer to repeal the 17th amendment? I’m not sure, maybe. Perhaps the answer is in term limits. Again I am not sure. Food for thought though.
Could we just limit out of state spending? Perhaps, but it’s likely that the special interests and PACs would just find a way around the law. They always seem to in the end. Here is the link for those who wish to check this out for themselves. Just click on your state or select on in the box at the right top.