Political Animal


August 13, 2012 5:39 PM Vote For Me, Though I Wish You Couldn’t

By Ed Kilgore

I don’t know exactly what it is with Arizona Republicans these days, but likely Senate GOP nominee Jeff Flake has achieved a whole new level of weirdness: appealing for votes even as he supports the idea of taking the vote away in U.S. Senate elections. As TPM’s Nick Martin reports:

Jeff Flake, the Republican Arizona congressman who is running for U.S. Senate, would prefer if the voters of his state didn’t have the chance to cast a ballot for him this year.
Instead, he said at a recent campaign stop, he wishes the Arizona legislature, which is dominated by a Republican super majority, would get to choose who represents the state in the Senate.
Flake made the comments last week in response to a question at an event in Payson, Ariz. The local newspaper, the Payson Roundup, first noted the response on Friday.
In doing so, Flake came out alongside hardcore Tea Party candidates who favor the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which was adopted in 1913 to let voters pick their senators. But even some Tea Party candidates have said repealing the amendment would be a step too far for them.
On Monday, Flake’s campaign spokesman Andrew Wilder told TPM in an email that the congressman isn’t outright calling for repeal. His position represents little more than a fantasy.

Well that’s reassuring: Flake isn’t actually proposing taking the vote away from Arizona citizens; it’s just something he dreams about late at night.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Diane Rodriguez on August 13, 2012 6:12 PM:

    Michigan is a gnat's eyeball away from that by negating elected officials and installing an appointed city manager at the discretion of the Governor. Hopefully, Michiganders will reclaim their democracy in November. More of Republican style "freedoms" whereby they really mean their freedom to remove any they don't like.

  • ComradeAnon on August 13, 2012 7:05 PM:

    Why don't all the Arizona republicans practice this and not vote in the Senate race. You know what they say, practice makes perfect.

  • Renai on August 13, 2012 7:24 PM:

    The Lemming Party voting in their own lemmings...there wouldn't be another free thought in America, at least for anyone making less than a million dollars.

  • POed Lib on August 14, 2012 8:38 AM:

    Keep him in office forever, that's for sure. Carmona may yet surprise him. AZ may be in play, thanks to Ryan.

  • ET on August 14, 2012 11:39 AM:

    I guess that means he doesn't like the 17th Amendment.