Should Legislature Choose U.S. Senate Nominees?

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This session's Nutty Idea No. 1,387 cleared the Senate State and Local Government Committee today. Springing from the bizarre brain of Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Hollow Stump somewhere near Strawberry Plains, this bill ends party primaries for the U.S. Senate and gives the power to choose nominees to the legislature's Republican and Democratic caucuses.

"Everyone agrees that Washington’s broke and it’s not going to fix itself," Niceley told the committee. "Under this plan, if we could nominate, pick a good man or a good woman, that we knew would work with us, I guarantee when we sent a resolution they would at least acknowledge that they got it and would probably answer it or tell us something. I don’t think it’s much of a overstatement to say the future of the free world kind of depends on getting Washington under control. We’re the parent. Washington’s the child. We created Washington. They didn’t create us. The founding fathers in their wisdom gave us the power to jerk their chain."

What's the real motivation here? Republican right-wingers who dominate the legislature are looking for a way to pick one of their own as their party's Senate nominee, ending the dominance of party squishes like Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander who are tough to beat in statewide elections.

If this bill were to pass the legislature, which it won't, it wouldn't take effect until after the 2014 elections.

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