Ratifying a Myth

A Maryland Democratic state lawmaker wants Maryland to finally ratify the 17th amendment—direct election of senators.

“It’s time for all friends of the 17th Amendment to stand up and be counted,” said state Sen. Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor who plans to introduce legislation this week to ratify the amendment…

Raskin sees parallels between the fight mounted 100 years ago by progressives who pushed the amendment as a way of preventing big businesses from buying senators through their state legislators and today’s debate about the influence of corporate money in political campaigns

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“We are dealing with a lot of the same issues that come out of mixing money and politics,” Raskin said. “We should reaffirm the work of our forebears who prevailed over corporations.”

Prevailed over corporations? Or just exacerbated the very problem they ostensibly sought to remedy.

Campaign finance data for Maryland’s two current directly elected senators appears to burst the bubble of good professor Raskin’s progressive sanctimony.

According to Open Secrets, the top campaign contributors to Barbara Mikulski include Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Constellation Energy, Honeywell, General Motors, Raytheon and Boeing, and of course the ubiquitous unions and trial lawyers.

Ben Cardin’s top contributors (including his time in the House of Representatives) include large health insurance companies–weren’t they opposed to Obamacare?–Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young, MetLife, and same as Mikulski labor unions and trial lawyers.

Remember big business loves big government.

Senator Raskin should spend less time trying to calling up the ghosts of progressivism’s past and more focused on fixing the problems he and the rest of the movement’s contemporaries have wrought on our state.

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