Northern Virginians Sound Off on the 17th Amendment

If you were shocked by Keith Fimian’s support to repeal the 17th Amendment, you are not alone. Thousands have signed our petition and watched the video. Voters across the 11th district were outraged by Keith Fimian’s extreme position. He has been hiding behind his staff and refuses to change his radical position. Today the Fairfax Connection published two letters to the editor from 11th district voters who are outraged by Fimian’s support for the Tea Party agenda.



To the Editor:


When Republican candidate Keith Fimian debated Pat Herrity on WTOP's "The Politics Program," he stated that "there is merit" to the Tea Party's radical notion to repeal the 17th Amendment and rob the people of their vital choice to vote for U.S. senators. This statement was a blatant effort to win the support of the Tea Party and politicians in Virginia's state legislature, and Fimian's subsequent defeat of Herrity in the 11th District GOP primary makes the choice in November even clearer. Fimian apparently sympathizes with the Tea Party proposition that the people cannot be trusted to speak for themselves. His belief that "there is merit" to repealing the 17th Amendment suggests he would rather listen to fellow politicians and not members of the public.


In his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln never spoke of a government of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians. In November, I will responsibly carry out my right to vote for Fimian's opponent, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11), to ensure that this government remains of the people, by the people, and for the people. We need an independent voice in Congress, one who speaks for our interests, not just another puppet of the Tea Party.


Douglas Englund
Colonel, U.S. Army Retired


To the Editor:


Those who listened to Keith Fimian (R) on WTOP's "The Politics Hour" on June 4 may have noticed that Fimian voiced his support for the repeal of the 17th amendment — a radical proposition that is being espoused by members of the Tea Party. Many listeners, like myself, were shocked that anybody, let alone a serious candidate, would be willing to support such a regressive change. The 17th Amendment, which allows citizens to vote for their U.S. senators, was a major victory for the democratic process. This freedom was considered so basic and uncontroversial that it even predates women's suffrage. To repeal it would be a leap backward to a time when a handful of powerful men could decide the direction of the country without the approval of citizens.


On the air, Fimian admitted to not even knowing why the amendment was passed or when. This should be a red flag to voters. One cannot help but wonder whether his other policies are based on a similar lack of knowledge.


For a candidate who claims to cherish small government, Fimian certainly shows no qualms about giving more power to the legislature, and, worse, doing so by taking it directly out of the hands of voters. He does not trust the citizens of his state to choose their own representatives. Clearly, this is not an issue of party, but an issue of elitism. Fimian and the Tea Party movement wish to turn voters into spectators. Virginians do not wish to watch the political process from the sidelines. I know that this November I will be voting for a congressman who respects my constitutional rights, and especially my power to vote. I will be voting for U.S. Gerry Connolly (D-11).


John Charin

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