is harder for a poor man to enter the United States Senate than
for a rich man to enter Heaven.
critiquing the Senate as a "millionaires club"
as it was adopted in 1788, made the Senate an assembly where the
states would have equal representation. Each state legislature would
elect 2 senators to a 6-year term. Late in the 19th century some
state legislatures deadlocked over the election of a senator when
different parties controlled different houses, and Senate vacancies
could last months or years. In other cases, special interests or
political machines gained control over the state legislature. Progressive
reformers dismissed individuals elected by such legislatures as
puppets and the Senate as a "millionaires club"
serving powerful private interests.
response to these concerns was the "Oregon system" which
utilized a state primary election to identify the voters choice
for senator while pledging all candidates for the state legislature
to honor the primarys result. Over half of the states adopted
the "Oregon system," but the 1912 Senate investigation
of bribery and corruption in the election of Illinois Senator William
Lorimer indicated that only a constitutional amendment mandating
the direct election of senators by a states citizenry would
allay public demands for reform.