December 2021 Newsletter
· As if Lobbyists & Big Donors don’t already have Outsized Influence in our Elections
· FEC and SCOTUS Welcome Foreign Power over American Elections
· Article V News
· Who Said It?
As if Lobbyists & Big Donors don’t already have Outsized Influence in our Elections…
Nothing has brought Republicans and Democrats together in these divided times like the Federal Election Commission’s July ruling that permits foreign money in American ballot campaigns. Described as “jaw-dropping” by MSNBC, the ruling comes in response to a citizen-initiated referendum to further regulate certain kinds of mining activity in Montana. A Canadian subsidiary of the Australian company Sandfire Resources financed an opposition campaign to the ballot measure. In a 4-2 ruling, the Commissioners reasoned that referenda are not elections and are therefore not subject to federal election law. Though the FEC did not specifically address other kinds of referenda, this decision likely opens the door to foreign influence in highly consequential ballot measures like constitutional amendments and congressional redistricting. Our friends at Wolf-PAC have prepared a detailed legal and constitutional analysis of the problems posed by Washington’s interference on this issue (below).
FEC and SCOTUS Welcome Foreign Power over American Elections
“A cornerstone principle of federal campaign-finance law is that foreign nationals are barred from directly or indirectly making a contribution…or an expenditure, in connection with a federal, state, or local election.” — Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub, Statement of Reason for Dissent in Sandfire Resources, Federal Election Commission, MUR 7523, October 29, 2021
Although Congress can fix the Sandfire ruling with ordinary legislation, Supreme Court decisions like Americans for Prosperity v. Bonta and American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock make any fix Congress might pass impossible to enforce. The Court has proved an unreliable ally of representative democracy, destroying the ability of states and of Congress to protect our Republic from foreign powers and special interests. Only a constitutional amendment can overturn such rulings from the Supreme Court.
Article V of the Constitution provides a way forward, as the people through state legislatures can call a convention to propose just such an amendment. This route is perfectly safe, as any proposal must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. As a very likely scenario, Congress would be forced to propose such an amendment should we approach two-thirds of the states making the call for an Article V convention.
Article V News
The second Article V Academy is underway in San Diego (on December 1). We’ll have a full report next month.
Wolf-PAC will be hosting their 2021 Virtual Warrior Workshop on December 4. Guests include Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig; Nina Turner, Founder and Managing Director of Amare Public Affairs; and former New Hampshire State Senator Jim Rubens of American Promise. Participants may register for this free event HERE. Donations are gratefully accepted at the registration page.
Convention of States Project secured its latest high-profile endorsement from Rubin Report host Dave Rubin. “We need a new, better solution to federal overreach…Article V of the US Constitution allows the states to call for a Convention of States. This is not about politics: it’s about actual solutions.” Watch his remarks HERE
Micah Beckwith has taken the helm as Indiana State Chair for US Term Limits. “Term limits will help end the era of career politicians and ensures that Congress works better for all Americans.” Read more HERE.
On November 8, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney introduced a resolution rescinding all Article V applications passed by the State of New Jersey. SCR161 cites concerns of a “runaway” convention and its progress may be followed HERE. If you would like to join the effort to oppose this move, please contact Samuel Fieldman, Wolf-PAC National Counsel at email@example.com.
In Wisconsin, SJR58 was passed by the Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection. The resolution calls for an Article V Convention for the purpose of setting the number of Supreme Court Justices at nine. Its progress can be monitored HERE.
A group of state legislators from across the country are launching a caucus focused on the Tenth Amendment. Their first project is a letter to the White House demanding the vaccine mandates be lifted. Details of the letter and a website where citizens can also join in the demand can be found in an article published by Newsmax.
Legislators who want to sign the petition can email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 803-250-1135.
Who Said It?
“Corporations…are fast becoming the people’s masters.”
President Grover Cleveland
State of the Union Address