June 2017 Newsletter

by | Jun 2, 2017 | AVC Newsletter

Official Invitations Sent Out for the Arizona Convention
•        2017: A Good Year for the Convention of States Project
•        BBA Effort Dealt Setbacks
•        George Soros Focuses on Killing Article V Efforts
•        New A5 Report: BBA and CoSP are 81% and 46% There
•        Caucus Site Adds Links to More Resources
•        Federalism Course at UVU is Free
•        NTLC President Champions the Trump Budget
•        Puerto Rico Offers a Lesson in Excess Government Debt
•        Senator Tom Coburn Releases Smashing the DC Monopoly
•        New Research Paper Issued by Rob Natelson
•        Is the ERA on the Verge of Full Ratification?
•        Coming Events That Impact Article V & Federalism

Official Invitations Sent Out for the Arizona Convention –
Arizona House Speaker J. D. Mesnard and Senate President Steve Yarbrough have issued formal invitations to their counterparts in the other 49 states to appoint delegates (also known as commissioners) to join in the first national convention of states since 1861.

The invitation “respectfully calls a planning convention of the states, consisting of commissioners chosen and authorized in the manner that each respective state legislature determines or, if no manner is determined by a state legislature, selected jointly by the majority leadership of each legislative chamber of that state, to convene initially at twelve o’clock noon on September 12, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona for the limited purposes of: (a) Planning for, and recommending rules for and procedures to, the prospective convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution, (and) (b) Recommending to Congress: (i)  The criteria for determining the initial date and location of a convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment, (and) (ii)  A specific initial date and location of a convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment.”

The campaign to bring about a BBA-focused Article V convention is the movement closest to reaching its goal.  Speaker Mesnard noted, “It appears it is likely the necessary 34 states will approve resolutions for a balanced budget amendment convention.  Since an amendment convention has never been held, it is both prudent and necessary the states make formal preparations so the amendment convention is orderly and deliberative.”

In the history of America, states have seldom convened in formal national conventions.  States have never convened in an Article V amendment convention.  State legislators convening from all across the nation to plan for that first Article V convention is a truly historic event.  Exercising the powers under Article V to propose a Constitutional amendment will be one of the strongest ways to assure restoration of federalism in this dual-sovereignty nation.

State legislators who want to be part of this historic event should immediately contact their Senate President or House Speaker and ask to be appointed as a commissioner from their state.

2017: A Good Year for the Convention of States Project –
Thus far the Convention of States Project (CoSP) proposal has been adopted by four states during 2017.

On May 4 the Texas House approved SJR2 by a vote of 94 to 51.  It had earlier been approved in the Senate by a vote of 20 to 11.  Governor Abbott had made passage of the bill a high priority.  Adoption of that resolution made Texas the 11th state to apply for the limited multi-subject Article V convention.

Then on May 12 the Missouri House adopted resolution SCR4 by a vote of 90 to 41.  A month earlier the Missouri Senate had approved the bill by a vote of 26 to 7.  Earlier in their 2017 sessions, Arizona and North Dakota adopted their similar applications.  The recent actions in Texas and Missouri brings to 12 the number of states calling for the CoSP sponsored convention of states application.

CoSP workers continue to work with legislators in Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.  The CoSP campaign has received a lot of good publicity over the past month, including stories on Fox News‘ Bret Baier Special Report; WABI-TV in Bangor Maine; KFAB Buck Sexton Show, Omaha, Neb.; and C-SPAN… and in NewsMax Magazine;  Washington Times; PostBulletin, Rochester, MN; Statesman, Austin Texas; Dallas-Ft. Worth; Catholic Online, and numerous other publications.

BBA Effort Dealt Setbacks –
The Balance Budget Amendment campaign, led by the BBA Task Force, has been the target of Common Cause and it’s cohorts during the 2017 legislative season.  The Task Force started 2017 with resolutions/applications supporting a single-subject BBA-focused Article V convention in 28 states.

Although both Wyoming and Arizona joined the effort during 2017, over the past few months the disinformation fog disseminated by Common Cause and it’s far-left and far-right fellow travelers persuaded Maryland, New Mexico and (during May) Nevada legislators to rescind their decades-old BBA applications.

If Wisconsin legislators can find their way through the aggressive anti-Article V blather being pedaled by these masters of fear and falsehoods, there is a good chance the Badger State will bring the number back to 28 out of the 34 needed to activate an Article V convention of states.

It appears that activist-billionaire George Soros is funding the effort to keep states from using the powers given to them in the US Constitution.  Meanwhile both Democrat and Republican state legislators are seeing beyond the deceptive tactics being employed by the anti-Article V gang.

For instance, in Illinois grassroots activist Vickie Deppe has recruited a bipartisan group of 21 Democrat and 28 Republican state legislators to co-sponsor HJR32, the Convention of States Project application in that state.  Read about Ms. Deppe’s lessons in Article V statesmanship as an approach to building bipartisan support for the use of Article V HERE.

George Soros Focuses on Killing Article V Efforts –
“George Soros appears to have fixed his eye on a new enemy – a proposed Article V convention,” reports  The article documents efforts by Soros-funded Common Cause and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities attacking the endeavors to call an Article V convention.  It stresses that most of the 230 organizations which joined Common Cause in issuing a statement opposing the use of Article V are funded by Mr. Soros.

The article points out that “David Super, a Georgetown law professor who served as general counsel to Soros’ Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has also attacked the idea of an Article V Convention through op-eds in multiple major media outlets.”

It is said that ‘repetition is the power that bends truth’.  The Soros-backed groups are using their power and financial resources to repeat their messages of misinformation everywhere they can… trying to bend the truth about the tool America’s founders provided to state leaders.

In the article Former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is quoted describing the Soros-related groups as “socialists and Marxists and elitists, and they would like to see the government control everything rather than individuals have liberty and freedom, and they do not want any power devolved from Washington because they can have better control over it there.”

Read the entire WorldNetDaily story HERE.

Article V Report Says BBA and CoSP are 81% and 46% There –
David Guldenschuh, Article V activist and publisher of the periodic “Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report” released his most recent report on May 21.  A copy of the one-page summary report can be seen HERE

Guldenschuh notes that during 2017 at least 175 pieces of Article V legislation were filed in 41 states.  He points out that “Despite all the educational efforts that have occurred over the past 7 years, the runaway convention propaganda promoted by Common Cause, the John Birch Society, Eagle Forum and others continues to scare too many legislators away from exercising their Article V constitutional authority. Nobody ever said it would be easy, and the fight must go on if we are to preserve our nation’s constitution and heritage.”

Article V Caucus Site Adds Links to More Resources –
The comprehensive Article V Resource and Research site sponsored by the State Legislators’ Article V Caucus which was announced last month has already added another 15 links and modified its directory page to make it easier to use.

The free site can be accessed HERE.  Included are scholarly papers and articles to combat the reams of misinformation being churned out by misinformed journalists and Article V opponents.

Online Federalism Course at UVU is Free –
During May Utah Representative Ken Ivory issued a reminder about the Utah Valley University course on Federalism.  In 2014 the Utah Legislature’s Commission on Federalism, in cooperation with Utah Valley University (UVU), assembled the nation’s leading scholars to teach the principles of federalism in schools, to the people and to local, state and national leaders.

The UVU Center for Constitutional Studies includes a one-hour course, taught in series of six videos (followed by a quiz) taught by top federalism scholars.  The free course is available to all legislators, attorneys and the general public by clicking on the “Federalism Curriculum” tab.

Ivory noted, “as government expands, liberty contracts… government expands to the limit that it is checked and that left unchecked, government expands limitlessly.  To counteract this natural tendency, the founders grounded the Constitution on an indispensable structure of limits, divisions, and independent checks on governing power.”

NTLC President Champions the Trump Budget –
Lewis K. “Lew” Uhler is considered the dean of the BBA movement.  He worked for Ronald Reagan when Reagan was California Governor, and assisted Reagan while President on tax, spending and budget policies during the Reagan Presidency.  Lew was active during the 1970s and 80s when the earliest efforts were underway to bring about a BBA-focused Article V convention.

Lew is the president of the 40+-year-old National Tax Limitation Committee (NTLC).  During May Lew reflected on the recently released Trump budget.  He declares, “Trump’s budget proposal will balance the budget and reduce federal debt as a share of GDP through several key – and obvious – strategies.”    

He says, “Pundits are challenging the Trump team’s assumptions that tax and spending reform can drive annual economic growth rates to 4% and beyond.  They need only to look at Kennedy/Reagan history to learn the truth.  The Reagan recovery included years of 5%+ economic growth.  Tax rate reductions did not result in revenue loss because the economy grew so rapidly.  Federal revenues actually doubled during Reagan’s eight years in office.”

Read Mr. Uhler’s views on the Trump Budget proposal HERE.

Puerto Rico Offers a Lesson in Excess Government Debt –
The May 16 edition of the Wall Street Journal carried a story about what happens when a government keeps spending more that its income.  Both citizens and bond-holders are set to feel the pain.

The article, entitled “Puerto Rico’s Debt Lessons” reports that the commonwealth has $48 billion in unfunded pensions on top of $72 billion in bond debt.

The pain will be bad for Puerto Rico citizens. Over the next decade the current fiscal plan reduces government spending by 28%, higher education spending by half, and health-care expenses by 30%. All public employees will have to move to 401(k)-style retirement plans, and retiree pensions (which average a mere $14,000) would be cut by 10%.

The article claims, “Puerto Rico will have to cut taxes on investment, rationalize welfare programs that deter working, and pare back labor protections that make France look like Hong Kong.”  Read the entire article HERE.

Senator Tom Coburn Releases Smashing the DC Monopoly
Former US Senator Tom Coburn (OK) has just released his new book Smashing the DC Monopoly dealing with why he believes an Article V convention is essential.

Coburn entered Congress with the hope of finding better controls on the federal government… believing that without finding and implementing them America was doomed.  This book is about Coburn’s quest.  After studying alternative concepts he concluded that Article V held the key… the only key to getting the federal government under control.

The book chronicles Coburn’s very active involvement in the Convention of States Project.  His book can be ordered HERE.

New Research Paper Issued by Rob Natelson –
“How We Know a National Amendments Convention Is a ‘Convention of the States’” is a new article by Rob Natelson that was published by on May 18.

This is the Article V scholar’s latest review of the historic facts that support the conclusion that “a convention of the states” provided for in Article V of the Constitution is a known type of assembly with clear parameters.  Find the paper HERE.

Is the ERA on the Verge of Full Ratification?
As reported in last month’s edition of this newsletter, during April the Nevada legislature purported to ratify the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).  Now Illinois legislators are considering joining them.

According to the May 1 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Illinois Senator Heather Steans is the chief sponsor of what the Bulletin labels as SJRCA4, a bill that would unite Illinois with Nevada in long overdue ratification efforts… becoming the 36th and 37th states of 38 needed to formally enact the proposal that started in 1972.

The original ERA ratification deadline was March 22, 1979 (later extended by Congress to June 30, 1982) by which time only 35 states (of the necessary 38) had ratified the proposal.

Proponents of the ERA believe that there should be no time limit placed on the ratification of any Constitutional Amendment, and therefore passage by Nevada, Illinois (and possibly Virginia) will fully ratify the ERA and add it to the Constitution.

Read the full Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article HERE.

Coming Events That Impact Article V & Federalism –
Dates to plan for:
July 19-21
44th Annual Meeting – American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – Denver –
Hyatt Regency Hotel.  Keynote speakers: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Steve Forbes.  More info HERE.
July 21-23
Western Conservative Conference – Sponsored by the Centennial Institute – Denver – Convention Center.  More info HERE.
August 6-9
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit – Boston.
Monday, August 78:45 AM Session – “What Would It Take to Balance the Federal – Budget?”  More info HERE.
September 12-15
National Convention of States to Plan a BBA-focused Article V Convention
Arizona – Hosted by the Arizona legislature.

Who Said It?

“Power in America is divided first between the national government and the states,
and then subdivided amongst the branches of government at each level.
This sharing of power between a central government and the many individual states is called federalism and lies at the heart of the Constitution.
We sometimes forget that the founders saw America as

‘a sovereign nation of many sovereign states’.”
Colorado Congressman Ken Buck, page 132 in his new book Drain the Swamp