- Assembly of State Legislatures Plan Denver Meeting
- New Newsletter Focuses on Article V
- Eagle Forum Elects New President
- ‘Typhoon’ Lou Is An Energetic Voice for A5 Efforts
- Tea Party Express to Campaign for BBA-focused A5 Drive
- George Soros Discovered as Funder of Anti-A5 Efforts
- An Update on State-by-State Article V Legislation
- An Update on Specific A5 Campaigns
The Executive Committee of the Assembly of State Legislatures has announced that its next meeting will be held in Denver, Colorado. The meeting will be held June 12 through 14 at a location yet to be selected.
This will be the 4th Assembly meeting since its founding session in Mount Vernon on 12/7/13. The other meetings were in Indianapolis, Indiana and Washington, DC.
While in Denver, the legislators expect to firm up proposed (suggested) rules for a future Article V Convention, with the hope of adopting a final draft at their fall meeting in Utah.
For more info on the Assembly, go to: www.theassemblyofstatelegislatures.org/
New Article V Newsletter Launched –
Citizen Power is a new Article V-focused newsletter that was launched earlier this month. It is being operated by 250 More… a Colorado-based group whose purpose is “to see that our nation remains great for at least 250 more years.” They work in cooperation with the State Legislators’ Article V Caucus. While the Caucus newsletter is aimed at readership by state legislators and citizen supporters of Article V, Citizen Power is aimed toward general population readership.
Those interested in subscribing to the new free e-mailed monthly publication can sign up by clicking here: http://www.250more.org/join-250-more
Eagle Forum Elects New President –
For decades, one of the most vocal opponents of using the provisions of Article V has been Eagle Forum, led by Phyllis Schlafly. According to the February 2 edition of the Missouri Times Union, outgoing Missouri Republican Chairman Ed Martin has been elected the new President of Eagle Forum. Martin is the first person other than Schlafly to be president of the group. Schlafly, 91, will remain as chairwoman and CEO.
Martin, 44, of St. Louis, said he hopes to help push a “pro-family” agenda that includes a defense of marriage only between a man and a woman, opposition to the Common Core education standards, and a focus on the nation’s illegal immigration policies. He has not given any indication of his position on Article V.
‘Typhoon’ Lou Lauded for His Article V Work –
Lou Marin, also known as Typhoon Lou of, recently made one of his energy-filled presentations to the South Carolina Tea Party convention, about the need for using the powers of Article V.
An attendee at that presentation reports, “before I heard his presentation, I had ZERO faith that a Constitutional Convention would be anything BUT a ‘runaway’ one, with the crazies in control. I was dead-ass ignorantly ill-informed.” He went on to say, “after he got done filling me in, I see this as the LAST HOPE for the country.”
Lou is one of the leaders of I Am American, a group doing grassroots support work for the BBA Task Force resolution. They are also working on an Article V campaign for a “Fair Tax Amendment” to repeal the 16th Amendment (abolishing the income tax and requiring a new tax system).
As the writer said, “Lou is willing to go to ANY state not yet on board… AT HIS OWN EXPENSE, and present to ANY GROUP, ESPECIALLY TO STATE LEGISLATORS, because once they hear from Lou that this is the country’s LAST & ONLY HOPE, they IMMEDIATELY VOTE FOR THIS ARTICLE V CONVENTION.”
Lou can be reached at Tlou@IAmAmerican.org, or by phone at: 321-228-2800.
Tea Party Express Announces Support for BBA Campaign –
According to The Hill.com, the Tea Party Express is launching a national campaign to push for a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution via an Article V convention of states. The announcement was released on 2/9.
Statements credited to Tea Party Express leaders included: “Congress’ historic shortcomings in passing a Balanced Budget Amendment have forced our hand. It’s time for America to unite around the Article V Convention to cap federal spending once and for all.” And “With only ten more states needed to call an Article V Convention, we’re ready to launch a national campaign that mobilizes citizens in 15 targeted states so we can achieve the necessary 34 states to get a Convention called.”
See the whole story here.
George Soros Uncovered as Funder of Anti-Article V Efforts –
During the various Article V campaign efforts in Montana the past few weeks, a memo to legislators surfaced that purported to advise them on how to lob softballs toward speakers against Article V opponents (like JBS folks) while avoiding questions to knowledgeable Article V proponents.
The memo came from the Montana Budget and Policy Center, a spin-off of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities… which is heavily funded by George Soros.
Among other things, the message said: “We strongly urge committee members to AVOID talking about a balanced budget amendment, instead focusing on the lack of certainty in calling a convention. We also strongly urge that you resist asking Rob Natelson questions and instead direct your questions to the John Birch Society.” Then the memo offered soft questions to pose to the Article V opponents.
State-by-State Article V News –
Idaho: Legislators in this state are considering an Article V-related delegate limitation act called the “Idaho Limited Convention Act”. On a 12-3 party-line vote, with Democrats dissenting and Republicans voting in favor, the House State Affairs Committee approved the measure. The bill was introduced by Rep. Lynn Luker. It now goes to the House floor.
The bill does not call for an Article V convention, but sets out procedures for appointing Idaho’s delegates to such a convention, and declares that they can’t vote on any amendments other than those Idaho would outline in its application for a convention.
Reportedly Idaho Speaker Scott Bedke has taken it upon himself to invite Ohio Gov. Kasich to visit his legislature to promote the BBA bill. As of 2/13 no date had been set.
Montana: State Rep. Matthew Monforton, sponsored HJR4 (a BBA-focused resolution) in the Montana House where it passed out of the Judiciary Committee (12 to 9) on 2/11. Vote on the House floor was not scheduled as of our deadline.
Montana Rep. Hill introduced HJR3 (the Wolf-PAC proposal seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision). A hearing for HJR3 has not yet scheduled. The Convention of States (CoS) proposal started in the Montana Senate where the Judiciary Committee tabled (killed) the bill by a vote of 10 to 2. Reportedly the CoS folks made a very professional presentation, but the heavy influence of Eagle Forum and the John Birch Society prevailed. See story above.
New Hampshire: This state doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do. It currently has five Article V-related bills in House committees. The most talked about is HCR1… a bill to rescind all Article V resolutions adopted by previous sessions of the NH legislature. New Hampshire passed a BBA-focused Article V application in 2012.
Meanwhile NH legislators are considering HCR2, the Wolf-PAC bill… HCR3, calling for a CoS-type Article V convention… HCR5, a resolution calling for a Countermand-focused Article V convention… HCR6, a variation of the BBA application for an Article V convention… and HCR7, a resolution affirming states’ powers (not an Article V resolution). All of these bills are currently assigned to House committees and have yet to go to the Senate.
North Dakota: Five House members and six Senators co-sponsored HCR 3014, the CoS proposal. Meanwhile nine House members and two Senators co-sponsored HCR 3015, the BBA proposal (prime sponsor is Rep. Mark Dorsh). Also introduced were HCR 3016 and HCR 3017, and HCR 3033, three variations of the Countermand proposals… HCR 3030, a Wolf-PAC-type resolution, HB1138, the Compact for America proposal, and HB1441, a delegate limitation act.
The ND House Government & Veterans Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Kasper, heard 6 hours of testimony on four of the Article V bills on 2/5 and passed all four bills for floor vote.
Oregon: Senator Boquist has filled a bill calling for a BBA-focused Article V convention. The Wolf-PAC campaign is also working in Oregon.
South Dakota: A House committee passed a BBA-focused Article V resolution on 1/26 by a vote of 9 to 3. Then on 1/28 the entire House voted 39 to 31 to approve the measure and send it to the Senate. A Senate committee recommended “Do Pass” by a vote of 5 to 3, and it went for a floor vote on 2/10.
After considerable debate and lots of typical fear-mongering by legislators parroting anti-Article V rhetoric, the vote was 17 in favor and 15 opposed. Unfortunately that majority did not pass the bill because three legislators “were excused from voting”, meaning that the measure needed a majority of the 35 Senators – 18.
Bill sponsor Senator Otten moved for reconsideration, given that the required 18th vote was absent. The revote is scheduled for Tuesday, 2/17 at a time of the sponsor’s choosing so that the required 18th YES vote Senator will be present.
Reportedly the CoS proposal was killed in a SD committee for lack of a second to report it out of committee.
Texas: State Rep. Workman has introduced HJR 79, a BBA-focused Article V joint resolution.
Utah: A House committee hearing for the BBA resolution is set for 2/18. Rep. Kraig Powell is the prime sponsor. Utah is one of the states visited recently by Ohio Gov. Kasich where he encouraged legislators to support the BBA resolution.
Virginia: On 1/27 the Virginia House of Delegates Rules Committee heard HJ499, a BBA-focused Article V resolution. The bill’s prime sponsor is Delegate LeMunyon.
A CoS resolution was on the table in this state with good support, but not quite enough. The House and Senate sponsors withdrew their resolution and plan to introduce it again next year.
The CoS resolution has been filed in this state, reportedly with more co-sponsors in both houses than they need to pass their proposal. Their co-sponsors include some Democrats in both houses.
Wyoming: On 1/28 the Wyoming House, sitting as a committee of the whole, passed HR4, a BBA-focused Article V resolution by a vote of 44 to 16. The bill is now in the Senate Rules Committee. That hearing had not been scheduled as of our deadline.
The Wyoming House also approved HB75 by a vote of 45 to 15, a bill calling for Wyoming to join the Compact for America (CfA) plan. SJ4 is a CoS resolution that was introduced in the Senate by Senator Peterson. It was defeated in committee.
Misc. News About Specific BBA-related Campaigns –
Compact for America (CfA) Developments:
In addition to their recent success in the Wyoming House, the CfA proposal has been introduced in the legislatures of Mississippi, Arizona (first hearing was 2/11), Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, New Mexico (sponsored by Rep. Yvette Herrell), North Carolina, North Dakota and Texas.
The Wyoming House passed the Compact bill (see above)… the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee held an informational hearing on the Compact… the North Dakota House Government and Veteran Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Compact bill. CfA reports that their proposal has passed out of committees in the Mississippi Senate and the Arizona House.
Convention of States (CoS): They report that their proposed resolution has been filed in 25 states this session, and that a total of 41 states are expected to consider the CoS resolution this year… to add to the three states that have already approved their proposal. They also report they are approaching 100% of the nation’s House districts covered, in terms of petitions signed.
The Convention of States project has announced that former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has officially joined their team as a Senior Advisor.
New BBA Web Site Announced:
BBA Task Force co-founder Mark Guyer has produced a new web site –
http://www.bbayes.org/which contains a host of reasons why a BBA-focused Article V convention is essential for America.
Among his observations: The U.S. government is the largest debtor in the history of the world. Imagine a pile of a billion dollars. Our debt equals 18,000 of those piles. Interest on the debt cost taxpayers over $400 billion during just the last year. Federal debt was gigantic seven years ago, and has since doubled.
He points out that polls consistently show that voters are in favor of a federal balanced budget amendment. Like he says, “Americans intuitively understand that high levels of debt are a major problem. It is common sense not to run up big deficits every year.”
Huffington Post Report:
The liberal Huffington Post issued a report in its February 3 edition proclaiming: “Advocates See 2015 As Year of The Balanced Budget Amendment.”
They say, “Supporters of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution believe they are in the position to win over enough state legislatures to force a national convention on the subject, putting it on the verge of being on a path to ratification and possibly making history at the same time.” Read the entire article here.
New Video Released:
The I Am American group has issued a powerful new 3-minute video entitled “We can Stop National Bankruptcy”, making the case for a BBA. See or download it at http://iamamerican.org/we-can-stop-national-bankruptcy/.
News from Other Article V Campaigns –
Americans for Congressional Reform (AfCR) reports that it is currently fundraising to promote its Term Limits and Equal Application of the Law Article V proposals.
The Citizen Initiatives (CI) group is promoting its Countermand Amendment with a 3-month 36-state capitol tour by Charles Kacprowicz, leader of the movement.
This Newsletter mistakenly listed the wrong web site for this organization. The correct web address is: www.countermands.us. Mike Coons, spokesman for CI reports that their Countermand proposal has been filed in 9 states, including Alaska, North Dakota, and Utah.
Kacprowski hosts a national radio program: “State Legislators Round Table”. It broadcasts on Tuesdays at 9 PM EST and Fridays at 8 PM. The radio show can be listened to at http://cprworldwidemedia.com/live-radio/. Guests include state legislators and community leaders. They report as many as 100,000 listeners each week.
programs used by many Americans, but that is the sacrifice
needed to get the nation’s fiscal house in order.
“If this problem doesn’t get solved, there won’t be anything left
for anybody. It’s like anything else where you’re going to have
to do without some things when you’ve overspent.”