June 2015 Newsletter

by | Jul 3, 2015 | AVC Newsletter

  • State Legislative Leaders to Meet in San Diego
  • ALEC Announces New ‘Restore the Balance’ Effort
  • Natelson Updates Paper on Article V “Run Away” Fears
  • CoS Project Gains Fourth State
  • Most 2015 State Legislative Sessions Have Concluded
  • CoS Effort in Louisiana Narrowly Fails
  • Florida CoS Group to Host a Mock Convention of States
  • Investment Advisor Calls 2015 Graduates ‘Chumps’
  • Compact Proposal Getting Good Press, Still Pressing Forward
  • Recent BBA Resolution-Adopting State Gets AAA Credit Rating

Top State Legislators to Meet & Advance an Article V BBA Convention –
The BBA Task Force has announced it will host a special day-long series of meetings for state legislative leaders.  The meetings will be held on Saturday, July 25, directly following the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) three-day Annual Meeting at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.

The BBA-focused event will be chaired by Ohio State Senate President Keith Faber.  Faber has extended a personal invitation to the Senate President and House Speaker in all 50 states.  In his invitation Faber says, “As a strong advocate for the authority of the states and our respective state legislatures under the US Constitution… we will chart a course to assert those rights over our nation’s run away budget deficit and the ever-growing debt.”

The event, labeled “Constitutionally Rebalancing America” will include presentations by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, South Dakota Representative Hal Wick (ret.), Oklahoma Representative Gary Banz, and Alaska Senator Fritz Pettyjohn (ret.).

ALEC Announces New ‘Restore the Balance’ Effort –
With federal overreach at an all-time high, Lisa Nelson, CEO of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has announced the launch of The Center to Restore the Balance of Government aimed at providing state lawmakers the policy tools they need to reestablish the appropriate relationship between the federal, state and local governments.

There will be a reception launching the effort on June 17 in Washington DC.  The new Center to Restore the Balance of Government is being led by Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer. For more information contact Michael Hough, Director of the Center to Restore the Balance of Government, at or 571-482-5155.

Task Force on Federalism
The related ALEC Task Force on Federalism will meet on Friday, July 24 during the 42nd ALEC Annual Meeting in San Diego. For more information on this Task Force, contact Karla Jones, Director of the Task Force on Federalism, at or 571-482-5017.

Natelson Updates Paper on Article V “Run Away” Fears –
Article V scholar Rob Natelson has updated his 2013 essay entitled “A Response to the ‘Runaway Scenario’”.  The paper deals with just about every argument Article V opponents have ever raised or that could be raised.

He has updated that essay and included additional information.  “As a practical matter,” he notes, “there are redundant protections against a runaway convention for proposing amendments”.

Read Natelson’s essay HERE.

CoS Project Gains 4th State –
During May the Alabama legislature adopted the Convention of States (CoS) application for a state-led Article V convention.  Alabama now joins Alaska, Florida and Georgia, all states that approved the CoS application during 2014.

Most 2015 State Legislative Sessions Have Concluded – 
For the most part, state legislative sessions across the country have come to a close for their 2015 sessions.  Thirty-five states have closed their sessions.

Article V resolutions remain pending in ten state legislatures.  Of those, it is believed that only Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin have any expectation of moving Article V resolutions forward this year.  The Compact for America (CfA) folks report that their bill is still pending in Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Most Article V campaigns are now working to line up sponsors and influence state legislators with the hope of more gains in 2016 legislative sessions.

To learn the current status of the various active Article V campaigns, check out David Guldenschuh’s Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report HERE.

CoS Effort in Louisiana Narrowly Fails –
At the beginning of June Louisiana State Rep. Raymond Garofalo was disappointed to see fellow legislators shoot down his efforts to help his state adopt the Convention of States  (CoS) resolution.

One LA Senator told Garofalo’s team to “run for Congress” if they want to address problems at the federal level.  Rep. Garofalo responded, “Just because we’re busy dealing with the issues that we have in the state of Louisiana, which are monumental issues, doesn’t mean that we cannot pass this resolution”.

The resolution had earlier passed in the LA House, but the bill narrowly failed to pass the Senate committee, by a vote of 4-3.

Florida CoS Group to Host a Mock Convention of States –
Brenda MacMenamin, State Director of the Florida Convention of States (CoS) leadership team, has announced that the group will host a mock or “simulated” Article V convention July 16 through 18 at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida.  They have extended an invitation to the public to come and “learn about the Article V process and how it will help restore the balance of government”.

The group notes that during the summer of 2014, a Teen Leadership Camp team at Patrick Henry College conducted a Constitutional Law Camp, which culminated in a simulation of an Article V Convention of States.  The CoS group will use the information gained from that experiment.  Colorado CoS leaders are considering a similar event.

The CoS simulation is a five stage legislative activity designed to educate citizens on the Article V process and the intended role of states as a bulwark against federal overreach.

Investment Advisor Calls 2015 Graduates ‘Chumps’ –
Bill Bonner, Chairman of investment firm Bonner & Partners, and editor of “The Bill Bonner Letter” has written his own university commencement address, just in case he is invited to deliver one.

The speech he would like to deliver is entitled “Class of 2015: The Most Indebted in History” or alternatively, “To the Class of 2015 – You Chumps!”

He suggests, “If you’ve studied the sciences or engineering (especially petroleum engineering, according to a study done by Georgetown University) maybe you’ll be able to earn enough to pay back your student debt.

“But most of you have wasted your money with degrees in subjects that won’t help you understand the real world we live in or earn an extra dime in it.”

Pointing out that today’s college graduate can look toward a lifetime of debt… unless something changes, he says, “You may know this already… but as economist Laurence Kotlikoff told the Senate Budget Committee in February, when properly accounted for, Washington has racked up more than $210 trillion of debt that you will have to pay… and pay… and pay for all your lives.

“That is the money that will go to fund programs that were voted on before you were born.”

Read his whole (unused) speech HERE.

CfA Getting Good Press, Still Pressing Forward –
The Compact for America (CfA) initiative has gotten some great press in the past few weeks!

The June 4 edition of the Detroit Free Press carried a story by Leon Drolet entitled: “States must make federal government balance its budget” in its coverage of the CfA effort in Michigan.  Drolet is a former Michigan state legislator and chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.

Pointing out that “Michigan is one of 44 states that require an annual balanced budget or constitutionally limits debt,” Drolet reports that “voters from both major political parties and independents strongly support requiring the federal government to balance its budget, too.”

Michigan State Senator Mike Green has introduced the CfA bill that would have Michigan join the Compact for a Balanced Budget.

Read the Detroit Free Press article HERE.

Alabama State Senator Gerald Allen wrote an opinion piece for “Yellow Hammer”, an Alabama-focused college news blog, urging members of the Alabama House to pass the CfA bill.  The Alabama Senate has already approved the CfA bill.  Both Alabama houses have also approved the Convention of States (CoS) resolution.

Read Senator Allan’s piece HERE.

The Hill recently carried a piece by Sven R. Larson entitled “Reopening the case for a balanced budget amendment.”  It talks about the benefits of the CfA approach, and talks about the role US Rep Gosar (AR) is playing in moving the related House Concurrent Resolution 26 through the US House.

Read the entire article HERE.

Recent BBA Resolution-Adopting State Gets AAA Credit Rating – 
Earlier this year the South Dakota legislature adopted the BBA Task Force resolution calling for a BBA-focused Article V convention.  That was in line with the state’s dedication to governmental fiscal responsibility.

The state’s constitution prohibits debt.  South Dakota has also adopted a number of new financial practices, including the release of more financial information to the public and a new debt policy, to accompany the voters’ approval of a balanced budget amendment to the South Dakota state constitution.

During May South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard announced that Standard & Poor’s upgraded the state’s credit rating from AA+ to AAA.  The state’s financial practices along with the state’s fully funded pension system and lack of liabilities led S&P to award South Dakota its highest credit rating.

Daugaard said, “In large part, our new AAA status is the result of our budgetary practices.  In 2011 we balanced the budget without raising taxes or spending reserve funds.  Each year thereafter, we’ve continued that stewardship by projecting our revenues and expenses with caution, so if we err, we err on the side of a surplus not a deficit.  A year ago, after receiving an unexpected windfall, we used the money to retire bonds early and to pay cash for our new veterans’ home rather than borrowing.”

“We don’t spend money we don’t have, Daugaard said. “We keep our budget in structural balance. We are frugal and seize opportunities to spend in the short term where it can lead to savings, efficiencies or better government in the long term.”

“The power of the legislative being derived from the people
by a positive voluntary grant and institution,
can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed,
which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators,
the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority
of making laws,

and place it in other hands.”


— John Locke —

(1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist. Considered the ideological progenitor of the American Revolution and who, by far, was the most often non-biblical writer quoted by the Founding Fathers of the USA.