• Mount Vernon Assembly Gets a New Name
• Louisiana Adopts 24th BBA-Focused A5 Application
• Vermont Adopts Application for Article V Convention
• A Progress Report on Article V Activities
• Texas GOP Adopts Platform Plank Supporting Article V
• Florida Outlines Protocol for Article V Delegate Selection
• Citizens Getting Involved in Push for Article V Convention
• Efforts Blocked in Arizona to Adopt Article V Bills
• Herman Cain Announces Support for Use of A5
105 Legislators Attended Second Mount Vernon Assembly
Thirty-three states were represented at the June 12-13 Mount Vernon Assembly… described as a planning session. The group, initially named for the place of its first meeting (last December), is now known as The Assembly of State Legislators.
For the most part, attendees were selected by their state’s legislative leaders. They had to go through a “credentialing” process and security before being allowed into the Indiana Statehouse Chamber. There had been some pre-meeting threats, so security measures were strict. Fortunately, security issues did not materialize.
After opening comments by Ohio Rep. Matt Huffman, the bipartisan meeting was turned over to Assembly co-chairs Kenneth Marshall (Rep – RI) and Chris Kapanga (Rep – WI) who broke the Assembly into three committees.
The initial committees (Rules & Procedures; Judiciary; Planning, Communications & Finance) were each given a printout of Committee Responsibilities. Depending on the committee, that sheet listed 10 to 13 items (questions) the committee was expected to address, to assist a future Article V convention of states.
Many of the wide-ranging questions have already been answered by historical research, but for the most part they have never before been subjected to review and authentication by any authoritative group of political leaders such as the Assembly.
On the second day of the Assembly the delegates formally elected committee chairs and co-chairs. They also considered an initial set of recommended rules for a future Article V convention. No specific amendment proposals were discussed.
The bipartisan group also adopted a resolution calling for another meeting (probably in early December, probably for 3 days this time, and maybe in Georgia), with committee work to continue between now and then. Their goal is to be able to consider adoption of specific proposals at their next meeting.
New Web site: www.
Louisiana Adopts 24th BBA-Focused Article V Application
On May 15th Louisiana became the 24th state to adopt a BBA-focused application for an Article V convention of the states. The LA House had earlier passed the joint resolution (HCR 70), by a vote of 89 to 0. Then the LA Senate approved the application by a vote of 36 to 0… making LA the first state to unanimously adopt the Article V application.
Vermont Adopts Article V Application –
Article V is now being employed by a group known as Wolf-Pac. They report that on May 2 the Vermont legislature adopted their resolution (JRS 27), authored primarily by Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig.
The Vermont application calls for a convention “for the sole purpose of proposing amendments … that would limit the corrupting influence of money in our electoral process … overturning the Citizens United decision.”
Progress Report on Article V Activities – As of June 2014
This is a summary of Article V-related activity across the US in the past year:
The BBA Task Force:
In just the past 8 months single-subject BBA-focused Article V applications have been fully adopted in OH, TN, MI, GA, FL and LA. The Task Force now reports it has 24 valid state applications toward the 34 needed. BBA-focused applications have also been approved in one house in both AZ and WI.
Citizens for Self Governance:
The Convention of States (CoS) project by Citizens for Self-Governance is now 10 months old. In that time the group has seen its multiple-subject application filed in 14 states, with one still expected to be filed this year (NJ); had their application adopted in 3 states (AK, FL, and GA); had their application approved in one house in 2 more states (AL and AZ); and has been formally defeated in only 1 state (VI).
They report that they now have over 100,000 supporters, 16,500 volunteers, 84 national grassroots leaders appointed in 38 states, and District Captains organizing in 447 state legislative districts across the country.
More info at: http://conventionofstates.com/
Compact for America:
The Compact for America (CfA) campaign relies on Article V for its activating authority, although it is really an interstate compact. The campaign started during 2012. The CfA proposal has been adopted by the GA legislature. The proposal has been adopted by one house in AK and AZ.
Chip DeMoss at Chip.DeMoss@CompactforAmerica.
The Vermont legislature has adopted an Article V convention application. Campaign leaders report that their proposal has also been adopted by the House in CA, and the Senate in IL.
Texas GOP adopts Platform Plank Supporting Article V
In early June a total of 5,941 delegates and alternates at the 2014 Texas Republican State Convention held in Fort Worth voted to “urge the Texas State Legislators to take the lead in calling for an Article V Amending Convention of States.”
Florida Outlines Protocol for Article V Delegate Selection
On June 2, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law H.B. 609 which establishes methods for selecting and instructing future Article V convention delegates.
In 2010 the Florida Legislature adopted a resolution calling for an Article V convention to propose constitutional amendments to provide for a balanced federal budget and limit the ability of Congress to dictate to states requirements for the expenditure of federal funds.
Because the 2010 resolution had mixed objectives and numerous specifications, some Constitutional scholars questioned whether that application could be aggregated with those of other states. To resolve that question, this year the Florida legislature adopted a new Resolution… one that is exclusively BBA-focused.
The new law will allow both the House and Senate to appoint delegates and alternates to an Article V convention, whenever one is called. It requires the legislature to adopt a resolution from both the House and Senate providing instruction to those delegates.
All of the delegates will be required to swear an oath to support the constitutions of both the United States and Florida, and abide by all the instructions of the legislature. If a Florida delegate does not follow those instructions, their vote would be voided and their appointment to the convention would be forfeited. They also could be charged with a third-degree felony. Similar legislation has also been adopted in IN, UT, GA and TN.
Citizens Getting Involved in Push for Article V Convention
Typical of many US citizens, recently Colorado Physician Stan Jack began to recognize that “unless we all start to push back, big government will destroy this country.” That led him to start writing a blog that… from an everyday citizen’s viewpoint… encourages support for an Article V convention of states.
He says, “I have three children I need to help preserve freedoms for. I’m not going to let anyone ‘sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.’ I believe we must win the soft war, because a hard reset probably would not result in another Constitutional Republic.”
Dr. Jack contends, “It is time to restore our Constitution and our liberties, and re-establish federalism in order to have more local control and accountability in our government!”
Read his insightful commentaries (particularly his April 15 and May 6 posts) at: http://tipofthespear.net/
Efforts Blocked in Arizona to Adopt Article V Bills –
Efforts to pass three different Article V resolutions in the Arizona legislature crashed this spring due to the extreme opposition of AZ Senate President Andy Biggs. While most of the Article V measures had substantial support in both Houses of that body, Biggs used his powers to prevent a vote in the Senate.
Biggs has a strong conservative voting record, and he has baffled and angered many with his obstinacy on the Article V bills. AZ Rep Bob Thorpe says, “I will run my BBA bills again next year… I won’t give up.”
Herman Cain Speaks at Charleston SC Article V Event
On May 17 a large crowd gathered on the USS Yorktown (decommissioned aircraft carrier) at Charleston, SC to hear former presidential candidate and radio talk show host Herman Cain endorse the efforts toward an Article V convention of states. He was joined by TN Representative Dennis Powers and SC Senator Larry Grooms.
The thrust of the event was using the Article V provision to require a balanced federal budget, to abolish the IRS and replace the tax code, and to compel the federal government to follow the Constitution.