October 2014 Newsletter

by | Oct 9, 2014 | AVC Newsletter

  • Assembly of State Legislatures to Meet in DC
  • Effort in NC to Rescind Article V Applications Thwarted
  • The Convention of States Project is Ramping Up
  • Compact for America Geared to Move Forward
  • The 5-Year Cost of Not Having a BBA – Over $6.9 Trillion
  • US Senator Tom Coburn Supports Article V Amendments
  • Independence Institute Aims to Set Up Article V Info Center
  • Citizen’s Group Seeks Amendment to Overturn Federal Actions
  • Tidbits of Article V News

Assembly of State Legislatures Third Session Set for Dec 8-9 – 
The Executive Committee of the Assembly of State Legislatures has announced that its third meeting will be held at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington, DC onMonday, December 8 from noon to 5 pm and Tuesday, December 9 from 8:30 am to 2 pm.

The group will continue the drafting of what State Legislatures feel the rules and procedures should be around an Article V Convention for Proposing Amendments.  In order to be involved in this bi-partisan event, attendees must be currently-serving state legislators.

For more information, visit: or write:

Effort in NC to Rescind Article V Applications Thwarted – 
The Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force (BBATF) and its coalition allies successfully fought an Article V rescission attempt initiated by the North Carolina House.

NC House Joint Resolution 374, called for rescinding all existing applications by the General Assembly made during any prior North Carolina legislative session to Congress to call a convention pursuant to the terms of Article V of the US Constitution.

Ultimately HJR 374 was not brought to the Senate floor for a vote, effectively killing the measure.  The NC House passed HR 1206 to establish a select committee to study whether North Carolina should apply to Congress for an Article V convention of states.  The North Carolina legislature wrapped up its two-year session in late August.

The Convention of States Project is Ramping Up – 
This past summer the Convention of States Project (CoS) conducted a “Patriots Petition Drive”, urging citizens across the country to sign a petition addressed to their state legislator expressing their support for the Article V movement and the CoS effort.  Over a 10-week period CoS collected over 24,500 petitions.

CoS also reports the recruitment of over 150 state legislators who have committed to sponsor or co-sponsor their multi-subject Article V application.  They expect to file applications in at least 26 states in 2015, and pass applications in well over half them.

Mark Meckler and Michael Farris, the founders of the CoS Project, will be doing speaking tours in a number of states this fall.  During September they spoke to groups in Iowa, Nevada and Arkansas.  In the coming weeks they will be speaking to groups in Arizona (10/3-4), Missouri (10/3-4), Ohio (10/9-11), and South Carolina (11/20-22).

For more info on their tour, contact Robert Kelly at CoS:, or call 540-441-7227.  Their website is:

Compact for America Geared to Move Forward – 
So far only two states (AK, GA) have formally signed onto the Compact for America (CfA), but the group reports it has confirmed legislative sponsors to introduce the Compact proposal this coming session in six more states (AR, AZ, OH, SD, TX and WY).

This fall Nick Dranias, one of the Compact’s key leaders, will be traveling to several states, speaking with citizen groups and state leaders.  He says, “I personally believe in this effort so much that I am devoting my three week sabbatical from my position as General Counsel and Constitutional Policy Director at the Goldwater Institute to serving as a Visiting Scholar for Compact for America, Inc. and Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc.  I am donating my time in doing so.”

For more info, contact Nick at 602-228-2582, or email:
The CfA website is:

The Cost of Not Having a BBA – Over $6.9 Trillion – 
On September 19th, Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for one minute regarding the nation’s national debt.

Coffman used his time to point out: “We’ve added $7,144,001,175,440.72 to our debt in 5 years. This is over $6.9 trillion in debt our nation, our economy, and our children could have avoided with a balanced budget amendment”.

US Senator Tom Coburn (OK) Supports Article V Amendments – 
The September 3rd edition of The Washington Post carried a piece by Phillip Bump reporting on the impending end of US Senator Tom Coburn’s service in Congress.  Health concerns were the stated reasons for Coburn declining to seek re-election.

In the article Coburn is quoted as saying: “I think we ought to have a balanced budget amendment, I think we ought to have term limits. I think we ought to put a chokehold on regulation and re-establish the powers of the Congress.”  He made clear his belief that to reach such goals, it will take one or more state-led Article V conventions to propose amendments.

The full article can be read at:

Independence Institute Aims to Set Up Article V Info Center – 
Jon Caldara, President of Colorado’s Independence Institute (II) has announced plans to establish an “Article V Information Center”.  The Institute is seeking funding for the new venture that will be led by Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson.

II is a 501(c)(3) organization, so contributions will be tax deductible.  For more information, write to Rob Natelson at: or call him at: 303-279-6536×114.

Citizen Initiatives Group Seeks Amendment to Overturn Federal Actions – 
A group known as Citizen Initiatives (CI) is promoting an Article V proposal to give state legislatures “the authority to Countermand and rescind any Congressional Statute, Judicial decision, Executive Order, Treaty, government agency’s regulatory ruling, or any other government or non-government mandate (including excessive spending and credit) imposed on them when in the opinion of 60 percent of State Legislatures the law or ruling adversely affects their States’ interest. When the Countermand threshold has been reached, the law or ruling shall be immediately and automatically nullified and repealed. This Countermand authority shall also apply to existing laws and rulings.”

Mike Coons, National Director for CI reports that the group currently has legislative sponsors for its “Countermand Amendment” in AL, GA, LA, NC, ND, OK and WV for the 2015 legislative session.

The group is also promoting its own version of a Balanced Budget Amendment, a Sovereignty and States Rights Amendment and a proposed “Delegate Resolution” bill.  CI employs a radio/internet outlet (WAAR) to promote its proposals.  It can be listened to on Tuesdays at 6 to 8 PM EST.  The program features state legislators from around the US.

CI uses two websites: and  Mr. Coons can be reached at

Tidbits of Article V News –
TEXAS:  The Texas Policy Institute has announced its support for a BBA.
OKLAHOMA:  The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce (through its chairman) has come out in support of a BBA.  Representative Gary Banz will again be sponsoring the OK BBA resolution.
ARIZONA:  Representative Bob Thorpe has pledged to re-introduce his BBA resolution in the AZ legislature during its 2015 session. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) State Director Farrell Quinlan will work closely with Thorpe to rally support from the business community.
VIRGINIA:  On September 17th (Constitution Day) Virginia Delegate LeMunyon pre-filed HJR 499, an application for a BBA-focused Article V convention.  The bill will be considered during Virginia’s 2015 legislative session.  The question lost by 5 votes in the House last session, and never got to the Senate.  The new bill already has 11 co-sponsors.
MICHIGAN:  The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency has produced a 12-page Issue Paper entitled “The Balanced Budget Amendment and a Summary of Article V Conventions” by Legislative Analyst Jeffrey Mann.  It can be read at:
FROM ALEC:  The ALEC International Relations and Federalism Task Force has voted to recommend that the ALEC Board adopt Florida’s recently-adopted Article V Single Subject Amendment application as Model Legislation for the other 49 states.  The ALEC Board is expected to make their decision in October.
The proposed amendment would require that “Each bill, order, resolution, or vote which must be submitted to the President under section 7 of article I of this Constitution shall embrace no more than one subject and that subject be clearly and descriptively expressed in the title of the bill, order, resolution or vote.”
MISC.:  Through a ReleaseWire posting, Dr. Ronald J. Scott, Jr., a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, provides rationale for why the nation needs an Article V convention.

Did you know?
That the first convention among colonies was held in 1689 in Boston, Massachusetts?

That the last convention among the colonies before Independence was held in Philadelphia in 1774?

That the first convention of states (that is, after Independence) was held in Providence, RI in late 1776 and early 1777?

That the 27 sessions of the most recent convention of states (1922) were held successively in Washington, D.C.; Phoenix, AZ; Denver, CO; and Santa Fe, NM?
                                                             By Professor Rob Natelson