Wednesday, April 8, 2015



Conservative Activists Target Republican State Lawmakers Blocking Constitutional Convention
Leaders of movement to rein in federal spending set sights on Virginia state Sen. Richard Black

By David Sherfinski - The Washington Times 

Martin Meckler, president, Citizens for Self-Governance


Conservative activists pushing to amend the Constitution to rein in federal spending are preparing to delve into state legislative elections across the country, specifically targeting Republicans who are standing in the way of a convention of the states.

“Our attitude is if state legislators won’t stand against Washington, D.C., then they need to be replaced by somebody who will,” Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance and a leader of the state convention movement, told The Washington Times in an interview this week.
Mr. Meckler already has one target in mind: Virginia State Sen. Richard H. Black, a Loudoun County Republican who helped derail an effort in Richmond earlier this year to add Virginia’s voice to the states seeking a convention to rein in federal spending.
“My personal opinion is, and the plan’s not in place, but my personal opinion is — got to remove him from office,” Mr. Meckler said. “He’s irrational on the issue, he’s unreasonable, he’s outrageous.”
Mr. Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, is part of the growing movement among conservatives to have the states exercise their right under the Constitution’s Article V to call a constitutional convention to consider amendments. If two-thirds of the states’ legislatures issue a call, the federal government is compelled to organize the convention.
The effort has raised plenty of questions, including thorny legal issues over when enough states have issued a convention call and whether a convention can be limited to a single idea, such as a balanced budget amendment.
Mr. Black said he opposed a convention call because he fears such a gathering, without a more defined process for selecting delegates, could be hijacked by its liberal opponents.
“The odds of winning the game are pretty good, but the consequences of being [wrong] are profound,” he said. “It is remarkable that people who claim to be so [dedicated] to the Constitution are willing to roll the dice and create a totally unknown form of government and basically do away with the Constitution.”
He led opposition this year to passing a convention call through Virginia’s General Assembly, where separate measures calling for a convention for the purposes of reining in the federal government and for a balanced budget advanced to the floor of the state House and Senate.
But state Sen. Ryan T. McDougle, Hanover Republican, and Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter, Prince William Republican, ended up nixing their own bills, which were supported by Mr. Meckler’s group, for lack of support.
Other applications calling for a convention for the purposes of a balanced budget amendment also died.
Republicans have a sizable advantage in the House, but hold only a 21-19 edge in the Senate, meaning Democrats can effectively block a majority if one Republican defects.
Mr. Meckler said he considered Mr. Black the major impediment in Virginia, though an immediate bid to oust the senator could be an uphill climb. The Republican became his party’s nominee for the fall election after no other candidates filed before a deadline last month.
Others could be targeted as well, Mr. Meckler said.
A number of conservative leaders have been pushing for a convention, with varying degrees of success. Such conservative luminaries as Mark Levin and Sean Hannity have helped catapult the idea on the national stage,
Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota passed applications this year on a balanced budget amendment, and advocates have targeted a handful of other states.
It takes 34 states to issue a call, and by some counts Michigan met that threshold when it approved a convention call last year. Some scholars, though, say states that have rescinded their applications, which applies to about a dozen of them, should not count.
Congressional Republicans tried earlier this decade to add a balanced budget amendment through the more traditional route of having both chambers of Congress pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote, but the measure didn’t clear either chamber.
In the 1990s, such a proposal did clear the House and came within a single vote of clearing the Senate, but a Republican who previously supported the amendment doomed it by voting against it.
Mr. Meckler said he would judge progress based on the number of states where a convention call is introduced, which he said has been a good test for grass-roots organizing.
He said that is an important step forward from where the tea party was a few years back.
“The most important thing we’re doing is building a powerful grass-roots army infrastructure,” he said. “I’m a tea party guy through and through. Where the tea party movement didn’t achieve its objective is it never had hard and fast goals. It didn’t actually have a plan.”



30 comments:

  1. This is one of those odd quasi-grassroots ideas from people are as vehement as they are ignorant on the subject. They haven't thought it through.

    What say you?

    I don't see a coherent, single plan being offered out there.

    JMJ

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    1. You make a good point, Jersey, but –– as AOW amply indicates below –– the concept of effecting change in the way the nation's capital does business could only be effected by a substantial majority of the electorate who are so fed up with a status quo they organize and get behind a determined move to amend the Constitution to remedy a grievous wrong.

      It's a VERY hard thing to do –– and deliberately made so in order to avoid the possibility of rash, headstrong action certain to have a deleterious effect on the nation. However, it HAS been done in the past, and an attempt to organize a Constitutional Convention is perfectly lawful.

      In THIS case the more conservative branch of the GOP is eager to get rid of the dead wood that comprises the RINO establishment who are frankly as useless as teats in a boar. In case you haven't noticed Republicans are engaged in internecine warfare. We are anything BUT a cohesive, unified group. Instead we are split into factions that can't abide each other.

      I have pretty much given up in the Republican Party. They've not received a dime in support from since they nominated John McCain –– an equivocal, undependable, weasel of a man whose mercurial performance frankly disgusts me.

      SO, I am a man without a party who feels he has no meaningful representation for his point of view either in Washington or anywhere else.

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    2. Well, you certainly are unique. But I was being specific to a balanced budget amendment. What would it look like? Most states have balanced budget amendments (of course, states don't print currency either), but they aren't as cut and dry as I think you guys think. Which BBA would you like to have for the country?

      JMJ

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    3. Jersey, I for one would like to see the end of deficit spending once and for all. The single exception should be in case of a dire emergency such as an invasion by foreign forces on our soil in which case all normal activity would cease, and we'd be under martial law. The production of war materiel would then take precedence, and we would have to make whatever sacrifices might be necessary to defend ourselves and repel the invaders.

      Can you think of another compelling reason to mortgage our economic future?

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    4. The question, specifically, is how do you do it? Would the government be trapped into borrowing? What about during a recession? Should taxes go up in a recession to meet revenue shortfalls?

      I don't have a problem with a BBA in general, but it certainly could be done very wrong.

      JMJ

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  2. I'm not sure what I think of a convention of states. The step is clearly within the bounds of the Constitution, however.

    Article Five:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

    Such a convention of states requires that 33 states call for such a convention; ratification of any generated amendment requires 38 states.

    The concept of convention of states bypasses the Congress critters.

    Our Founders, particularly George Mason, knew that the day of stopping tyranny might come and, therefore, gave this power of Constitutional amendment to the states.

    IMO, this movement, which recently held a meeting at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C., won't actually manage to put together a convention of states. So far, few states have shown interest: The Convention of States Project is currently organized in all 50 states, including hundreds of thousands of volunteers, supporters and advocates committed to stopping the federal government’s abuse of power. Alaska, Florida, and Georgia passed our Article V resolution last year, and five state houses have already passed it so far this year. For more information visit www.ConventionofStates.com.

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    1. I agree that naught is likely to come of it, AOW, but I still applaud those who demonstrate enough passion and courage at least to TRY. If no one does even that much, surely we will lapse into despotism at a faster rate.

      The problem stems from two sources:

      1. shifting demographics -- too many hopelessly ignorant, uneducated people from alien cultures who haven't the faintest idea of how or why the USA came into being and couldn't care less. these people, unfortunately, are permitted to vote. The effect has been disastrous.

      2. an educational system dedicated to making younger generations increasingly ignorant and unappreciative of their rightful heritage.

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    2. FT,
      I do get regular updates from the organization Convention of States.

      I am hoping that the momentum increases. Lots of Americans are FED UP with all the federal branches.

      State legislatures do tend to be more conservative than the federal branch of Congress critters.

      As the noose choking our individual rights tightens, the legislatures may take action. We shall see.

      Delete
  3. The constitution is dead. They are fighting over tattered scraps of paper. The law is whatever the government and the Supreme Mullahs in black robes say it is.

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    1. NOT if The People get their act together, organize and make a persistent, vehement outcry and a loud relentless DEMAND for reform.

      A defeatist attitude never has and never will produce anything positive. It only contains the grave danger of becoming self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Life always forces us to participate in a battle of one kind or another. We may never win a conclusive victory, but we are certain to lose decisively -- and forever -- if we stop punching.

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    2. They don't follow the constitution now, what makes you think they would abide by any changes that came out of a Con Con?

      Shakespeare's quote about what to do with all the lawyers is the only step that will save us, and I do not advocate mass murder, so we're stuck.

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    3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

      Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

      Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

      Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
      Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

      Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

      Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

      Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.


      IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO COULD BE AGAINST US?

      God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore will not we fear though the earth be carried into the midst of the sea and the waters thereof roar and be troubled...."

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    4. FT,
      IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO COULD BE AGAINST US?

      On the personal level, yes.

      On the nation-state level -- I'm not so sure about that.

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    5. In my worldview –– developed after seven stormy decades of trail and error –– the "personal" level is ALL that should concern us. We must work out our OWN Salvation. We have no power whatsoever to work out anybody ELSE'S anymore than we could eat his dinner or empty his bladder for him.

      THE Great Mistake human beings have made throughout history is the tendency to try to achieve worthwhile goals COLLECTIVELY. We are INDIVIDUALS first and foremost. Either we learn to take responsibility for our OWN lives, chart our OWN course and do everything circumstances permit to be the very best we can be.

      I hasten to add this does NOT mean all group efforts are made in vain. The symphony orchestra is a good case in point. It is a large group of individuals, BUT all must render themselves SUBSERVIENT to the WILL of a CONDUCTOR. Each member of the orchestra becomes in effect like a single KEY on a piano. Thus the CONDUCTOR exerts his INDIVIDUAL understanding and unique vision over the players just as a pianist exerts HIS over the keyboard.

      So how does this relate to your point, AOW?

      I would insist that we can only communicate with God as individual souls, therefore God has no jurisdiction over the Collective. Either we come to the Father as individuals or we don't reach Him at all.

      This is a lesson Mankind seems bound and determined NEVER to learn.

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    6. FT,
      I do not agree with the "personal" level is ALL that should concern us if you mean on an individual level only. Yes, salvation is individually personal and is a matter the decides our eternity.

      But it is also our responsibility to take responsibility for the future -- particularly with regard to posterity (next generations).

      Those who live by the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ are called to play various roles: teachers, prophets, musicians, political leaders, etc. Almost all of those roles touch the future in some way.

      In other words: "No man is an island." Although I will say that our individual souls are individual islands.

      PSL Christians who have gone into their hidey holes and allowed the Progressives to take control of school boards and universities have allowed millstones to be hanged around children's necks, and our Lord Jesus Christ certainly condemned that.

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    7. FT,
      Either we come to the Father as individuals or we don't reach Him at all.

      "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul."

      "Be ye in the world but not of the world."

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    8. "Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and [everything else you could ever legitimately want or need] will be added unto to you."

      That means to me that IF we do our best to be the best we can be according to the dictates of Our Lord and Savior, the problems of "community" and of the future will effectively take are of themselves.

      I'm trying to say that we as individuals MUST learn that we have no power to effect change in others, UNLESS we "let our light so shine before others that they may see our good works, and glorify Our Father which is in Heaven."

      In other words the more we work to perfect our relationship to God as individuals the safer and saner the future is apt to be.

      Delete
    9. FT,
      That means to me that IF we do our best to be the best we can be according to the dictates of Our Lord and Savior, the problems of "community" and of the future will effectively take are of themselves.

      First -- yes!

      But we also have to be "doers of the Word." That means to me that we have a responsibility regarding matters that I mentioned above.

      For example, as a doer of the Word my mother-in-law arranged flowers for many churches in the Pasadena area. She also worked a bread truck delivering food to the homeless.

      But while all those good deeds were being done, forces were working to make the government responsible for the bread trucks.

      we as individuals MUST learn that we have no power to effect change in others

      In spiritual matters, I agree. In political matters, IMO, the situation is different.

      Those hidey holes which I mentioned is one of my complaints about homeschoolers, who have escaped for years certain overreach by government in the field of education. Now there is no place to hide; the Left has control of the admissions tests for universities: David Coleman, architect of Common Core and the president of College Board.

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    10. PS: There is a place in the Kingdom of God for both testifiers (speakers) and doers. Notice the varied personalities of Jesus' 12 disciples.

      Delete
    11. PPS: Also a place for those who choose the cloister and the like. But if everybody stays cloistered, then what happens to the outside? Eventually, the outside will intrude and destroy the cloister.

      Delete
  4. These are the same states that elected Obama... twice.

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    1. Finntann,
      Yes.

      However, often the state legislatures, because of jurisdictional divisions, are often more conservative than the state as a whole -- the state as a whole reflected in a National Election, I mean. The metropolises have more representation in a National Election than in state legislatures.

      Delete
    2. Assachussetts, California and New York, of course.

      Who else? Illinois? Minnesota? Washington and Oregon, perhaps?

      Delete
    3. FT,
      Virginia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, too. I could go on and on.

      I was watching the boards on Election Night 2012.

      Delete
    4. "WHITE GUILT" must be what done it, AOW.

      That and plain old STOOPIDITY, although I see the two as synonymous.

      Delete
  5. Charleston BlackbottomApril 9, 2015 at 3:51 AM

    We need something to set feet on the path to fiscal responsibility. Con Con is an excellent alternative.

    We however do not need a theocracy or a legislative body heavily influenced by religion and the church.

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    1. Well, sir –– or madam, whatever the case may be –– it just so happens the TRUTH and GOD are synonymous. So are PRINCIPLE, INTELLIGENCE, SPIRIT, LOVE and LIFE, itself. So, in reality it is a literal impossibility to divorce ourselves from God, because God IS All and He is IN All.

      Any attempt to form a government omitting His almighty Presence, or abandoning eternal, immutable TRUTH and LOVE would be doomed to tragic failure of epic proportions.

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  6. FreeThinke,

    I agree with your religious response to my secular comment, and that gets to my point.

    Does God really care in any special way about the United States of America? Are we special in any way in his eyes? I doubt it.

    When people gather and invoke his blessings, he hears them, but America has turned into one big middle finger to everything revealed wisdom says he stands for. And that includes Bush-Cheney's various adventures that resulted in the greatest displacement, murder and persecution of Middle Eastern Christians we've seen in decades.

    We've lost our way, and while God will bless those individuals who love and follow him, I don't believe any group now on earth enjoys his special blessing, but I could be wrong, I do not claim to know God's mind.

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  7. This idea of an amendment to the constitution to "balance the budget" sounds like a phony idea to split the country along the same political/ideological lines that already exist.

    Would a constitutional amendment be needed to elect the first Canadian-born (or is he the second?) President of the United States of America?

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  8. I hasten to add this does NOT mean all group efforts are made in vain. The symphony orchestra is a good case in point. It is a large group of individuals, BUT all must render themselves SUBSERVIENT to the WILL of a CONDUCTOR. Each member of the orchestra becomes in effect like a single KEY on a piano. Thus the CONDUCTOR exerts his INDIVIDUAL understanding and unique vision over the players just as a pianist exerts HIS over the keyboard.


    FT, here's an individual, Valentina Lisitsa, whose performance in this clip is superb (to my untrained ear and eye), and whom I have only become aware of only recently since her show has been dropped by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

    She's from the Ukraine and holds views that disagree with the political agenda being sold to North Americans by our political and media overlords.

    Apparently her named replacement was also prevented from performing because this lady's fans were outraged. Who would think that Classical Music may be the front for the next cultural "revolution"?

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