What the heck is a convention of states you ask? Well, Article V of the Constitution allows for amendments to the Constitution to be proposed and ratified via two methods. One of those methods is by the US Congress. The other method is when 2/3 of the states put in an application for a Convention for “proposing amendments”. Arizona just joined numerous other states in doing just that.
What does that mean? There are numerous calls for constitutional conventions of one form or another. This method requires 34 states to call for a “convention of states” for the purpose of “proposing amendments”. In the long run, this could be good, but it could also be very damaging. This bill was passed nearly straight down party lines. Why was that? Is it because Republicans care about small government while Democrats want a large robust federal government? Some say yes, but in reality, that is half false. Face it, power has shifted back and forth between D’s and R’s for many decades, and has the government ever really gotten smaller? Nope. And this is NOT just a federal problem. Arizona has been red much more than it has been blue, however, the size and scope of state, county and city governments has continued to grow and take power from the people.
Are there democrats calling for a convention? Absolutely. Democrats want to amend the Constitution just as much as Republicans. Of course they are calling for a convention. They are not being very loud about it right now, however. Why is that? Because they do not have power currently! The AZ legislature just voted to apply for a convention, even though that convention cannot happen just yet, because we do not have 34 states that have requested it yet. Perhaps that will happen next year, perhaps 4 years from now. What happens if the Dems have control of our state government if and when that does happen?
I have many, many reasons for not wanting to call a convention for amending the Constitution. The chance of doing something good is nearly 0. Yet, the chance of doing something bad is much greater. Is it worth the risk? How often does the city, state or federal governments do something that you like? What is the chance that Arizona would even appoint delegates that you agree with politically? What is the chance those delegates from the 50 states would agree to much of anything, but especially anything good? Those pushing for a convention often talk about the corrupt behavior in Washington, and how we need to return power to the states and the people. Really? The same states that are corrupt themselves? The same people that are corrupt themselves? Look what happened when the republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling a few years back. The people went ape crap crazy, and nothing had even really happened yet. Imagine how insane things would get if some group of unelected individuals agreed to true fiscal restraint, and then 3/4 of the states agreed to ratify the amendment. While we must do something, it must start with the people. The people are now dependent upon government for “stuff”. We better teach the people before taking the stuff from them.
Perhaps one of the biggest head scratchers with these applications for conventions, is the fact that we have no clue who will be in power when the time comes. Obama used executive order to push his own agenda regarding immigration reform, despite that not being within the purview of the executive branch. The democrat population said nothing because it was what the wanted. Now the republican population remains quiet while Trump expands executive power of his own… why? Because they agree with it. One should NEVER give or create a power for oneself, that he would not want his enemy to have. How apropos it would be if the AZ is blue and a blue state legislature gets to choose the delegates to go to said convention. I wonder if said blue government would not be more than willing to adjust any convention “rules” spelled out it this Republican monstrosity.
While I am a believer in both methods of amending our Constitution, I am not so naive as to believe our problems are all do to the bozos in Washington. Rest assured, we have plenty of them right here in the Arizona Legislature… and a plenty more normal citizens. Within the scope of this bill is the push for term limits in Congress. Just today, Governor Ducey boasted how the “people have spoken”. Right. The same people that are “demanding” term limits, are the very people that continue voting in the same people. The same people that are demanding fiscal responsibility continue calling for more services and more money to those services. Representative Kelly Townsend stated, “Today’s passage in the Senate is a huge victory for Arizona taxpayers, and I thank the grassroots activists who have worked tirelessly to make an Article V convention a reality,”. Grassroots activists? Sure, there are a few of those, but the massive push (and money) comes from large think tanks funded by mega corporations and wealthy powerful individuals. Here is a small list:
1) American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
2) 10 Amendments for Freedom, Inc, chaired by William Fruth, President of POLICOM Corporation
3) Americans for Prosperity
4) Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
5) Goldwater Institute
6) Trilateral Commission (TC)
7) Tea Party Patriots (TTP), funded by Freedom Partners and Center to Protect Patient Rights
8) Career elitist politicians from both the Republican and Democratic parties
9) Mark Levin – Sponsored by Americans for Prosperity
10) Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG)- Michael P. Farris, Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies, Head of Convention of the States (COS) Project (connected to Grover G.Norquist, a CFR member. This is the latest organization that came on line to destroy our U.S. Constitution via a Con-Con.
11) American Constitution Society (ACS). ACS is the main organization behind the Con-Con movement to ensure a more “progressive” constitution, having received more than $2,201,500 from Soros’ Open Society since 2002. The funders for ACS are the Barbra Streisand Foundation, the Sandler Foundation, and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Please ask yourself a question… Do you trust delegates today with the Constitution more than you trust the delegates back in 1787?