Con Con Update Victory — With More Action Needed

December 12, 2008

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UPDATE: on the Ohio Legislature’s activities since our Wednesday Sledgehammer Alert. Thankfully, that Sledgehammer alerted and activated people across the country to the very real and imminent threat that a Constitutional Convention might soon be called by Congress. You had a definite impact on the Ohio House, and gave us at least a temporary victory. But we’re not finished, as you will see.

First and foremost: Thank you for a job well done!

Your efforts delivered a resounding shot across the bow of the Ohio House. According to our legislative contact, some Representatives received more hundreds of calls and emails on this subject. Good work! The House Judiciary Committee definitely felt the heat; the vote scheduled for Wednesday afternoon was cancelled! And there was no vote Thursday. Chairman Blessing said the vote listing was just a terrible mistake (and if you believe that…). Truth be told, your attention stopped them in their tracks!

About a dozen people gave testimony opposing HJR 8. With just 18 hours advance notice, we offer a loud “Bravo”! to those who stepped up to the task. Only Chairman Blessing spoke in favor of the bill, and his arguments were shattered by the other testimony.

Chuck Michaelis is Executive Director of Camp American (www.campamerican.com/) and Vice-chairman of the Institute for Principled Policy (http://www.principledpolicy.com/), an Ohio-based public policy think tank. In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee he delivered this little-known and staggering bit of news to legislators: “Article V (of the U.S. Constitution) contains no requirement that the states be represented in a Con Con.” You may want to read that again!

He also asked committee members many insightful questions, most of which I’ve listed below (emphasis mine). These questions must be answered before any sane legislature petitions Congress to call a Con Con.

If the states are allowed to choose their own delegates then who will choose them?

1. The Governor?

2. The House?

3. The Senate?

4. A bicameral panel?

5. A blue-ribbon commission?

6. A plebescite?

  • If by plebescite then who picks the potential candidates?
  • Who can vote?
  • All eligible voters?
  • Taxpayers only?
  • Or would we possibly, in the interest of “enfranchisement,” allow all citizens and potentially foreign nationals the franchise for this special election?

7. What would the requirements be for a candidate for delegate?

  • Exclusively lawyers?
  • A mix of professionals?
  • So-called “proportional representation” of all special interest groups?
  • Will people of strong religious conviction be excluded?
  • What will the exact criteria for eligibility be?

8. What will the deliberative body look like ideologically?

  • Will there be representation for anarchists?
  • Libertarians?
  • Marxists?
  • Constitutional Conservatives?

9. How will you know how the body is constituted?

  • How can that possibly be controlled or should it be?

10. Can this body convince me that the Bill of Rights will remain intact in the event of a runaway Con Con?

11. In the light of earlier Con Con history, can you guarantee that there will still be states existing as sovereign bodies after a Con Con?

12. Will a potential new constitution recognize my rights as being an inalienable gift of God which government is charged to protect by Him?

13. Or will it treat them as a gift of government to be taken away and returned on the whim of whoever holds power?

More Action Needed Today!

Unfortunately, there is still great danger lurking in the Ohio Senate! There is a HUGE, full-steam ahead, all-out effort ongoing to ram through their related bill, SJR 9. Again, it is the Republican caucus spearheading this most misguided effort. Happily, there is some strong Democratic opposition to the bill – because of the call for a balanced federal budget. Who was it that said, “Politics makes for strange bedfellows?” But the very real danger lies in the strong Senate support for this bill. If the Senate succeeds it will likely then be able to pressure the House to acquiesce, so we dare not let up. The Senate seems completely committed to a hurried effort to disregard public comment and avoid careful, informed deliberation of the potential consequences of this very drastic action.

Calling a Con Con is not only wholly unnecessary to the purpose of a balanced federal budget, but will unquestionably result in an outcome as unimaginable to most Americans as it will be lethal to our nation.

The American Policy Center became the Con Con proponents’ worst nightmare with Wednesday’s Sledgehammer. But they will now be expecting our next salvo, so it is imperative we redouble and greatly expand our efforts to again carry the day. Please do all you can to help us in this most important fight. The United States stands at the edge of a great, dark abyss. It’s impossible to gauge its width or depth, or even to identify all the mortal threats to our nation which surely lie within it.

ACTION TO TAKE

1. Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee Members listed below. Tell them they MUST NOT PASS SJR 9. Give them these hard, cold facts about a Constitutional Convention:

  • The Constitution does not permit any restrictions on the subject matter a Con Con considers.
  • The Constitution does not guarantee states may choose any delegates to a Con Con.
  • The Constitution does not guarantee any state will be represented at a Con Con.
  • To paraphrase Chief Justice Warren Burger’s admonition, NOBODY TELLS A CON CON WHAT TO DO!

2. Please keep up the pressure on the Ohio House Judiciary Committee Members, as well. Another vote is possible in the near future. Plus, if we cannot stop Ohio Senate passage of this bill, we will have to rely on the House standing firm in their opposition, or face certain catastrophe.

Chairman Louis Blessing
Phone: (614) 466-9091
Fax: (614) 719-3583
Email: [email protected]

Representative Bill Batchelder
Phone: (614) 466-8140
Fax: (614) 719-3969
Email: [email protected]

3. Please contact the legislatures of the states listed here – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming – which have already voted to petition Congress for a Con Con. Reports vary widely over which states have already rescinded their call, so to be safe – please ask all to immediately rescind their call for a Con Con!

4. Residents of these states please search for pending legislation calling for a Con Con: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Somewhere we believe there is at least one state ready and willing to be the 34th state, triggering a mandatory call for a Con Con. Please help us determine if this is the case, and submit a copy of any such proposed legislation to the American Policy Center. You may email to [email protected], or fax to (540) 341-8916.

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

Republicans

Chairman- John Carey
Telephone: (614) 466-8156
Fax: (614) 752-7188
Email: [email protected]

Steve Stivers
Telephone: (614) 466-5981
Fax: (614) 466-0101
Email: [email protected]

Ron Amstutz
Telephone: (614) 466-7505
Fax: (614) 387-0787
Email: [email protected]

Steve Austria
Telephone: (614) 466-3780
Fax: (614) 387-0788
Email: [email protected]

Gary Cates
Telephone: (614) 466-8072
Fax: (614) 466-7662
Email: [email protected]

Keith Faber
Telephone: (614) 466-7584
Fax: (614) 466-3691
Email: [email protected]

Tom Niehaus
Telephone: (614) 466-8082
Fax: (614) 466-7018
Email: [email protected]

Joy Padgett
Telephone: (614) 466-8076
Fax: (614) 995-1665
Email: [email protected]

Mark Wagoner
Telephone: (614) 466-8060
Fax: (614) 466-7662
Email: [email protected]

Democrats

Capri Cafaro
Telephone: (614) 466-7182
Fax: (614) 466-5559
Email: [email protected]

Eric Kearney
Telephone: (614) 466-5980
Fax: (614) 466-8261
Email: [email protected]

Tom Sawyer
Telephone: (614) 466-7041
Fax: (614) 466-6660
Email: [email protected]

Jason Wilson
Telephone: (614) 466-6508
Fax: (614) 728-5013
Email: [email protected]

Visit the American Policy Center website

SEND THIS MESSAGE TO AT LEAST TEN MORE PEOPLE! APC is now offering you a quick and easy way to multiply your efforts and help win more battles! Simply click here to send this APC Action Alert to up to TEN of your friends! It’s fast, it’s easy and most of all, it’s extremely effective in KILLING OPPRESSIVE POLICIES!

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.