Constitution
By Nancy Thorner – 
 
The Convention of the States (COS) is an Article V Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), supported and funded by well-connected conservatives that refuse to acknowledge the danger their effort could usher onto our republic. 
 
Radio talk show host, Mark Levin, started pushing for a constitutional convention several years ago, arguing in his book, The Liberty Amendments, that such a convention is the last hope “to reform the federal government from its degenerate, bloated, imperial structure back to its (smaller) republican roots.” 
Unfortunately, many otherwise well-educated and well-meaning conservatives have succumbed to Levin’s siren to insist that an Article V convention is the only way to restore the balance of federalism in our Republic.
 
They evidently are not aware that under Article V of the Constitution, our founding fathers established two methods for future generations to add amendments to the Constitution:  1) either two-thirds of both houses of Congress can propose an amendment, and then three-fourths of the states ratify if they call it. . . or not – the safe method or 2) two-thirds (34) of the states call for a federal constitutional convention, and then three-fourths of the states ratify whatever amendments are proposed by the convention. This method must be avoided at all costs.  It could lead to a runaway convention in which our original Constitution would be scrapped and a new Constitution would be substituted. 
 
Consider also a big financier of global fascism, George Soros. Soros is pumping millions of dollars into the same Article V campaign that is being promoted by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Allen West, and other popular conservative spokesmen, as he pushes for a new “progressive” U.S. Constitution by the year 2020.
 
Conservatives must not be fooled by Con Con activists
 
Conservatives should shudder at the thought of a convention populated by activists, who endowed with power have a Soros credit card in their pocket and a commitment to “social justice” as their purpose.  Instead, many grassroots, Tea Party, and Christian groups are being infiltrated with progressive ideas by people presenting themselves as Conservatives, Christians, or Patriots.
 
The enemies of the Constitution are targeting 2017 for passage of the Convention of States (COS).  They are
gearing up to exploit the Republican majorities in state legislatures.
 
A sign that the Con Con issue is really heating up is that during the past month there has been more than 60 articles reflecting the big push for a “Con Con” (Article V Convention, misnamed a “Convention of States” or “COS”)  In that 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers are now controlled by the Republican Party, the possibility now exists for Con Con to be passed under the guise of “term limits” or a “balanced budget amendment.” 
 
The good news is that Gun Owners of America just reaffirmed their opposition to Con Con.  (The NRA, having at least one Board member who is a Con Con supporter, won’t speak out against a Con Con.) Without question, one of the first things a Con Con would do is to dilute or repeal the Second Amendment.
 
Victory over Con Con in Congress
 
Pro-Constitutional Convention advocates tried to sneak a deceptive provision into the new House Rules on the first day Congress was back in session, Tuesday, January 3, 2017.  The provision — which became the second order of business in the House after the election of Speaker Paul Ryan — was deceptively called the “10 Amendment” rule (regarding the 10th Amendment) and would have purportedly limited a Con Con (Article V Convention) to the amendments initially proposed.  In other words, the proposed Rules change was a pretentious hoax that would have merely created a false appearance of protection.  There is no way to limit the proposed type or number of Con Con amendments during an Article V convention). 
The Rules change proposal failed and was not included in the House Rules for the 2017 session.  You may find the full text here of the newly adopted House Rules
 
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) proposed the deceptive 10th Amendment Rule; Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform based in D.C., fully endorsed the Rules change.  In a letter to Congress members dated January 2, 2017, Norquist asked the House to change its Rules in a way that would encourage calling a Con Con or Article V convention.  The first two paragraphs of Norquist’s letter to Congress are noted below (For the full text of Norquist’s letter see here):
January 2, 2017
 
Dear Republican Members of Congress:
I write to urge you to support an Amendment to the House Rules package proposed by Rep. Kevin Cramer and endorsed by House Rules Chair Pete Sessions that could help restore the Article I Legislative Power of Congress.
 
The proposed “10th Amendment Rule” would protect the Constitution by recognizing and enforcing the Constitution and especially the 10th Amendment power of states to strictly limit the scope of a Constitutional Amendment process initiated by the states…
Grover Norquist specifically cited Pete Session, House Rules Chair, as being supportive of the “10th Amendment Rule. It just so happens that Rep. Sessions is from Texas, from where much of the pressure for Con Con is coming. Both the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas have built big political war chests and both have been persuaded to support a Con Con, which has already been pre-filed there as the Convention of States legislation.  
 
Check out Grover P. Norquist’s interactive relationship map to observe observe the scope of his influence and wide spread connections.   This article discusses the coalitions formed by Article V Con-Con groups, and who is holding hands with whom.  
 
Existing state applications for an Article V Convention and resolutions rescinding prior applications 
 
Not only is Texas being targeted. Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, in an article published recently by multiple newspapers in Wisconsin, demonstrates that Wisconsin is being targeted by the COS project.  He described himself as the “honorary chairman” of the apparently unrelated American Transparency organization, but he’s featured on the Convention of States website. It is interesting that Tom Coburn was part of the Never Trump movement, as many in COS likewise were and might still be.  Posted information about Tom Coburn can be found here.  Read here Andy Schlafly’s rebuttal to Coburn’s editorial. 
Two years ago Section 3(d) of the rules package authorized the Judiciary Committee to maintain a public list of state applications for an Article V convention or resolutions rescinding prior applications.  Before then, there was never any central list of applications.  The status of states can be found here.  
  • Twelve states have been targeted for 2017 by the promoters of a constitutional convention — a “Con Con” or “Convention of States”.
  • Eight states have enacted resolutions for a Convention of States, some using language different from others, but each of the eight states should rescind its call.
  • Seventeen states that have passed a Convention of States should rescind it.  A recent example is the rescission by Delaware of all of its prior resolutions for a Con Con.
  • Here are some efforts at rescission 2017.
Argument against a Convention of States 
 
Following are some of the best arguments against a Convention of States to defeat the enemies of the Constitution who seek a constitutional convention to change it:
  • *Require a fiscal note, which is billions of dollars in lost entitlements to states
  • Justice Scalia called this proposal for an Article V convention a “horrible idea” at a public event less than a year before he passed away.
  • Phyllis Schlafly completely opposed a Con Con and Convention of States, and all variations on the concept.
  •  Convention of States would be a vote against the conservative Republican national platform, which emphatically rejected this.
  •  Convention of States would enable liberals to repeal the Electoral College.
  •  Convention of States would open the door to repealing the Second Amendment.
  •  Convention of States would facilitate a new constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion.
*For example, in which of the targeted states can we compel the legislature to attach a fiscal note for the planned constitutional convention, including delegate expenses and the loss to the state of federal entitlements? Forcing a fiscal note to the tune of the millions or billions of dollars. for the Con Con project would stop it in these targeted Republican states.
 
Past opposition to Con Con
 
 
1) Barry Goldwater said: “[I am] totally opposed [to a Constitutional Convention]…We may wind up with a Constitution so far different from that we have lived under for two hundred years that the Republic might not be able to continue.”
 
2) Chief Justice Warren Burger said:  “There is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey.  After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda.  The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress “for the sole and express purpose.”
 
 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  Proverbs 27:12 
 

Comments

Many who faithfully read Illinois Review every day most likely refer to themselves as “conservative Republicans.” I have been concerned for a number of years regarding the future of self-proclaimed conservatives and their waning influence in the Republican Party.

In Lake County there is a functioning and active conservative group that dates back to 2001, the Republican Assembly of Lake County.

Years ago it was mandatory for RALC members to be pro-life, to ascribe to marriage between one man and one woman, to uphold gun rights via the Second Amendment, etc. Its Platform is closely aligned with the Platform of the Republican Party in Illinois. With a relaxation of membership qualifications, no longer is it necessary for a candidate to check “yes” beside all questions asked of prospective members on the RALC membership application form to qualify for membership.

The relaxation of standards by the RALC has resulted in diminishing the impact its members can have in advancing conservatism in Lake County.

Even when a conservative Republican candidate does attempt to run for office in Illinois, an attempt is made to derail that candidate in favor of a Republican Establishment candidate, as was the situation in Illinois House District 58 when Minority House Leader Tom Cross — who has garnered far too much power and influence here in Illinois — funneled thousands of dollars to the establishment candidate after promising the Republican challenger that he never became involved in Primary elections.

The same disregard for conservatives happened at the federal level when in the 8th Congressional District no financial help was directed toward Joe Walsh by the U.S. House Republican Party in his campaign to retain his House seat against challenger Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

If the Republican tactics employed to eliminate conservative candidates seem underhanded and unfair, there is much more more to fear in the near future.

In the aftermath of the Nov. 7th elections conservatives are being told by the top brass of the Republican Party in Illinois and at the Federal level, that the Republican party must change its stripes or it will forever lose elections.

It has been decided that we, as conservatives, are out-of-step with society by clinging to our pro-life and anti-gay marriage messages. But it is on the issue of illegal immigration where a Republican compromise would bring about lasting and disastrous implications that could torpedo the Republican Party out of existence.

It is regretful that a prominent conservative senator, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is suggesting that Republicans be more accepting and tolerant of illegal immigrants to win elections.

Do Republican (and conservatives in sync with Sen Rubio) really believe that by going Democrat-lite the Republican Party will win predictably Democratic voters over to the Republican side? Will the Democratic Party gleefully hand over some of its voter base to Republicans– Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote in November — just because Republicans are finally saying “pretty please, vote for me” to Hispanic voters? I don’t think so!

Instead, granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would infuse the Democratic voter base with millions of potential new voters. Meanwhile, all the Republican Party would gain from any amnesty plan is the element of hope that their largess toward Hispanics would be rewarded at the polls.

In an outstanding video featuring conservative David Horowitz, Horowitz laments how many conservatives don’t accept their own philosophy to the extent that they are able to stand up to the pressures of pop culture, either too ashamed to declare and fight for what they believe, or not equipped to explain their conservative principles which far outshine the failed policies of the liberal Left.

Michelle Bachmann was cited by Horowitz as a conservative who unabashedly stands up and fights for what she believes (and she was reelected!). Establishment GOP leaders instead consider conservatives and Tea Party candidates and legislators their greatest threat.

It was through information shared by conservative radio host, Mark Levin, during his Monday, November 20 radio show aired on WLS-890 AM, that I heard about House Majority leader John Boehner’s recent power grabs and scorched-earth maneuvering in order to crush conservative opposition in the House.

On November 20 Levin read to his radio listeners a commentary by Daniel Horowitz, Boehner’s Irony, that disputes the claim that Boehner is weak and flaccid in the face of adversity. On the contrary, Boehner has reorganized the House so conservatives will be relegated to the back burner without a voice.

In light of Boehner’s scorched earth tactics and aggressiveness against House conservatives, it is not unreasonable to expect that Boehner, in future negotiation with Democrats, will reach across the aisle, even when promising otherwise, in order to win the mantle of bi-partisanship which Republican leaders seem to crave when in power. For Boehner, not unlike other powerful establishment Republican leaders, folds like cheap a accordion when faced with Democrat masters.

Conveniently forgotten by Republicans is that Democrats in power crush all opposition that impedes them from attaining their Statist goals. Boehner, nevertheless, has created what appears to be a free rein for himself in capitulating to Democrats on a laundry list of policy items.

Why? Because both parties want big government as it offers them more spoils to split between them. Boehner’s dictatorial action in the House therefore seems to signal Republican Establishment desperation. Action had to be taken in the House to relegate Republican conservative legislators to the back burner. Beware of Boehner’s recent announcement that Obamacare is on the table for fiscal cliff talks, or that raising taxes is out of the question.

Republican pundits — Karl Rove captures the prize in demonizing conservatives — and Republican leaders in the Illinois General Assembly and the U.S. House and Senate foolishly believe Republicans need to offer amnesty to illegal aliens and compromise on issues of morality in order to win elections. Instead, they would be wise to heed the words of Eagle

Forum Phyllis Schlafly in an article published on November 21, Political Parties Need Rebranding.

According the Phyllis Schlafly, the Republican Party needs to change its marketing and its economic message so the Party “can be rebranded as the party of family, good jobs, and superior weaponry that keeps America safe without war. Safe without war and Reagan-style peace through strength can help to win back the Millennial generation.”

To Schlafly, the basic Romney-Republican economic message of cutting taxes and regulations to enable people to prosper as entrepreneurs, innovators, and employers was fine, but it didn’t relate to the millions of men who lost $50,000 jobs and then had to take minimum-wage of part-time jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family.

Schlafly had this to say about how Republicans should define the Democratic Party: “The Democratic Party should be rebranded as the Party of atheism, amnesty, abortion, and debt.”

Lastly, Phyllis Schlafly believes there is plenty of hope for the Republican Party because 30 of the 50 governors are now Republican. At the same time Schlafly urges grassroots Republicans, with the help of Tea Party allies, to take back control of their Party at the local level and set the Republican Party on a winning path!

But what are conservatives in Illinois to do when well known Republicans like John Porter, Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson support and back Democrats, as they did in the recent November General Elections, while at the same time Republicans are being urged to vote the Party line.

John Porter endorsed Democrat Julie Morrison over Republican Dr. Arie Friedman in the IL District 29 race; Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson endorsed Democrat Scott Drury over Republican Mark Shaw in the IL 58th House race. What blatant dichotomy!

After all, elections are many times won by small margins. Furthermore, while Illinois may run out of money, it will never run out of corruption.