James Madison himself, father of the Constitution, warned against convening a second constitutional convention. When he learned that New York and Virginia were actively calling for an Article V convention in 1788, just months after ratification of the Constitution, he was horrified. He counseled: “If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress…. It would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides … [and] would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who, under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts … might have the dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric….”
There are numerous organizations promoting a Constitutional Convention under the guise of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Tom DeWeese wrote about the 10 Amendments for Freedom, Inc, chaired by William Fruth, President of POLICOM Corporation. He covered this in his articles, “Powerful Forces Calling for a Constitutional Convention,” and “Constitutional Convention Cannot be Controlled.”
Back in 1995, model resolutions for the Conference of States (COS) came from the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL), the organization that indoctrinates liberal (mostly Democratic) legislators, just as American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does the conservatives (Republicans). The NCSL is presently backing the internet sales tax, and the rotten E-Verify.
ALEC passed a resolution supporting the COS resolution, and Republicans joined the fray. Thankfully, the 1995 attempt was defeated, again because patriots were alert. (As an aside, the Governor of New Mexico was then Gary Johnson, Libertarian Candidate for President in the 2012 race, and he backed the COS resolution.)
The NCSL (National Conference of State Legislators), NCM (National Conference of Mayors), NGA (National Governors Association) just to name a few – are adjuncts of the Council of State Governments (CSG). The original COS was billed as a plan by Governors Michael Leavitt of Utah and Ben Nelson of Kansas, but it became clear from a 1987 Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) and (CSG) paper that in reality the Governors were merely delivery boys for the scheme led by the Rockefeller founded Council of State Governments. The United States ACIR was terminated in September, 1996, but nearly every state has its own ACIR.
Paul Weyrich’s ALEC, (American Legislative Exchange Council) backed the COS. ALEC boasts nearly 3,000 conservative legislative and corporate members, and has been strongly pushing a Con-Con for decades.
The CSG is a private, international organization funded originally with Rockefeller money through the Spelman Fund (John D. Rockefeller’s wife, Laura Spelman)(see CSG’s Book of the States Volume I – 1935) and currently receives millions of dollars from states’ dues – our tax dollars. As early as 1935, the CSG had already called for gun control and the creation of 10 REGIONS for America. Today, America has 10 Federal Regions from which the federal government controls our money and therefore our states, counties, townships and municipalities. Regionalism is Communism! The money from the block grants coming into the states is fed into the Federal Regional Planning Commissions, HUD, HEW, EPA, Departments of Labor, Commerce, DOE, etc., which in turn doles it out to our local governments in return for their “obedience” in passing whatever laws and ordinances the federal planners dictate (think Agenda 21, Smart Growth). If they do not comply, money is withheld until they do.
Here we are, eighteen years later, and they’re still at it. In this present assault on our Constitution the roles are reversed: ALEC wrote the model resolution; and the NCSL is solidly behind the scheme, as indicated by the letter that was sent to every Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker in this country by Florida Senator Jeff Atwater, from the NCSL. So, let’s take a closer look at ALEC.
American Legislative Exchange Council
The subject of ALEC deserves a three-part article alone, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll just give an overview. ALEC was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Grand Poobah of the secretive Council for National Policy, founder of Free Congress Foundation, and the Heritage Foundation. ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It’s not just a lobby or front group, ALEC is one of the most powerful unelected councils in the country.
Corporations hand to state legislators their “wish lists” of legislation to benefit their bottom lines. The membership of ALEC is 98% corporate and the corporate membership is the one that funds almost all of ALEC’s operations. They have bought their way into the process by which corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. ALEC’s legislative leaders are responsible for getting the bills introduced and passed. They introduce and carry the bills in their statehouses as their own brilliant ideas. As an example, the immigration bill, SB1070, was written by ALEC and carried by Russell Pearce, word for word, to Arizona. Private prison corporations had a huge part in ALEC’s crafting of SB1070.
Richard Mellon Scaife has allegedly funded ALEC to the tune of more than 7 million dollars. One must remember that Scaife funds both sides of the aisle and is connected to Rockefeller (Chase Mellon Bank). Scaife also had a full page ad in the WSJ stating why it was so important for taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood and what they do for American women. The danger in the ALEC organization is that its leadership apparently wants to rewrite our Constitution, and they claim a membership of 2,500 plus of our 7,500 legislators. Members of ALEC even include the Church of Scientology, which has spoken at ALEC meetings.
Sometime in the mid-1990s, the Church of Scientology became one of ALEC’s underwriters, for the apparent purpose of interacting with state lawmakers on mental health-care issues. Here’s an excerpt from a 1998 fundraising letter written by Bruce Wiseman, the president of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, (CCHR) a highly controversial anti-psychiatry front-group of the Church of Scientology. Wiseman writes. “ALEC is a national organization made up of legislators from every state as well as some federal legislators who meet and draft model legislation for every state. The return for that has been enormous! CCHR has worked its way up the conditions at ALEC and recently got an article published by ALEC in opposition to mandated mental-health parity, which went to key state legislators who deal with health issues in their respective states. In addition, the ALEC membership has opened the door to meeting numerous legislators and other opinion leaders from around the country.”
Back in 1992, when Ross Perot came on the scene, he was gung-ho for a Con-Con. He stated emphatically that we needed a parliamentary government (same as ALEC’s founder, Paul Weyrich) and bragged that “his people” could get the remaining states needed for a Con-Con “in their sleep.” Thank God, we found out and it was stopped.
The legislators never disclose that corporations wrote and vetted these bills along with fellow politicians behind closed doors at ALEC meetings. So, everyone who is a member of ALEC is influencing not only state bills, but likely most federal bills as well, written by corporations with vested interests…along with lobbyists and state representatives.
ALEC is a longtime supporter of a Constitutional Convention. A 43 page handbook, written by Robert G. Natelson, entitled: “Proposing Constitutional Amendments by a Convention of the States,” was provided to their mostly-republican members, along with model legislation to carry back to their states. The booklet is full of spins, lies, and misdirection. It claims the states must exercise control as given to them by the founders that they must move quickly, that state legislatures will have complete control over the process, and will answer to the state legislatures they represent. This is far from the truth. As we discussed and made clear in Part 1 of this article, there is no provision in Article V empowering state legislators to choose the delegates to a Constitutional Convention or to “limit” the scope of a Con-Con. There are no rules, no regulations, and certainly no instructions.
Henry Hazlitt, American economist, (1894-1993), was the former economic advisor to pro-Constitutional Convention, National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU), headed by James Dale Davidson. Davidson’s NTU was instrumental in promoting a Con-Con in the early 80s and he claimed he gave $100,000 every year to the cause. Hazlitt was a renowned conservative, and he wrote a book which he republished in 1974 called, “A New Constitution Now.” This book makes the argument for replacing America’s presidential system of government with a parliamentary one resembling Great Britain’s. I thought we fought a revolutionary war to escape that form of government!
Hazlitt’s book is extremely dangerous inasmuch as Hazlitt states things like, “an amendment could be proposed that would strike out everything after “We the people,” and that, of course, includes the Bill of Rights. He was suggesting that everything after “We the people” on down be scrapped and rewritten, which is amazing, as this document has provided more human dignity and freedom for more people than any other in recorded history.
Other suggested improvements by Hazlitt include making it easier to amend our Constitution by adopting the Swiss and Australian procedure. Another would be to restrict Presidents to a single term. A third would be to abolish the office of Vice President. A fourth would reconstitute the Supreme Court, with each governor appointing a justice with the approval of his state legislature. (Think about that with these neo-conservative Trotskyite governors we have on the right, like Tennessee’s Haslam, and the full-blown communists on the left, like New York’s Cuomo.) The neo-conservative Trotskyite rightwing loved Hazlitt and still quote him.
In the final part of this series, we’ll discuss Rexford Guy Tugwell, and the Newstates Constitution. Tugwell was a man far ahead of his time. He deplored private property rights, declared our 1787 Constitution to be outmoded and archaic, and would have loved United Nations Agenda 21/Smart Growth/Sustainability.
In fact, in 1938 Tugwell was appointed as the first director of the New York City Planning Commission. New York’s reformist mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, created the commission as part of a city charter reform aimed at reducing corruption and inefficiency. The Planning Commission had relatively limited powers – all actions needed approval from the legislative Board of Estimate. Rexford Tugwell tried to assert the commission’s power. He tried to retroactively enforce nonconforming land uses, despite a lack of public or legal support. His commission sought to establish public housing at moderate densities, yet repeatedly approved FHA requests for greater density. Robert Moses killed Tugwell’s proposed fifty-year master plan with a fiery public denouncement of its open space protections.
Tugwell’s book, “The Emerging Constitution,” makes it clear where he stood. He states on page 593, “The other considerable change (to the Constitution) is the consolidation of states into fewer, and it is hoped, more effective regional groupings, thus at last organizing as one system rather than a confused fifty.”
Also on page 593 is this statement about the proposed Newstates constitution, “It will be noticed that the general emphasis on the protection of individuals from the exercise of governmental powers has been supplemented with a list of responsibilities.”