“In questions of power let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” Thomas Jefferson
“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” Thomas Jefferson
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
There are a number of groups pushing a Con-Con today, the Compact for America, the Goldwater Institute, (who supports the group, Restoring Freedom. Org. Inc. who created the National Debt Relief Amendment or BBA), the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL) and many others. Let’s look at a few of these groups.
Compact for America
Just what is this “Compact for America?” From their own website:
“The CFA is a non-profit exempt corporation promoting a bi-partisan “Initiative” to seek the passage of legislation by the states and the U.S. Congress to ratify a balanced budget amendment into the Constitution of the United States in a way that has never been done before. The Initiative includes the use of an interstate compact agreement and the counterpart federal legislation to coordinate the use of Article V of the Constitution of the United States by state legislatures to originate and ratify a specific constitutional amendment that would require Congress to operate under a balanced budget. The use of the Initiative’s interstate compact vehicle is expected to reduce the time necessary to originate and ratify the specific balanced budget amendment from 10 years to less than 12 months!”
CFA Directors and Advisors
Take a look at the “about” section of the CFA website again. On the Board of Directors is none other than the liberal Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias, a lawyer, who has been promoting a Con-Con via the Institute for years. CFA’s Chairman of the Board is banker, Harold R. DeMoss III. Oilman Kyle McAlister, is the secretary and treasurer as well as Vice President.
The Advisory Council includes a Senior Federal Judge, professors, businessmen, and political consultants. Two names were of great interest. John McLaughlin has worked for neo-con Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Cantor, former Senator Fred Thompson (CFR), and Steve Forbes. McLaughlin and Associates’ client list reads like a who’s who of the neo-con Trotskyites, including the infamous neo-conservative Heritage Foundation which has both Communist, United Nations, and Rockefeller connections.
However, the name on the CFA Advisory Board that really caught my eye was Lawrence Lessig, professor of Law at Harvard University. According to Citizen Wells News Blog, Lawrence Lessig was an associate of Obama’s at the University of Chicago. Lessig considers Obama a friend, and has supported the President on his website and in speaking engagements. Lessig is also mentioned on Obama’s site as part of his technology initiative.
In a 2008 article at Sic Semper Tyrannis about Lawrence Lessig, it states, “Killing God and destroying the right to private property are usually associated with communism. They also seem important to the prominent legal theorist serving as Barack Obama’s technology adviser. It should not be surprising that Obama doesn’t want the world knowing to what extent Lessig is involved in advising the Democratic front-runner.” The former Harvard Law School professor is the leading light of what is known as the “free culture movement,” which insists that the age of the Internet should mean the abolition of intellectual property rights. He also has radical ideas about government information. British-American Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and “Cult of the Amateur” author, Andrew Keen, has called Lessig an “intellectual property communist.”
What is even more disturbing is a video Lessig produced and presented at a conference, which mocks Jesus and portrays the Saviour as homosexual. Lessig has been busy promoting a Con-Con for a long time. Remember his name, as you’ll see it pop up again and again. Obama may even nominate him for the Supreme Court.
In September, 2011, I wrote a two-part article entitled, “The Constitutional Convention Con,” regarding the co-sponsoring of a Con-Con Conference in late September at Harvard by the Tea Party Patriots (TPP), whose leaders at that time were Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin. Lawrence Lessig was the Harvard co-sponsor and headed the pro-Con-Con members.
Another article from October of 2011, was entitled, “Occupy Wall Street and the Constitutional Convention.” The OWS was not only demanding the United Nations one-percent tax, but they were/are also demanding a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of changing the entire social structure of the US. Leftist commentator, Cenk Uygur announced the formation of Wolf-PAC to campaign for a Constitutional Convention. His call to action was featured on a website, Amped Status, run by David DeGraw who is one of the original founders of the OWS movement. Here is a video of Cenk’s dangerous Constitutional Convention announcement. He was present at the Constitutional Convention Conference at Harvard along with Lawrence Lessig.
“Tea Party Patriots, Harvard, and the Constitutional Convention,” was published on March 7, 2012. The list of attendees at the Harvard Conference reads like a who’s who of the left with a few moderates from the right thrown in for “balance.” Leftists, Cenk Uygur, CFA’s Nick Dranias, Lawrence Lessig, Bill Walker, as well as numerous neo-con Trotskyites, all vociferous proponents of a Con-Con, were invited. Obviously absent were the anti-Con-Con folks, the John Birch Society, Eagle Forum, American Policy Center’s Tom DeWeese, Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and virtually every Second Amendment organization (other than NRA) and countless others who could have balanced the attendees.
Compact for America Goals
In January of 2013, the Compact for America (CFA) Initiative started lobbying all the state legislators to propose legislation that would call for a Constitutional Convention under the guise of a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). Unlike the 1980s call for a Con-Con, this is even more insidious. The Compact for America (CFA) is calling for a Constitutional Convention, as provided for in Article V of the Constitution, to meet in Dallas, Texas on July 4, 2013. The Right of the People in convention to alter their government could be used to make this a runaway convention.
Here is a short overview of the CFA from the New American Magazine, January 21, 2013 issue. I would urge you to read the entire article and especially take note of the CFA timeline included in the article.
The CFA Initiative is composed of three parts: First, there is a multi-state compact petitioning Congress to convene a con-con with state governors of member states serving as delegates and notifying Congress that members of the compact have pre-ratified the BBA called for and defined by the CFA; second, there is a balanced budget amendment as defined by the CFA that would be added to the Constitution; and third, there is a congressional resolution that would call a constitutional convention when and if 38 states join the CFA compact, and then would automate the steps required to add the BBA to the Constitution upon receipt of a certified copy of the BBA evidencing that the convention has approved the BBA for ratification.
The CFA claims the 1787 Constitutional Convention did not exceed its mandate, and was not a runaway Convention, but as we discussed in Part 1 of this article, it certainly did exceed the authority they were granted by the states. They were to meet only to revise the Articles of Confederation, instead they threw the entire document out. They also claim the Dallas Con-Con would follow the claims of proposing only a BBA and nothing else. The Dallas Convention would only propose amendments that would then be submitted for ratification by the states, either by state legislatures or state conventions. This so-called “safeguard” has not been effective in stopping all bad amendments however. The 16th Amendment establishing an income tax, the 17th Amendment of direct election of Senators, and the 18th Amendment of prohibition of alcohol was ratified by 3/4ths of the states. The right of the people once they’re in Convention to revise their government could easily lead to another runaway Convention. Nothing can truly be limited.
Attorney, Publius Huldah makes it clear:
The two basic methods for amending the Constitution are set forth at Article V:
(1) Congress proposes Amendments and the States decide whether to ratify or reject.
(2) Or Congress calls a convention if 2/3 (34 states) of the States ask for it.
Whether (1) or (2), the Amendment are valid when:
(a) ratified by the legislatures of 3/4 (38 states) of the States, or
(b) ratified by separate conventions in 3/4 of the States.
Congress proposes whether it will be (a) or (b).
Remember, there is no safeguard from a runaway convention, regardless of what you’ve been told. Article V of the Constitution does not provide any language to limit an “Amendment Convention” or its power. There are no rules, or restrictions or instructions in Article V.
There are 4 paths for an amendment:
1. proposal by convention of states, and ratification by state conventions (it’s never been used)
2. proposal by convention of states, and ratification by state legislatures (it’s never been used)
3. proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions of the citizens (used only once for 21st amendment) (This is not a Con-Con)( In 1933 the 21st Amendment – lifting the prohibition on alcohol – was ratified in special ratifying convention, thus circumventing – bypassing altogether – the legislatures of the states.)
4. proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times for all other amendments)
Before the CFA’s BBA Amendment Con-Con could begin, at least 38 state legislatures would need to join in the CFA’s “compact” calling for the convening in Dallas, in July of 2013. As CFA Board Member and Goldwater Institute Director of Policy Development and Constitutional Government, Nick Dranias explains, the CFA consolidates the Article V process in two pieces of legislation, a state compact and congressional resolution.
Here’s an admission from CFA’s Nick Dranias, constitutional “expert” with the Goldwater Institute, informing the Arizona house committee on March 21st, at about 1:38-1:40 pm (on the archived video on Arizona SCR 1005, Constitution; Amendments Convention; Federal Debt) that “two retired business men” brought them this “genius plan.” Thank Heaven the legislators on that committee were informed and intelligent enough to vote it down. In discussing the opponents’ fears of a runaway Article V Convention, the truth just slipped out, again. Dranius stated, “the fact that it may be abused. . . isn’t an argument against using it!” Excuse me, Mr. Dranias, but it is a perfect argument against using it!
The historically uneducated members of state legislatures, as well as the uneducated electorate hear the CFA proponents telling them the Dallas Convention will put a stop to the out-of-control federal spending. The Constitution already has specifically limited areas of spending. The CFA’s Balanced Budget Amendment does nothing to stop the unconstitutional spending by Congress! As we discussed in Part 1, it actually legalizes Congress’s spending on anything, no matter how unconstitutional! As long as the amount does not exceed the limit set in Section 2 of the BBA, they can spend on anything they desire. Section 3 of the BBA actually authorizes an increase in the federal debt limit to 105 percent of the actual debt level on the effective date of the BBA. As explained in Publius Huldah’s article, “Why the Balanced Budget Amendment is a Hoax and Deadly Trap,” Section 4 of the BBA proposed by the CFA actually gives Congress and the president new powers not already granted them by the Constitution!
Knowing who has been behind the push for a Con-Con since the 1960’s, the Dallas Convention would undoubtedly end up in another runaway Convention. If the Compact for America is lobbying your state legislators, please contact them and tell them you do not want a state call for a Constitutional Convention!
Next, we’ll look at ALEC’s drive for a Constitutional Convention, along with Henry Hazlitt, Rexford Tugwell, and the New States Constitution which is waiting in the wings to replace the 1787 Constitution.Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com.