Friday, December 19, 2014


It is perhaps a happy sign that enough people have become active in the movement to organize an Article V amendatory constitutional convention to generate disputes among them.

Perhaps a better word is quarrels. What I am seeing is the kind of personal, accusatory bickering that characterizes much of ‘politics as usual.’

It’s too bad. All of the reformers – they call themselves ‘fivers’ – ought to be working together. The task is hard enough if pursued with unity. It is impossible if we are divided.

Certainly there is a root problem imbedded in the very nature of a convention. The problem is as old and as real as the nation itself: it is not red states against blue states or Republican versus Democrat. Not really, although it feels that way.

The difficulty is that the United States consists of fifty sovereign entities of vastly different size. The ten largest states host over half of the nation’s 308 million people. At the same time, the constitution is amended by a ratification of three quarters of the states. It follows that it is technically possible to amend he constitution with a combination of states having less than half of the people.

I say ‘technically’ because as a practical matter in these days of mega networking, social media, and the ubiquitous face of television, it is quite impossible to convince the people of the small states of reforms that the people in large states oppose.

In short, it should be obvious to anyone that no amendment will be ratified which does not represent the consensus of the American people, and the convention must reflect that fact in its rules.

Ah yes, the rules of the convention. Who makes them? There seem to be three points of view on this subject. Some say Congress will make the rules. After all, the Constitution says that Congress calls the convention, so why doesn’t the ‘caller’ spell out the rules?

The answer is obvious. The Article V convention was put in the Constitution to provide a way for the states to rein in an overbearing federal government. To permit the Congress to make convention rules would be to put the fox in charge of the hen house.

It would take no stretch of the imagination to suppose that the Congress would direct that the convention consist of 545 delegates; one chosen by each member of Congress, one by each Justice of the Supreme Court and one by the President.  Hardly a recipe for reform.

A second group insists that the State legislatures should make the rules. These are folks who see an Article V convention as a convention of the States, represented by their respective legislatures. They see the convention being organized in pretty much the same fashion as Congress and the State Legislatures themselves are organized.

And how is that done? Quite simply, along party lines. Majority and minority. One side of the aisle or the other. Winner take all, State by State.

The trouble with that approach is that it can end up like Bush v Gore, with the winner getting less than a majority of the popular vote. We managed to avert a crisis in 2000 when the Supreme Court ignored the constitution and decided the election, but that impromptu approach wouldn’t work for a constitutional amendment.

No sir, the only sensible approach is the third way; let the convention make it’s own rules, but first make sure that every community in America is represented.  There are millions of Republicans in New York and scads of Democrats in Texas. A convention must hear from all the people. It must allow all the ideas to be explored, all the arguments to be made.

The convention must not be bi-partisan. It must be non-partisan. There is a huge difference. Delegates must be chosen for who they are, not for the team they play on. Brand name politics are a major cause of our dysfunctional government.

Let’s be done with name calling and impugning motives to every argument. If we listen to each other and glean the kernel of truth in every thing that is said, we might just make some real progress.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Article V of the United States Constitution says that if two thirds of the State Legislatures apply, the Congress shall call a convention to propose amendments to the constitution.

In the 230 years of our history there have been more than 700 applications from the State Legislatures. Forty-nine of the fifty states have applied. Some States have applied many times.

Congress has never called a convention. Congress has never considered calling a convention. Congress has never even counted the applications.

Why haven’t they? Why has Congress ignored their obligation under Article V?

Very simply because they don’t want a convention.

The Article V convention was written into our constitution for the very purpose of giving the States a means to amend the constitution in ways that the Congress doesn’t want.

Term limits. Gerrymandering. Pork barrel laws. Balanced Budgets. Congress doesn’t want to reform itself. And Congress doesn’t want a convention that will propose reforms.

Let’s face it. The United States Congress will never call an Article V convention. No matter how many states apply. No matter how many times they apply. No matter what words they use or what amendments they want.

Congress simply will not call a convention. Not in my lifetime. Not in your lifetime. Not in the lives of our children and grandchildren. 
So what are we to do?

The Constitution gives us the right to a convention. With or without the call or the permission of the Congress, the people of the United States have the right peaceably to assemble for any lawful purpose.

We don’t need a call from the Congress. We don’t need anyone’s permission. The Congress can’t stop us. The President can’t stop us. The Supreme Court can’t stop us. The army can’t stop us. The FBI, the CIA, Homeland Security, nobody can stop the people from coming together to propose amendments to the United States Constitution.

All we need is the will and the way. The way is right here on the Internet. Convention USA – conVusa for short – is up and running. It is to be an interactive Article V Amendatory Constitutional Convention of 6,166 delegates representing every county in the nation.

All that is left is the will.

Government is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.

Whatever your politics, if you believe we need constitutional reform in America, I urge you to join me and hundreds of other patriotic citizens in this historic effort. Go to Find your district and register as a delegate. Then forward this page to all your friends.

You can make a difference.