Do we get just one shot?

At the moment, there are two approaches to using Article V.  The one advocated by our “competitors”, the Convention of States (CoS) people (Mark Meckler and Mike Farris) is the shotgun approach.  It calls for a wide open convention, which could properly propose any amendment which reduced the power and scope of the federal government.  This includes all but one of the “Liberty Amendments”.

One of the rationales of the shotgun approach is the theory that constitutional reformers will get only one shot at it.  The forces of the left and the status quo are so powerful that, once awakened, they will prevent a second Convention of States from ever taking place.

We think this is totally wrongheaded, and betrays a paranoid attitude toward politics.  We believe the states, and the people, will get so jacked up once they use Article V that they’ll use it again, and again.  We’ll pass most of the Liberty Amendments, just one at a time.

As a result of their paranoia, the CoS people’s shotgun approach will breed counter paranoia.  The biggest obstacle to using Article V has always been right wing paranoia.  The shotgun approach feeds it, and, we believe, will doom the CoS approach..

Paradoxically, the CoS people think that there is so much enthusiasm for reform that all opposition can be overcome.  Time will tell.  As I’ve mentioned before, the CoS folks bring serious assets to the fight, and will eventually be strong allies.

A byproduct of our tightly focused effort is our interest in expanding the playing field in the 2014 state legislative elections, starting in Oregon. 

I got a return email from the Chairman of the U of O YR’s, Caleb J. N. Huegel. In my humble opinion, all I will need with these college kids is a chance to make the pitch. I can speak their language, having been one of them 50 years ago. Here’s betting that I’ll be able to close the deal with young Mr. Huegel and his whole damn club. I don’t know the extent to which they’ll follow through, in terms of actually pitching in to help these legislative candidates. But I’ll sell them on the idea, anyway.

The upshot is that I may well fly to Portland to appear on the Larson radio show, then drive to Salem to meet people in the legislature, then to Eugene to meet these college kids. I’m excited about it because the whole effort in Oregon could be duplicated in Washington, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Maine.

Come 2015, these states could mean the difference between success, and failure.

The Hunt for the Blue Dog

In the states where the Reagan Project is in full campaign mode (Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Kentucky and Maine) we’re hunting for Blue Dogs, or conservative Democrats.  These are the D’s who live in the most conservative districts, and who have relatively conservative political views.  They’re often quite sincere in their moderation and mainstream values.  They’re people we can get along with, people who might even support an Article V resolution.

 But they’ve got to go.  Because in the most important vote of all, the vote to organize, they stick with the liberals, and we get Pelosis and Reeds.  Counting Blue Dogs, we can have majority support for an Article V resolution, but the Democratic leadership will never allow a vote.

I want to tie these people to the national Democratic Party, to Obama, Pelosi, and Reed.  To Obamacare, and the national debt.  To the whole “progressive” agenda, with its wealth redistribution, its hostility to family values, the second amendment, and traditional America.

They howl in protest when you do it.  They don’t believe all that crap, and they resent being associated with it.  But they endorse it all when they vote to organize, so they’ve got it coming.

This isn’t hard to do.  It’s not rocket science.  It may be controversial, but it’s entirely legitimate.  You don’t need big bucks to do it.  Often these Blue Dogs are personally very popular; well respected community leaders with a long record of public service.  The Republican candidate, and his campaign, would face a backlash if they did this themselves.  Which is why it must be done by a truly independent PAC, with no ties to the candidate.  Often the candidate will disavow the attacks, even publicly call for them to stop.  Fine.  Whatever.  It’s called free speech.

This will all take time, and a lot of work, in each state.  But it doesn’t take much money.  Handled properly, you can get a lot of earned media when you do it.  You can make it an important issue in the campaign.

Hunting Blue Dogs is exciting, but it can be sad, in a way.  When you’ve successfully hunted a big game animal, you feel a bit of remorse posing with the carcass.  They’re beautiful animals.  But you can’t let that bother you.

It’s just business.




Year end assessment

Counting Michigan as our 21st, we need 13. 

Tennessee is going to be a challenge, from what I hear. The IAmAmerican show is set for Feb. 8 & 9.  I’ll talk to our sponsor and event organizer Rep. Dennis Powers about getting on local talk radio to promote it, the BBA, and Article V. 

Louisiana is Rep. Joe Harrison of Gray, LA.  I met him at ALEC and he seems competent and confident.  I asked him about getting on the Moon Griffon show, but he says a guy named Robinette at WWL is the guy.  The road show is set for March 22 & 23, so by then we’ll have a good idea if our confidence is well placed.

In Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff appears to have things well in hand, working with Sen. Al Melvin.  The show is in Phoenix Feb. 22 & 23, coinciding with a Western Conservative Congress (a CPAC offshoot) which Lew Uhler told us about.  He’ll be there for that, which will be a big help. I’ll be on the “Joe Show” in Flagstaff with Bob, and also, hopefully, Broomholder in Phoenix.

In Montana I’ve got to see if Dean Folkvold of Wheat Montana actually wants to be involved. I’m not worried about Montana. My sons Darren and Brendan are there, and I will get on talk radio there to promote this as an election issue in November’s election. Same goes for Wyoming and North Dakota. These three have to wait for 2015.

Oklahoma won’t be easy, but Rep. Gary Banz has the show coming on Jan. 25 & 26, and I’ll do talk radio ahead of time. He’s got to talk to the Governor.

I feel real good about Idaho, with Sen. Marv Hagedorn in charge. Again, he needs to see the governor. The IAmAmerican gang will do two events on Jan.11 & 12, one up in the panhandle – Bircher country. Marv will set me up with two shows in Boise.

In Wisconsin we’re counting on Rep. Chris Kapenga, and, hopefully Gov. Walker. After our success in Ohio and Michigan, we feel good here. U. S. Sen. Ron Johnson would help, if called upon.

In Georgia all we need is the House, and its anti-Tea Party Speaker. Sen. Bill Cowsert and his pals in the House should handle this.

We only need the Senate in South Carolina, and I hear conflicting things about the Senate President. There’s some huge Tea Party thing coming up there, which we think will push us over the top.

Rep. Lemunyon has put his bill in in Virginia, and we’ll see. I really don’t know about Virginia. I have strong doubts, but we’ll see.

I have big doubts about our 34th state, Utah, as well. The Tea Party is very strong, but contains a lot of Bircher and Eagle Forum people. Eagle Forum belongs to our nemesis, Phyllis Schlafly. This right wing heroine (she killed the Equal Rights Amendment) is 89, and we hear is terminally ill, and shutting down her operation. If this rumor is true, it will make it easier. U. S. Senator Mike Lee could help, but I guess he’s afraid of these far right guys.

Because Utah, our 34th, is so shaky, the Reagan Project will be spending a lot of time on turning MN, ME, KY, OR, and WA in November’s election. After the state legislative “season” winds down this spring, everyone else will need to get involved as well.

The Reagan Project was born out of a conviction that November 2014 will be an historic wave election, as, or more, significant than 1946. If that prediction proves out, we will flip three, four, or five legislatures, greasing the path to 34, then 38.

It all gets back to the American people. I think they’ve still got enough spine to take their country back. If I’m wrong I will have wasted a lot of time, and missed a lot of football games. But who really gives a shit about football, anyway?

An Article V campaign can be compared to a presidential election, where the magic number is 270. Karl Rove gets a lot of credit for focusing on West Virginia’s five electoral votes in 2000, which put Bush over the 270 mark. The attention the Reagan Project is giving, in order, to Kentucky, Washington (with the help of former Alaska Senate Majority Robin Taylor), Oregon, Minnesota, and Maine just might be the difference in getting to 34, and then 38 for ratification.

That would give me a lot of satisfaction. I feel like everything I’ve done in politics for the last 50 years has prepared me for all this. If my health holds up (I’m 68) I’ll be fine.

And, when you think about it, what was Reagan doing when he was 68?

The Walker tell

In politics, like poker, you’re always looking for a tell.  Kasich’s letter was a tell.  Pence’s speech at ALEC was a tell.  Even Al Melvin’s embrace of the BBA in his campaign for Governor of AZ was a tell.  Scott Walker is facing a rogue DA, and he’s got to get reelected, big.  And there’s his run for President looming.  If he decides to come out for the BBA the way Kasich and Pence have, we’ve got ourselves a serious tell.  I’m dying to find out.  I guess I’ll ask Gary Bantz about it.  He’s tight with our Wisconsin sponsor, Chris Kapenga.  I’m not. 

What this is telling us is that in 2014 high profile Republican candidates are going to be pushing the BBA.  They’re sincere, of course, but they’re doing it because they see it as a winning issue.  This should trickle down to state legislative candidates.  All good.  This could become infectious.  Snowball.  In my opinion the 2016 nominee will be either Walker, Pence, or Kasich.  If all three are pushing the BBA, it’s a high profile national issue.  All good.

Another tell is the dog that didn’t bark.  Where the hell were the Democrats in Ohio?  Where was the AFL-CIO?  Where were the teachers?  The whole crew that led the rescission campaign.  That’s a tell.

We may have the big mo.



Idaho and Kentucky

Idaho looks good.  Our sponsor, Sen. Marv Hagedorn from Meridian is on the case.  Leadership on board.  He’s going with the Delegate Limitation Act.  I think most states will.  Gives more assurance to people worried about a runaway. 

Birchers and Eagle Forum not a force.  Lots of Tea Party, and they’re the key.  I’ll do my bit.  Marv’s setting me up with Nate Shellman, KBOI 670 and Kevin Miller KCI 580.  They’ll have a lot of Tea Party listeners, who I can hopefully interact with.  In Idaho, they’re the guys.  Lauren Enns of IAmAmerican will talk to Marv about doing an event in Idaho.  I saw, on the internet, a local TV station up there do a piece on Marv and Article V.  Very good stuff.

Got rebuffed in Kentucky, but no big deal.  All I need are a couple college kids who want to play a little politics.  I should be able to find them.  Reached out on Facebook to Alissa(?) Scott, the western director of the College Young Republicans.  If she likes me she’ll help me out.

What I want to do in Kentucky is what I did in Alaska in 1986.  Wally Hickel and State Senator Arliss Sturgulewski were in the Republican primary for Governor.  Former Governor Jay Hammond couldn’t stand Hickel and he liked Sturgulewski, so his political guy, Bob Clarke, decided to make a hit on Hickel.  One of Bob’s rules was that his name never be mentioned.  I guess because it would be a link to Hammond.

So naturally he called me.  We were best buddies.  I lived with Bob most of my eight years of being in session in Juneau.  He drank Scotch and I drank beer.  We really got along.  And I agreed with Hammond.  I was running unopposed for reelection to the State House, so I had the time.

Bob got ahold of this college kid, John Ericson, or something like that, and he signed the papers to form Bipartisan Alaskans Against Hickel (B.A.A.H).  Like the sheep.  I set up the P. O. Box and the bank, Bob got the money from somewhere, and we had ourselves an organization!

We ran some pretty vicious attack ads on Hickel.  Nothing personal, but we made him look real bad.  It made a big stink, but the only name the press could associate it with was the kid, and he was out of state.  They looked all over for this kid.  It was a big deal.

Finally the heat got too strong and we got the kid back in town for a press conference.  We prepped him quite a bit, and he was flawless.  But I had to be there with him, in public.  I’m the House Minority Leader, and I figured these people in the media knew what was going on.  They knew how I felt about Hickel.  But none of them liked the son of a bitch either, so they all let it slide.