Que pasa.

We’re out of committee, and on to the House floor in GA.  Looking good.  We’ve already passed the Senate, so we expect a win.

We go to the House floor in WI soon, with enough cosponsors to assure passage.  The Senate will be a fight.  We need Gov. Walker and Sen. Johnson to step up.  Our sponsor, Chris Kapenga, is plenty savvy, but I wish I could talk to him about his plans in the Senate.  I’ll reach out.

We’re trying to put a little pressure on SC Senate Finance Chair Leatherman, who’s holding the bill.  He’s a Chamber of Commerce Republic an, so I think we’ll get to him.  There are tons of reasons a Committee Chairman will hold a bill.  You’ve got to be on the ground to really know what’s happening.  SC should be OK.

Tennessee is a state we are pretty confident about, though I don’t know the particulars of that situation.

I’ll be in Salt Lake to testify next week.  If we get out of committee it’s straight to the House floor.  The Speaker’s with us, as is the Senate President.  Our new sponsor, Rep. Kraig Powell, is quite diligent and earnest.  Our former sponsor, Rep. Ken Ivory, is on the committee, so he’ll be a help.  His district is swarming with Birchers so he let Powell, from a moderate district, take the ball.  Our group doesn’t think we’ve got a shot in Utah without grass roots support, which it’s too late to organize.  I hope they’re wrong.  There are three hard core R’s from rural areas on  the committee that are my target.  I hope they listen .

Idaho is a bit of a mystery.  Our sponsor, Sen. Hagedorn , seem s bright and savvy enough, but is he following through?  He doesn’t communicate.

The guys in Michigan  keep telling us any day now, they’ll be the 21st.  They’re not lying.

I’ve got to find out about AZ and LA.  I’ll talk to Scott, see what he knows.

In OK, Sen. Coburn is going to get us through, I’m betting.

I’ve been with the Task Force for three months now, and progress is being made.  But we’re not as well organized as we will be when I’m even more involved.  Momentum is on our side.  Events are breaking for us.  Our arguments are overwhelming.

You gotta believe.

Next Winter in Pierre

We lost South Dakota.  Bad stuff.  I guess there’s some Bircher or Eagle Forum people who hang around Pierre during the session, and they worked this really hard.  We think we’ve learned our lesson.  We’ll get SD next year. 

This means we can’t run the table this year.  We’ll be at it in 2015, maybe even 2016.  That’s OK.  In some ways it’s good.  If we’re battling for our 34th state in the spring of 2016 it will coincide quite nicely with the presidential primaries.  I bet we get virtually all the Republican candidates to support us.  Some, like Kasich or Paul, will be smart enough to make their support of Article V a big part of their campaign.  The Democrats will oppose it, of course — to their cost.  If enough people start understanding the role of Article V in our constitutional system, this will generate support for the Republican.  If the R wins in November of 2016 it will be, in part, an endorsement by the electorate of Article V. 

I would, of course, like to see an R in the White House, and the Senate controlled by R’s.  But it’s secondary to the main goal — a Convention of States.  But if the President and both Houses of Congress want Article V to happen, it will make our job easier.

I’ve been expecting this.  There was no way we are going to run the table.  We’re not well enough organized, and we have very little money.  With Dr. Coburn on board I think we’ll get the money, especially if we get to 30, or close.  And we’ll have all summer to plan the 2015 campaign.  We’ll rally the Tea Party.  I’ll be doing talk radio.  We’ll be trying to inject Article V into state legislative races.  There’s a whole lot of things we can do.  Right now, we’re doing things kind of half assed.  That can change.  It will change.  I’ve been involved with the BBA Task Force for three months.  I’ve become the idea guy.  I understand politics, and how state legislatures work, far more than anyone else on the team.  I don’t want any title or leadership responsibilities.  I like the way we work right now.  Wouldn’t change a thing.  But these guys are going to start listening to me more, and more.  I’m persuasive.  Things still look good.

Rep. Powell (UT) says he wants me to come to Salt Lake on 2-26 to testify at a hearing, something I haven’t done in 25 years.  It’ll be fun, if it al works out.  As long as I can keep myself from being overbearing, I’ll be good.

I hate to admit it, but I’ll probably be a little nervous.   Good God, a blushing 68 year old.

A Chairman

Big day, maybe.  Dave Biddulph sent me an article about Dr. Coburn in which he stated that he now intends to devote himself to Article V.  He’s quoted as wanting to promote “the Convention of States.”  Hopefully this does not refer to our rival organization.  When I read it I called Dave and told him we should offer Coburn the chairmanship of our organization.  This is a title, not a position.  We’d continue to operate as we do now.  Coburn would be our spokesman.  Dave agreed, but wants a D co-chair.  Fine.  That would be great, although I would be prepared to go without one.

So I called our OK sponsor, Rep.Gary Banz, and laid it out.  He agrees.  There are two State Senators who are former Coburn staffers.  We’ll go through them.  Coburn’s appearance before the caucus was put off.  They had to elect a new Speaker this morning.  With that done, they’ll work on getting Coburn back to the caucus.

Among the knowledgeable right, Dr. Coburn is a hero.  He would give us instant credibility.  $ would flow.  Having him appear before the Judiciary Committee of the Utah House would get us votes.  He’s that respected.

Once we find a D to co-chair, we should have a big presser in D. C.  Invite all the state sponsors.  (And use it as a recruiting tool for sponsors in ND, WY, and MT.)  Coburn can easily get on Hannity, Levin, even Limbaugh.  A huge momentum lift.

Until we get a response from Coburn I’ll be on pins and needles. It’s that big.

I’ve been frustrated at our lack of support.  Dr. Coburn would end all that.

I just wish I could make the pitch to him.



Obama needs a black swan

Since we’re counting on flipping as many as five state legislatures into Red, the Nov. elections loom large.  There seems to be a consensus that the D’s chances are tightly bound to Obama’s approval rating, currently in the mid-forties.  For a really big wave, that  number needs to fade a bit.  If it starts edging up, we could even lose the Senate again.

So what’s going to move that number in the next nine months?

1)  Foreign affairs?  I can see a lot of problems, not a lot of opportunities.  I’ll bet Obama doesn’t get any upside from overseas.  A lot of bad things could hit the fan, especially in the Middle East. 

2)  The economy?  Everything I see says this won ‘t help Obama much.  The best he can hope for is modest recovery, which I can’t see giving him much upside.  Obamacare, and all the federal regulations, will prevent any real rebound.  So, more of the same, with the possibility of something blowing up ever present.

3)  Obamacare?  ok, I’m a fanatic about this.  I follow the damn thing as closely as I can; I read everything that’s out there.  Jim Capretta above all.  And Avik Roy.  I swear these guys aren’t partisan hacks.  They’re legitimate experts, whose predictions have been spot on.  They say it gets worse.  Everything I’ve learned tells me they’re right.

4)  Republican implosion.  I think the R’s have realized they can’t win in a showdown with Obama, on the debt ceiling g, spending, or just about anything else.  It doesn’t matter if they’re right.  The MSM is still too powerful.  So I think they avoid shooting themselves in the foot.

5)  Another 9/11.  We do rally around a President, any President, at such times.  The big east coast hurricane the last week of the 2012 campaign certainly helped Obama (thanks, Christie.)  You never know. 

6)  A black swan.  Something nobody saw coming.  Something off the wall.  An assassination  attempt.  Michelle gets cancer.  A Tea Party member blows up a federal building.  I remember the political climate of early 1995.  Things did not look good for Clinton  and the D’s.  People were pissed off at the federal government.  The Waco slaughter was only a year old, and it stunk.  A teenager was shot and killed at Ruby Ridge by the feds in a gun sting gone wrong.  Things were moving our way.  It felt good.  Then came Timothy McVeigh, blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma City.  He was a righty, a militia guy.  He was used to discredit all of us .  It worked.  The MSM went overtime, and Clinton caught a wind which started him on his reelection run.

Barring that swan, I’m willing to bet that Obama’s barely in the 40’s in November.  We win, big.  Good stuff begins to happen , including our Article V campaign.  1946 was a huge year in American political history, and is much underappreciated.  We could do even better 68 years later.  These things take a long time.

You gotta believe.


A Column

Rep. Gary Banz (OK) told us in Friday’s cc that Dr. Coburn will be in Oklahoma City on Monday.  He’ll give a talk to the Republican Caucus of the State Legislature.

This is not that unusual.  Ted Stevens did it a couple times when I was in the AK legislature.  What’s different is that

1)  Dr. Coburn is deeply respected by almost everyone in that Caucus.  He’s a great man.  Period.

2)  His second Senate term doesn’t end for two years, but he’s resigning his seat because of his fight with cancer.  There will be a poignancy in this meeting.  It’s the beginning of a long goodbye.

3)  We think he’s going to come out, strongly, for our Article V BBA.  We’re hoping he makes it a highlight of his remarks.

So I think Gary should write a column about it and submit it to The Oklahoman, where it might be noticed by the national press.  Even if it doesn’t catch on nationally, it will help us in several other ways.  But I think I need to really write the column.  You may not know it from reading this blog, but when I put my mind to it I can write. 

So I emailed Gary with the idea, and I’m waiting to hear what he thinks.  We’d clear the whole thing with Coburn’s press people, of course.  I’d love to write that article.  I really, really like Cob urn, and I would make him look good.  And I’d dramatize the whole thing.  I won’t actually be there, so I’ll just make it all up (fact checking with Gary, of course).

When Stevens was running for reelection in ’86 he met with all the Republican legislators in Juneau.  Closed door, off the record.  He wanted our support — there was no other reason to meet us — but he wouldn’t really need it, he made that clear.  What a little asshole.  His whole attitude was so obnoxious I felt like walking up to him and twisting his pug nose.  Finally he said, “I don’t know who’s going to run against me.  For all I know it might be somebody in this room.”

He was talking, mainly, to me.  He couldn’t stand me, and I didn’t try to hide how I felt about him.  And I was the logical guy to run, if anybody did.  You’d have to take Ted on from the right, and I had that territory pretty well staked.  And I was a lawyer, 40 years old, with a nice family, ambitious and smart.  So I said, “Ted, would you agree to spend no more than ten million dollars on your campaign if I ran against you?”

That pissed him off.  “No, no I wouldn’t,” he snarled.  I just kind of laughed.

Ten years later the son of a bitch got his revenge.  I’d been writing a bi-weekly column in the Anchorage Daily News for about  six years.  It was all about politics.  It made me kind of the intellectual godfather of the Alaska right.  And I got my digs in on Stevens.  So, in a meeting with the editors and publisher of the ADN, the publisher asks Stevens, “Is there anythin g we can do for you?”  And he told them to fire me.  And they did.  (One of the guys in the room, Mike Carey, told me all this).

So, Stevens got in the last punch.  I never really laid a glove on him.

What an asshole.