Oklahoma: Lew Uhler has connections to a group of oil and gas guys who have basically taken over the state politics of Oklahoma. He says they will be able to overcome the heavy Birch/Eagle Forum presence in the legislature. If he’s right we’ve got a chance. Retiring Sen. Coburn has aligned himself with our friendly rivals, the Convention of States (CoS). But I think he’ll help us once he understands the situation. This is one of three problem states, along with Idaho and Arizona.
Wisconsin: Sponsor Rep. Chris Kapenga has reached out to incoming members of the State Senate, and got strong support. With our nemesis, Sen. Grothman, going off to Congress, Chris says he’ll have no problem. We’re counting on him for our 25th.
South Carolina: John Steinberger is Chairman of the Charleston Republican Party and the IamAmerican man in SC. He’s sharp, committed, connected. He’s close to Sen. Grooms, our sponsor, and they seem to have a good handle on the situation. We failed last year because of poor planning and lack of time. This legislature is unique in the way it operates, so we have to trust Steinberger and Grooms. I’ve met Steinberger and believe in him. SC will be 26.
Montana: Brent Mead of the Montana Policy Institute is our man in Montana. He’s reached out to the Montana ALEC Chair, Sen. Roger Webb, and it looks like he’ll be our sponsor. We’ll have a big cc in a week or so, including Rob Natelson, and figure strategy. This is the one state I feel personally responsible for, and one way or the other it will be 27.
South Dakota: Former sponsor retiring Rep. Hal Weeks is as dedicated as anyone on the Task Force, and continues to do yeoman work. Hal gets us to 28.
Wyoming: Susan Gore of the Wyoming Policy Institute has a lot of clout, and is unsold on Article V. We’ve got to bring her around. I think we will — I’m going to ask Natelson to reason with her. She’s not a Bircher or Eagle Forum, so she can listen. But Wyoming is so overwhelmingly Republican I think it be, in the end, 29.
Add Utah and North Dakota and we’re three short, at 31. If we got Arizona, Oklahoma, and Idaho we’d make it, but I’m not sure we can get all three. Virginia is a long shot in 2015, but their legislative elections in November, 2015 — with Article V an issue — mean we should get them in 2016. If the Kentucky House flips R, we should win there. To win West Virginia would require a political realignment in the West Virginia Senate, with Democrats switching parties. A long shot.
But if, seven months from now, we’re at 31, I think the cavalry arrives. Then we’ll win.