Putting Democrats where they belong

Polls show 65% of Democrats support a BBA.  So we should get support from Democratic state legislators, no?

Fuggedaboutit.  Sure, we’ve had some support from D’s in Ohio, all but three in Tennessee, and all of them in Louisiana.  But none of those votes really counted.  The R’s were going to pass the bill anyway, so it was just a question of jumping on a popular issue.  A vote that counts is a deciding vote.  We will not get one of those from a D.  In the seven states the Task Force has won in the last two years, no chamber was controlled by Democrats.  And going forward, no Democrat State Senate President, and no Democrat Speaker of a State House, will ever let our bill on to the floor for a vote.  Ain’t going to happen.  This will not be true with later Article V Resolutions, such as term limits.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, when Lew Uhler was working this pretty much singlehandedly, he was able to get support from a lot of D’s, mainly in the South.  In ’84, in Alaska, Sen. Bob Ziegler, Democrat, Ketchikan, carried the bill.  It didn’t have a prayer without him.  Those days, and those Democrats, are gone.

This is not to say we want to make this a partisan issue.  Far from it.  We’re bipartisan as hell, as far as I’m concerned.  I live in California, so I’m a registered Democrat myself.  (If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.)

I’m repeating myself, but we’re not in this to elect Republicans, except when we need them in Congress to give Article V a fair shake.  If Harry Reid was running the Senate we’d be s.o.o.l.

So the previous post, The Sleeper of 2016, may have sounded like a partisan appeal, but it wasn’t meant to be.  It was realpolitik.  This may sound mean, but from the BBA’s perspective,

The only good Democrat is a Democrat in the Minority.

The Sleeper of 2016

The election of 2016 could be a Republican rout.  An issue is bubbling in State Capitols across the country that is political gold for Republicans, and toxic to Democrats.  It’s been debated for over forty years, and may soon reemerge as the overriding theme of our next election.

It’s a balanced budget amendment (BBA), to be proposed directly by 34 state legislatures under the terms of Article V of the Constitution.  24 states have passed Resolutions calling for a BBA Convention, six of them within the last year.  Twelve additional state legislatures have been targeted for 2015; Republicans are in complete control of all of them.  The Republican State Leadership Council, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Jefferson Project of the American Legislative Exchange Council, numerous State Policy Networks, and the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force have joined forces in this campaign.  Sponsors have been identified, bills drafted, legislative strategies adopted, and grass roots support mobilized.

In six months, when the 34th state passes a BBA Resolution, the House Judiciary Committee will aggregate them, recommend to the full House and Senate a time and place for the Amendment Convention, and a means of ratification.  Chairman Bob Goodlatte is a friend of the BBA and of Article V.  His committee will be urged to choose ratification by state convention, rather than through state legislatures.  This was the method used for ratification of the 21st Amendment.

All 50 state legislatures will then meet to select delegates.  In late 2015, just as the Presidential nomination contests enter high gear, the delegations will meet, select a chairman, adopt rules, and deliberate on the language of the proposed amendment..  When 26 states agree on a proposal, it will be submitted to the states for ratification, and the Convention will adjourn.  Election of the delegates to each state’s ratification convention will take place on Nov. 8th 2016, coincidental with the Presidential and Congressional elections.  The only issue in the convention elections will be the proposed amendment: yea or nay.

For two generations public polling has shown overwhelming support for a balanced budget amendment.  Currently 80% of Republicans and Independents are in favor, as well as 65% of Democrats.  The continuing dysfunction in Washington, and the ever ballooning national debt, could push those numbers higher.

The proposed amendment will have the enthusiastic support of the Republican nominee, who may well have had a hand in drafting it.  It would be one of the main themes of the election, if not the centerpiece.

What’s a Democrat going to do?


If we don’t get this done by 2016 we’re going to need a Republican Senate.  Even if we’re all done with the BBA we want a Republican Senate, in order to be sure that the next Article V application (probably term limits) is treated fairly.  The R’s are vulnerable in 2016 Senate races.  This is the class of the 2010 wave, and a number are from purple or red states.  We need a strong Presidential candidate to help them.

All of which makes Obama’s amnesty important to me.  Politically, I think it’s the best thing Obama’s done, except for Obamacare.  He won’t be content until he’s driven the last white working man out of the Democratic Party.

And tar baby that he is, Hillary’s stuck with him.  She can’t escape.  And she’s doomed.

North Dakota and Utah

Thank God for NFIB, and their lobbyists.  In North Dakota it’s former long time legislator Rae Ann Kelsch.  She’s as impressive as Suzie Budge in Idaho.

Hal Wick is pitching in in North Dakota, and he and Rae Ann agree Rep. Blair Thoreson should be our prime sponsor.  Between the two of them there’s little doubt he’ll agree.  Reps. Roscoe Streyle and Rick Becker should also be helping out.

Rae Ann was serving in the legislature when former Sen.Curtis Olafson got an Article V Resolution on the national debt passed.  The Republican vote was unanimous — no problem with the “runaway” scaremongering.  She says most of the Birchers are in Olafson’s district, and they aren’t that strong.  We really shouldn’t have that much trouble in North Dakota — except they have a lot on their plate.  For one thing I’m pretty sure they’re working on their version of the Alaska Permanent Fund —  big time legislation.  And we only get one shot.  They do not meet in  2016.

Hal says he thinks he’ll get the Reso through in South Dakota by early February.  After that he can concentrate on North Dakota, which won’t adjourn until the end of April.  He’s a retired Delta pilot, and can fly for free.  He’s volunteered to go to Boise, Helena, wherever.  He’ll be a big asset.

Rep. Kraig Powell was and is our Utah sponsor — and one of our very best.  We came up short earlier this year, 32-41 in the House.  NFIB’s Candace Daly will be working closely with Kraig.  She’s agreed to put together a spread sheet of returning yeas and nays, along with new members who have to be brought up to speed.  Rep. Brian Greene is a stalwart supporter — he just had an Article V debate with an Eagler at some public forum.  If he’s willing to work hand in glove with Kraig, it will be a huge help.

Of the four new House leaders, three voted against us — Hughes (Speaker), Dunnigin (Majority Leader), and Gibson.  But they don ‘t have the Birch-Eagle brain virus, so we should be able to reason with them.  They’re “moderates” by Utah standards, which means they’re conservative, just not Tea Party.  Kraig thinks they voted no because they thought our Reso was Tea Party radical — not mainstream.  I’m going to try and get Micah from the Republican State Leadership Council talk to them.  RSLC is an official arm of the Republican Party  — a state legislature version of the Republican Governor’s Association.

The House is now 64-11.  That means we can lose 26 of the 64 Republicans and still win.  Kraig says three seats the D’s lost went to R’s who will almost surely be on our side.  The magic number is 38.

I’ve got to believe we can do this.