Bill Fruth got ten minutes in front of the Utah Republican Caucus today, and won’t need to stay for tomorrow’s committee meeting, where sponsor Kraig Powell has the votes. Bill was hoping for more time (he did travel almost 2500 miles) but Senate President Niederhauser told him he did what needed to be done. We were five votes short last year, lost 32-41. We did no work in advance of my two days at the Capitol in Salt Lake. Kraig has been pushing this for a year now, and with all the new members on our side the votes are there. Kraig is smart and conscientious, and he says he can get it through. We’re on call to help, but if he can get it done in the House, and with Senator Bramble carrying the bill in the Senate, we get Utah, a state we always figured would be tough.
Looks like we’re up in Wyoming Senate Rules on Monday. Senate President Phil Nicholas purportedly still has concerns about a runaway. I’m planning on being there, but hoping we can secure his vote without it. He’s a lawyer, and an intelligent man. I’m confident he’ll see the light. But he hasn’t yet.
Kasich’s in Columbia tomorrow, West Virginia on Thursday. He’s sure as hell doing his part. I hope he gets a chance to spin the victory in South Dakota as the culmination of a 30 year long fight between Hal Wick and the John Birch Society. If we can portray this whole campaign as a war with the Birchers it will help the cause.
Phyllis Schlafly and her Eagle Forum played a large part in preventing ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment back in the 70’s. She was a heroine of the right, and wanted to maintain her high profile, so she looked for another dragon to slay. She decided to attack Article V, and she succeeded again in the 80’s, with the financial backing of Walter Mondale and big labor. She’s 91 now, and reportedly in poor health. She’s handed the reins of the Eagle Forum to a successor, who, as far as we know, has shown no interest in Article V. The Eagle Forum website has lots of “Calls to Action” over the last few months, but nothing on Article V or the BBA. She has a column out today on an unrelated subject. She still has her wits about her, but has been silent about our campaign. If Eagle Forum truly is out of the picture, our only organized opposition is the JBS — a perfect foil. Just about everyone who pays attention to these things knows that the Birchers are nuts. If the only people fighting you are crazy, how can you lose?
We’re about to find out.