That’s South Carolina. Legislators’ salary is $10,000 a year. Their sessions last five months. The state saves money on salary, but in exchange they’ve got a corrupt and dysfunctional legislature. What kind of person accepts $2,000 a month in wages? Some idealists, for sure. But mainly people who will use their position to supplement their income, often in unsavory ways. Our bill sailed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but is now stalled because of some arcane legislative procedure, peculiar to South Carolina. Biddulph and the rest of the Task Force are attempting to organize some public pressure to get the House to take up the bill. The votes are apparently there. He’s using tax day, April 15th, as a rallying point. He’ll be trying to get additional Presidential candidates, besides Kasich, to come in to South Carolina to campaign for the BBA. Rand Paul is a particular target, as well as Jeb Bush.
It’s good to have the Birchers as your main opponent. They’re harebrained, and you can count on them to prove it. In Oklahoma they’re telling legislators to ignore Dr. Coburn, and his support for Article V, because he’s really a liberal, because he voted for TARP. There’s dumb, and then there’s dumber. This is strengthening our position, and could be a difference maker. Sponsor Gary Banz has recruited the state senator who successfully pushed CoS in the Senate. He’s now working on our bill. We invariably win more votes than CoS, so we can be cautiously optimistic.
Stu MacPhail made a good suggestion for the Seattle Resolve, and I’ll use it. The first leg of the stool, the traditional BBA, should include the potentiality of limits on tax increases, as well as paying down the debt. What the Convention decides to do with these ideas is unknowable. But the Resolve shouldn’t preclude them. We had a brief discussion of the Reagan Amendment on today’s Task Force conference call. These folks are Easterners, and probably don’t realize the extent to which federal land ownership is a big deal to the West. I’ve got calls in to Gary Banz, Ken Ivory of the American Lands Institute, and incoming NCSL President Curt Bramble. One step at a time. No reason to rush this.
The dog that didn’t bark in all this is Rand Paul. Where the hell is he? Has he decided to cede this issue to Kasich? Article V in general, and the BBA, and the Reagan Amendment, are libertarian issues. Support for the Reagan Amendment could generate a lot of enthusiasm, particularly out West. I believe Nevada is #4 in the primary calendar, right after South Carolina. Nevada has the highest percentage of federal land of any state — 83%. They want their land. Run on a platform of giving it to them, with the feds maintaining a beneficial interest only. I’m missing something.
Or he is.