It’s not blue. It’s purple, for the purposes of Article V. The legislature is split, Republican House, Democratic Senate. Biddulph has made contact with a Minnesota mega-donor who bankrolled last year’s Republican victory in the House. This guy put in a call to the Speaker and asked him to meet with the Task Force. We’ll have a cc with the Speaker and the Majority Leader later this week. We’ll urge him to adopt the Maine strategy. There they have a split legislature as well. The Maine Senate will try to pass our bill, and dump into the Democratic House, where it will die. If all goes according to plan, this will be an issue in the 2016 legislative elections. There’s always the possibility, however remote, that a chamber controlled by the Democrats would even pass it. It hasn’t happened in 30 years, and pigs don’t fly, but you never know. I’ll be on the call mainly to encourage the Speaker and Majority Leader to be at the August 3rd meet in Seattle. I want as many states there as possible, and these guys could learn a lot about Article V.
Politics is simple. It’s arithmetic. But you have to know what you’re counting. In Presidential elections, you don’t count votes, you count the electoral college. Under Article V, population doesn’t count. States count. And state legislatures count. Right now, when you’re talking about an Article V Convention, there are 31 red states. That total includes five states that most people think of as purple.* There are seven purple states, including three that are normally thought of as blue.** The last twelve are blue.
This means that a 2016 Amendment Convention would be completely controlled by red and purple states. This is why a fear of a runaway is so misplaced. It simply couldn’t happen. Do the math. Add up the numbers. And it’s why we should be able to propose the Reagan Amendment at the Convention. It is in my opinion entirely possible to put together a 26 state coalition to do it. If Congress plays ball it will be ratified at state conventions. This will be the biggest hurdle. It’s impossible to know in advance how it would turn out. But if the delegates are elected in a low turnout special election, it’s very winnable. You’d even have a shot at some of the twelve blue states, like Maryland, Illinois and Oregon. It would be tough in purple places like Maine, Washington and Minnesota. But it could be done. It’s just politics. You run a campaign, as does the opposition, and the people decide. Win or lose, you live with it.
It could fail, but that won’t be the end of Article V. An orderly Amendment Convention will have convened, elected officers and adopted procedural rules, deliberated, voted on a proposal, and adjourned. No runaway. No talk of a runaway. Article V is now in the political mainstream, available to liberals and conservatives alike. The delegates from the 50 states will have enjoyed the entire experience. They will have made history, win or lose, and they’ll want to do it again.
And they will.
*Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
** Washington, Minnesota, and Maine.