He’s President of the Indiana Senate and has been a leader in the Article V BBA movement. Biddulph had a good discussion today with him and with Ohio Senate President Keith Faber. Long and Faber are apparently buddies. This is good. If Faber is to Co-Chair the Seattle Summit, the only person who might legitimately feel passed over will be Long. You can make the case that he “deserves” it as much as Faber does.
Biddulph has also set up a Friday lunch with Faber, and is setting up a dinner for a dozen or so legislative leaders Friday evening. Thank you, David Biddulph. When I get to know Faber a little bit I’ll propose that he Co-Chair the Summit. David thinks he’ll agree. The other Co-Chair should be a woman, preferably a Democrat from the West. So what does Long get?
When the actual organization of the Convention takes place there will be a number of slots open. Maybe Long should be the Floor, or Majority, Leader. I think there will be three plum committees which people are going to want to chair. One on the traditional BBA, one on land transfers to the states, and one on regulatory reform. Maybe Long has a special interest in one of them. There will be other committees as well, of course. Credentials, Rules, and Style. The Style Committee will be in charge of drafting the final version of the Amendment, melding the work of the three substantive committees.
Maybe Long will be content to be one of the core group that Faber will rely on at the Convention. I’m speculating here, but to get to 26 we may need to offer some of these choice assignments to different legislative leaders from around the country. We really want the active involvement of incoming NCSL President Curt Bramble. Maybe Curt would like to be Floor Leader. With the Reagan Initiative I’m confident we’ll get Wyoming. But if Wyoming Senate President Phil Nicholas knew he was going to chair the committee on land transfers, we could be sure of Wyoming. Maybe West Virginia Speaker Armstead wants to chair Regulatory Reform. Why not? We’ve got to get West Virginia, or else.
I wonder how much people like Faber and Long have actually thought about how the Convention would actually work. I’ll find out in Savannah.
Saw my old friend Bill Choquette today. I met Bill when we were studying for the bar in the summer of ’74. Bill taught me about fishing and hunting moose, and we became big buddies. His father and his three brothers, all Alaska bad asses, made me an honorary Choquette. The four brothers and I met at Swiftwater Bill’s one night, and brother Dave snuck in a bottle so he would have to buy only one drink. He pulls his bottle out to refresh his drink, and I say, “Dave, you don’t have to do that. I own this place, and drinks are on me.” I always had fun with the Choquettes.
I promised Bill I’d be back with my sons and granddaughter in three years. It’s a promise I intend to keep.