In my American Thinker piece I stated that Amendment Conventions were not subject to “external controls.”  Rob Natelson points out that the States are external to the Convention but can “control” it through control of their delegations, that Congress could refuse to specify a mode of ratification for an ultra vires Amendment, and that the Courts might declare an ultra vires Amendment void.  Rob’s correct, of course.  My language was imprecise.  Next time I’ll see if Rob can review my stuff before I send it out for publication, at least on legal issues.

Lou Marin says there’s a better chance of him getting hit by lightning than moving Sen. Biggs.  Well, lightning strikes about 600 people a year, so there’s hope.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore is #17, and on Special Report yesterday disqualified himself by calling for a Middle East NATO.  Craziest idea yet.  American soldiers are going to die defending the borders of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt?  Crazy isn’t strong enough.

For the moment the polls separate the field into three groups  — the Big Three, the Middle Six, and the Rest.  Trump, Walker and Bush are in the lead.  Trump is not a serious candidate.  Bush is going nowhere but down.  So Scott Walker, as of today, is the man to beat.  The Middle Six (Rubio, Huckabee, Carson, Paul, Cruz and Kasich) contains three sure losers, Huckabee, Carson and Cruz.  I include Cruz because people don’t like a smart ass.  Paul’s star seems to be fading.  He won’t kiss up to donors  — he’s not all in.  I think he’s running, in part, because of Daddy issues, just like Romney was.  When he decided to hang on to his Senate seat it was a tell.  His heart’s not in it.

If you count Paul and the Rest out, as I think is reasonable, it gets down to Walker, Kasich and Rubio.  I like Kasich, but any of these would be fine.

The debate to watch is Democratic.  Sometime in August or September the DNC will have the first debate in Iowa.  That will be a kick.  Lincoln Chafee was in the Senate with Hillary when she voted for the Iraq war.  He knows it was a politically calculated vote, and it really pisses him off.  He looks kind of goofy, but I think he’s got balls, like his war hero dad.  I’m betting he goes after her on that vote, as he should.  Bernie Sanders also carries a set, and all the people who turn out for his rallies want him to separate himself from Hillary.  The big question that begs to be asked is the Clinton Foundation corruption.  The moderator has to ask that one.

If esprit d’corps is worth anything the Task Force seems to be going strong.  Everyone is happy with San Diego, and ready to get back to work.  Loren Enns deserves recognition for his work in getting prepared in our target states.

In an ideal world, when the filing deadlines for running for the state legislature in 2016 start up, every legislative candidate, of any party, who files for office should get a letter explaining Article V, and their responsibility under it if elected.  The trick is to get them to read and understand it.  When I filed for the State Senate in 1982 I’d never heard of Article V.  I read everything people sent to my campaign (not much) and I would have read an explanation of Article V with great interest.  You want the letter to arrive right after the filing deadline, so that it will be one of the first such letters they get.  This is what the Bradley Foundation should do with all their money.

Sometimes I ask myself, If you’re so smart, how come you don’t have any money?

I never have an answer.


Why did the financial collapse of 2008 happen right after McCain, with his pick of Sarah Palin, had opened up a small lead on Obama?  Do the George Soros’s of the world have the power to make something like that happen?

After the dismal Presidency of his brother, why does anyone think Jeb Bush is the best Republican candidate?  Aside from his money, what’s so special about this guy?

Does anybody really like Ted Cruz?  Why?

There are, apparently, a few people who think Chris Christie could get the nomination.  This is curious.

How long can the federal reserve continue to print money to cover our deficits?

Why would any normal, sane person spend $60,000 a year to send their kid to these ridiculously left wing liberal arts colleges?

How can there be so many abnormal, crackpot people in this country?

When will Caitlyn Jenner try to enter a women’s beauty contest?

Why would anyone pick someone other than Marco Rubio for the Vice Presidential nomination?

Why doesn’t John Kasich realize that one of Reagan’s greatest political strengths was his humility, and try to emulate it?

When do the Democrats realize Hillary is toxic, and abandon her?

Why are Dave Guldenschuh and I the only people who realize that it’s going to be either Kasich, Walker or Rubio?

Why wouldn’t Joe Biden run?  It was his son’s dying wish, for Pete’s sake.

When will people understand that the solution to most of our political and economic problems is with the states, the people, and Article V?

Why would a beautiful grey vixen walk up to me in the woods last evening, close enough to touch, and look at me?

What does the fox say?

Original, uncut version of American Thinker piece

Fritz Pettyjohn
From: fritz pettyjohn
Sent: ‎Tuesday‎, ‎July‎ ‎28‎, ‎2015 ‎12‎:‎25‎ ‎PM
One State, One Vote, One Amendment
by Fritz Pettyjohn,
Describing efforts to counter the fear of a “runaway” Article V Convention.
Article V of the Constitution gives the states the power to control the federal government through the Amendment process.   It has never been used.  That’s about to change.  The stars are aligned, and the time for Article V has arrived.
With 31 Republican state legislatures, an Article V Amendment Convention would be dominated by the most conservative elected officials in the country.  27 of the required 34 states have passed Resolutions calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment.   Wisconsin will make 28 later this year.  Eight Republican controlled legislatures are targeted for 2016.*
Republican opposition in these states is founded on fears that an Amendment Convention would go beyond the scope of the call for a BBA, and propose Amendments undermining our constitutional rights, particularly the Second Amendment.  Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs is the leader of this opposition, and has authored “The Con of the Con-Con”.
On the other side, one of the most prominent advocates of an Article V Balanced Budget Amendment is Ohio Senate President Keith Faber.  On July 25th, at his invitation, a group of state legislators met in San Diego to discuss ways to counter the fears of a runaway Convention.  House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte addressed the meeting to encourage its work.  Georgia Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert proposed a Resolution, which passed unanimously,  declaring that all voting at any Article V Convention would be conducted on a One State, One Vote basis, that a BBA Convention would consider one and only one Amendment  — to balance the budget  — and that any delegate who violated these principles should be recalled and sanctioned.  This Resolution will be circulated among legislative leaders who were not present, with the goal of obtaining at least 31 legislative leaders in at least 31 states.
As Senator Biggs points out in his book, an Amendment Convention is not subject to external control, and could theoretically “run away”.  Senator Faber is trying to convince him not that this couldn’t happen, but that it won’t.  Republican strength in our state legislatures, at levels not seen in 85 years, assures that.  The men and women who will select and serve as delegates, control their delegations, and control the Convention, are the strongest Constitutional conservatives in the country.
At one point in his book, Senator Biggs writes, “It isn’t the process that will produce a runaway convention, but it is the personnel attending the gathering.”  He goes on to state “When we start electing people who are committed to individual freedom, we will know that the time is soon coming when it is safe to convene an Article V Convention.”  Senator Faber and dozens of other legislative leaders are trying to convince him that the personnel who will attend and control the Convention are, in fact, dedicated to individual freedom, and that what might have been a legitimate concern at some point in the past is no longer a concern today.
While a Balanced Budget Amendment has broad bipartisan support, most Americans have never heard of Article V.  They don’t realize that the Framers foresaw the possibility of a corrupt and dysfunctional federal government incapable of reform, and included Article V as a means for the States to deal with it.  When the States created the federal government in 1787 they reserved to themselves the authority to control it.  That authority is contained in Article V.  Once the people realize this option is open, they will demand that it be exercised.   The realization may start to sink in at the Republican debate in Cleveland on August 6th, where an Article V BBA will likely be one of the topics of discussion.  If Gov. John Kasich participates, this will almost certainly be the case.
Oddly enough, it is staunch conservatives like Andy Biggs who are blocking an Article V solution to a federal government run amok.  In their minds, they are protecting the Constitution.  Once they realize that their fears are unfounded we’ll reach the 34 state threshold, and the first Article V Convention in American history will take place.
We will not only  balance the budget, we’ll return to Constitutional government.  One successful Convention will be followed by others, dealing with other areas where the Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court have strayed from Constitutional principles.
If the Constitution is to be restored, it will be done with Article V, just as the Framers intended.  Realistically, there’s no other way.
Fritz Pettyjohn is a former Alaska state legislator and a Co-Founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force.  He blogs at his website,
*South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Arizona.


Three months ago in Anchorage I went to a dinner at Dave and Kathy Cuddy’s house to talk politics.  I did my best to convince the group that Alaska can get its land in a Supply Side BBA.  One of those present was Dick Randolph, a former legislator who ran for Governor in 1982.  Dick was in favor, naturally, but maybe a little skeptical.

Today I find out that the Alaska Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Areas has appointed a group to advise it on the subject of transferring federal lands to the state.  It’s called the Alaska State Lands Advisory Group, chaired by Mead Treadwell.  Dick is a member.  They meet on August 19th.  I’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut that I can convince them to endorse the Supply Side BBA.

The government of the State of Alaska is going through difficult times.  Half their budget is coming from reserves.  They need hope.  Maybe, just maybe, people up there will get behind this idea, accept it as real.  Then they have a huge and vested interest in a BBA Convention.  Maybe enough to put some money into it.

The stakes, for Alaska, are huge.  If they got their land their worries are over, and they’re back in fat city, where they’ve been accustomed to be.

Dr. Ben Carson may not have a real chance at the nomination, but I hope he lasts long enough for the American people to get to know him.  I just saw him on Special Report, and he comes across as the nicest man.  It’s impossible not to like and admire this man.  With all the racial issues swirling around it’s a joy to see such a nice, normal, intelligent, well spoken black American.

Gov. Perry should preface any answer he gives by rattling off the three federal Departments he wants to eliminate.  The ones he couldn’t remember four years ago.  Self-deprecating humor works.

Kasich came up with a good line.  He said preparing for a debate that includes Trump is like preparing for a NASCAR race that includes a drunk driver.

When Trump exits who gets his votes?  I know who won’t get them  — Jeb Bush.  Speaking of whom, how the hell does he stand out at the debate?  He’s got nothing on these guys.  I haven’t seen much of him, but I think he’s weak.  And a little self-reverential, holier than thou.  Prissy.  But I’m sure he’s a good person.  I know a lot of good people, none of whom belong in politics.

Kathleen Willey’s got a website, Linda Tripp has broken a long silence, and Paula Jones is giving interviews.  The yutes of America are going to learn a few things about Bill Clinton the sexual predator and the wife who enabled him.  If their story is heard Hillary is toast.

I think the left is intellectually exhausted.  They’ve got nothing left.  They’re the party of government, and nobody likes or trusts the government.

How can we lose?


If, a year from now, Congress passes a proposal to add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, does that end the drive for an Article V BBA?  A lot of people assume it would.  I disagree.

Some of this thinking comes from the history of the 17th Amendment.  Over a hundred years ago the States were very close to the 2/3 requirement for an Article V Convention to propose the direct election of Senators.  When Congress wrote and proposed the Amendment the Convention was moot, and that was the end of that.

A BBA is a lot more complicated.  There are probably dozens of provisions which might, or might not be, included within it.  What goes in, and what stays out, is up to the people writing and voting on it.  If it’s a Congressional BBA it will need the votes of fourteen Democratic Senators and 48 Democratic Representatives.  A price will be paid for those votes.

At an Amendment Convention a proposal could pass with the support of the 26 most conservative states in the Union.  No Democrat vote would be needed.  It could include measures to increase revenue, such as land transfers to the states, or regulatory reform  — things which could never make it into a Congressional BBA.

So let’s say we’re at 32 or 33 next summer and Congress passes a proposed BBA.  Is that the end of that?  Hell, no.  If I’m running for the legislature of one of the remaining target states  — say Wyoming — I’m going to look at the Congressional proposal very carefully.  If I think it’s insufficient I’ll run on a platform of passing the 34th Resolution and having a Convention to see if it can come up with something better  — say, one that included land transfers to the states.

Article V is clear.  When 2/3 of the States apply, a Convention is called.  Period.  There’s nothing in there about avoiding a Convention if Congress proposes an Amendment on the same subject.

So there could potentially two BBA’s out for ratification  — one written by Congress, one written by the Convention.  People would have a choice.

I’ll admit I’m getting greedy.  I’m all in on the traditional BBA  — it’s desperately needed.  But it’s not enough, not nearly.  We need sustained 4% growth, and the old BBA won’t do it.  Regulatory reform would.  And we need to start to dismantle the federal behemoth.  We’ve got to cut the federal government down to size if we’re going to be a free people.  It’s the work of a generation, but there’s no better place to start than federal lands.  Take the land away, and you’ve taken power away.  Away from Washington.  Back to the people.

The idea of a Supply Side BBA came up about four months ago, when we lost Wyoming.  Very few people are aware of it.  As people become familiar with it they will hopefully embrace it.  As long as I get a hearing I’m satisfied.

Well, not really.