2016 Task Force Report #1

Many Mormons believe our Constitution is divinely inspired, and that using Article V to change it verges on blasphemy.  This is not the view of the LDS hierarchy, and is certainly not Church doctrine.  Nonetheless, a large Mormon population spells trouble for us.  Thanks to Rep. Kraig Powell and Sen. Curt Bramble, among many others, we were able to pass in Utah.  Now Bryce Christensen, former chair of the Utah College YR’s, has obtained the signatures of the Utah Senate President and House Speaker on a letter, drafted by Loren Enns, addressed to their colleagues in Idaho, urging support for our Resolution.  Idaho Sen. Marv Hagedorn assures us this will be highly effective.  Christensen has also convinced Utah Gov. Herbert to call Idaho Gov. Otter and urge his involvement.

Bill Fruth and Scott Rogers spent a couple days in the West Virginia Capitol, and did get a meeting with Speaker Armstead.  This is not a priority for him, but he doesn’t seem inclined to kill it, since it has almost 60 (out of 100) co-sponsors.  There is concern about losing control of the Senate in November, and using this as a campaign issue could certainly help.  We have the votes in the Senate, and will win the House if we’re allowed a floor vote.

After he leaves Wyoming on Sunday Fruth will fly to Virginia, where NFIB’s Nicole Riley has arranged a breakfast reception for Monday.  We should be up in Senate Rules by the middle of next week, and on to the Senate floor for first reading on Friday.  Feb. 16th is crossover day, and if it doesn’t pass the Senate by that date we are effectively dead for the year.  Sen. Dick Black is the problem, and he will not budge.  However he is the Virginia Co-chair of Cruz for President, and Joseph Semprevivo will be calling him to explain that Ted Cruz is fully behind this effort.  If Ted Cruz isn’t worried about a runaway, why should Dick Black?  Cruz is more familiar with the Constitution than he is, as I’m sure Sen. Black would admit.  We’ll find out soon enough.

In Oklahoma our intern, Kylie Williamson, chair of the University of Oklahoma YR’s, talked with the Senate President, who assured her the votes in the Senate are there.  Oklahoma convened on Monday, and sponsor House Whip Gary Banz has been working assiduously at early passage.  The ducks seem lined up, and we may get floor action quite soon.

In South Carolina our sponsor has teamed up with the sponsor of the Convention of States proposal, and are working on getting a commitment form the House leadership.  Things move slowly, if at all, in South Carolina.

In Wisconsin our former sponsor, Sen. Chris Kapenga, was the leader of the Assembly of State Legislature’s attempt to adopt proposed rules for the actual Amendment Convention.  Since the ASL was unable to agree on rules which Kapenga feels are necessary, he opposes any further action by the Wisconsin Legislature.  He has enough clout to prevent any movement in Wisconsin.  If, however, we get to 32 or 33, we do have reason to believe that Wisconsin legislators would be open to a special session.

Factoid of the day:  In territorial days Mormons were the core of the Democratic Party in Idaho, and the Republicans who controlled Congress didn’t want to give statehood to a State that would be sending two new Senators to Washington.  So the Idaho Constitution which Congress approved was drafted with a religious test, excluding Mormons from the franchise.  This part of the Idaho Constitution wasn’t formally removed until 1982.  By that time Idaho Mormons had become Republicans, and thus were less objectionable.  Or something.

It’s tough to top Donald Trump, but it is in his nature to feel the need to top himself.  His need to be the center of attention is so strong he can’t help himself.  And he really doesn’t try.  Now he’s uncorked the F bomb at a rally in New Hampshire.  Only a complete bad ass can do that.

He’s unraveling.  The end may come suddenly.


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