Virginia Delegate Jim LeMunyon came through, big time, with a 55-45 floor vote. This is the culmination of long years of thankless labor. Now on to the Senate, where we are going to be required to get all 21 R’s. There are other problems besides Sen. Dick Black, and Fruth may fly to Richmond and spend a few days trying to turn votes. A tall order. We did have some luck in the House with contacts from Admirals Owens and Woolsey. They may be able to help in the Senate as well. We want Virginia very badly, since the Governor, a Democrat, would never call them back in special session. They need 2/3 to call themselves back in, so that won’t happen. We either get the Senate or wait until next year.
In Wyoming we should be passed over to the Senate this week, and the Committee Sen Nicholas assigns it to will be a tell. If it’s anything other than rules, that’s a sign he’s not going to block it. If it goes to Rules, which he chairs, he’s keeping his options open.
Nobody really understands exactly what Nicholas’ thinking is. It’s not the usual runaway nonsense. He wants to use his leverage to get some kind of deal for Wyoming, but that simply can’t happen. I’m going to try to convince the Cruz campaign to have the Senator call Nicholas personally. This might happen because it’s the kind of call he’d be making, regardless of the BBA Resolution. Nicholas is President of the Senate and a likely candidate for Governor. He has a statewide political network. He’s very conservative, and his crowd are naturally attracted to Cruz. Wyoming holds its caucuses and straw vote on March 1st. Cruz has seven other states up that day, all bigger than Wyoming, so he can’t put much into Wyoming. But one phone call might be enough to get some buzz going.
As for Nicholas, the likely next President is asking a favor. He gets to make fat little deposit in the favor bank. Maybe he has a buddy who wants a federal judgeship. He has an account in the favor bank to draw on. All politicians like to carry a positive balance in this bank. I think he’d do it for Cruz, we get Wyoming as our 28th state, and Cruz can take credit for it. Win, win , win.
If this works in Wyoming it would work in Idaho as well. Sen. Bart Davis has been softened up by Fruth and Greg Casey. We won’t be asking the Senator to get a legislator to change his mind. Davis is on the fence right now, and a call from Cruz would put him over, and with him we get Idaho. He’s a lot like Nicholas, except he’s not running for Governor, and he’s well liked by his colleagues. Davis has been in Idaho politics a long time, is a distinguished attorney, and is naturally gregarious. He could do Cruz a whole lot of good.
I would never ask Cruz to call Biggs of Arizona. That’s asking too much. But we may well ask him, or Rubio, to call Gov. Ducey for a special session later this spring. That’s the only way we get Arizona. From what I know of Biggs, he’d start giving Cruz a lecture on the Constitution. He’s that much of a nut.
I’ve spent three long days on the road to answer questions from Committee members for about ten minutes. But it might have been worth it. We got the Democrats because of their personal feeling toward Bill McIlvain. Everybody likes Bill. But I might have greased the skids a bit in answering a question about the drastic spending reductions which would be needed under a BBA. Sue Wilson is an attractive, well kept, middle aged woman. She’s plenty bright, and she’s pleasant as well. Her question was a serious one. I said I wasn’t an economist but my colleague Bill Fruth is, and he says if we limit the increase in federal spending to 1% a year, and have normal economic growth, we can eliminate the deficit in the near to medium term, and begin paying down the debt in the long term. That seemed to satisfy her, and it’s a line we should use more, especially with Democrats.
Sue Wilson got us out of committee. She did it for Bill, but she also did it because it might — she’s not sure — be good for the country she loves.