Arizona has issued the call for a Convention of States in Phoenix on September 12, 2017. Who will answer?
The purpose of the Convention is to propose the rules for, and the site of, an Article V Balanced Budget Amendment Convention, which Congress is obliged to call once 34 States have passed the appropriate Resolutions. Presumably, the 29 State Legislatures which have passed such Resolutions will attend. What of the other 21?
There are 12 all Democrats, 7 all Republican, and Maine and Connecticut with split control. Gallup has always had Republican support of a BBA at 80%, and with Washington the way it is right now, that’s probably climbing. The Balanced Budget Amendment been a standard Republican talking point for two generations. So all of these solidly Republican States will send a delegation, it seems to me.
The Republicans in control of the Maine and Connecticut Senates can, if need be, send delegates even without the cooperation of their House colleagues. That brings the total to 38, which would make it an historic success. But the goal is 50, and bipartisanship.
Two Democratic State Legislators began this entire process over 40 years ago, but since the early 80’s the national Democratic Party has opposed a BBA, and George Soros, the left wing’s mega-donor, is bound and determined to stop any Article V movement. So there will be opposition to sending a delegation and further legitimizing the proceeding. But if history is any guide, they will, in the end, participate.
At the last Convention of States, the Washington Peace Conference of 1861, there was great resistance in the North to sending delegates, and legitimizing what they thought would be an attempt to undermine the election of 1860. But in the end, they all decided to attend, in order to help control the outcome. This is all recorded in The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug. 1958). It seems to me a Democratic boycott would look petty and partisan, and the Democrats will show up.
Pushing them in that direction will be Wolf-Pac, the organization trying to use Article V to overturn the Citizens United decision. This Convention of States will be the best thing that ever happened to Wolf-Pac. It will totally legitimize Article V. And it gives them, if they’re delegates, a few days with all of the people they need to convince in order to get their Article V Resolutions. Wolf-Pac, alone, will bring some Democratic states to the table.
And then there’s Jerry Brown, Governor of the Democratic bastion and bulwark of progressivism, California, with its 55 electoral votes. Jerry’s always been a visionary, and I’m hoping he’ll attend, and chair California’s delegation. He understands Article V, and he used to be in favor of it. California will only have one vote, like every other State, but Jerry Brown could be the leader of the twelve member Democratic Caucus. With that many votes he might be able to influence the outcome.
The goal is 50. Let’s see how close we get.