If you’ve ever bothered to read the Reagan Project’s mission statement, you’ll see that it is devoted to the promotion of Article V, period. When my sons Darren, Brendan and I started it five years ago, I had become convinced that a political wave was coming, and it would be so powerful it could make the use of Article V possible for the first time.
I didn’t want to start an organization to promote Article V, I wanted to find one to work for. Google got me to the Convention of States site, and I called them. When they explained that they were committed to a multi-subject amendment, I told them it would never work. But they weren’t interested, so I needed to find another organization.
Back in 1987, as an Alaska State Representative, I attended an ALEC meeting in Orlando where I met Lew Uhler and his wife. I wasn’t there for Lew’s Balanced Budget Amendment. I was on the program at a workshop to make a presentation for an Article V Term Limits Amendment. No one was interested, and that was the end of that.
26 years later, as I was trying to find an Article V group, I wondered if Lew was still around, so I called his office, he picked up and invited me to come to Sacramento to meet him. I went, signed up with the BBA Task Force, and here I am five years later. It’s taken me this long to figure this all out.
My friend and mentor, State Senator Bob Ziegler of Ketchikan, came to my office one day during my first year in office. He showed me the BBA Resolution that was up on the floor the next day. I immediately became an ardent supporter of Article V. I was 37 years old, and I wanted to run as a Republican for the United States Senate. If we got a term limits amendment adopted, there would be an open seat for me.
So I’ve been thinking about Article V, off and on, for 35 years. It’s taken me this long to figure it out. Why did they make it so damn hard to call an Amendment Convention? Especially since the Convention, once convened, can propose an amendment with a simple majority. That’s backwards. What were they thinking?
It wasn’t their thinking, it was their drafting. It was a last minute mistake, made in the rush to adjournment, by a room of exhausted and homesick men.
The most brilliant assembly of political minds in world history. But they were not divine, they were human, and everyone makes mistakes.
They freely acknowledged that they might not have gotten everything right, and mistakes of the Framers were corrected in 1795, 1804, 1933, and 1967. We’re just adding one to the list.
If we fail to do it, we dishonor them.