The education of a legislator

My post of a couple days ago was incorrect as to the progress Wolf-PAC has made in red or reddish states.  National Director Mike Monetta informs me that there has been real progress in Missouri, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and a floor vote is tentatively scheduled for June 1 in Tennessee.

Ignorance is the biggest obstacle in any Article V campaign.  State legislators, for the most part, have never heard of Article V, and it sounds somehow radical to them.  If they have any brains you can explain it to them, but relatively few appreciate the critical role the Framers gave them to play in the balance of power between the federal government and the states, or the people.

In my second year at UCLA Law I saw a notice on the bulletin board for a position with the City Attorney’s office in Ketchikan, Alaska.  I applied, was hired, and on a “quarter away” program, Babbie and I spent the last six months of 1973 in Ketchikan.  There were about 20 lawyers in Ketchikan, and they were a very sociable bunch, and I made a lot of friends, including State Senator Bob Ziegler, a blue dog Democrat.

Ten years later, in 1983, I was in the state senate myself.  (This was only possible because my political hero, the 4th Governor of Alaska, Jay Hammond, had designed a senate district specifically for me.)  Bob Ziegler was a senate veteran, and took me under his wing.  One day he comes into my office and shows me a resolution he was carrying.  It was an Article V Resolution, calling for a Convention of States to propose a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

I was 37 years old, a lawyer, with substantial political experience, and a degree in political science from Berkeley.  I thought of myself as a pretty savvy guy, yet I’d never heard of Article V.  Once I gave it a little thought, I realized its significance, and I’ve been advocating for it ever since.

So I don’t hold it against legislators who are unaware of their responsibilities under Article V.  I had to be educated myself.








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