My first taste of politics was the 1964 Republican National Convention, held in San Francisco’s Cow Palace. I was the Chairman of the Tom Collins chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom, which I had organized at Diablo Valley College in the East Bay, 20 miles west of the city.
A few of us went to the San Francisco airport to greet Barry Goldwater when he arrived. I went to a speech at some venue and sat directly behind my hero, William F. Buckley, whose leg was in a cast from a skiing accident. Buckley liked people to think that he had injured himself by kicking at a TV set, but it wasn’t true. I was able to sneak into the Cow Palace to hear Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois nominate Barry Goldwater for President. Dirksen was an old fashioned orator, and his speech, “The Peddler’s Grandson” was high level political rhetoric.
I’ve been hooked on politics ever since. Political campaigns have always been the most fun, but legislative politics can be pretty interesting as well. And in that vein, Monday the Tennessee House will vote on Wolf-PAC’s bill, HJR 809.
The Wolf-PAC team, led by Leah Lancaster, feels good about the vote, but you don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched, and it isn’t a lock. There are 99 members of the Tennessee House, 73 Republicans and 26 Democrats.
These people are not professional politicians, or professional legislators. Legislating is just a part time job, and there’s hardly any money in it. These men and women make their living as insurance agents, or lawyers, or merchants, or farmers. They’re just regular people. People with a desire to serve and a yen for politics, and political combat. They enjoy what they do, and consider it an honor.
Few of them have any special knowledge or expertise in the things they’re voting on. They’re more or less average Americans, with all the strengths, and weaknesses, that entails.
So, with a group of 99 citizen/legislators, you just never know. One of them can get some crazy idea, and if he’s convincing enough, or influential enough, get a bunch of his colleagues to go along with him. That’s what I’m concerned about on Tuesday’s vote.
However, our sponsor is respected senior statesman Rep. Kelly Kiesling, a 69 year old insurance agent from Byrdstown, population 803, the county seat of Pickett County. Kelly is a Great Living American, and I’m sure is more than capable of dealing with any unforeseen problems. But just in case, the Reagan Project will be promoting this bill with key legislative leaders, and getting back in touch with an old friend, State Rep. Dennis Powers, of Jacksboro.
Dennis is a State Farm agent, and a long time champion of Article V. Babbie and I met him on our tour through the South, in the spring of 2014. I’d stopped by Dennis’s office at the capital while we were in Nashville, but they were out of session, so I left a note with a staffer. Later, in Savannah, we met him at a small dinner party hosted by David Biddulph of the BBA Task Force.
Dennis is quite a character, and I hope I’m able to get through to him before Mondays’ vote. In politics, you leave no stone unturned.
Pre-Covid, and post-Covid, in the past, and in the future, yesterday, today and tomorrow, the United States Congress continually demonstrates that it is desperately in need of an intervention. It can’t control itself. It is so far gone, so steeped in corruption, so entrenched with the special interests which fund and control it, that only an outside force can return it to some semblance of normality.
Neither the President nor the Supreme Court has the authority to perform this intervention. Instead, the Constitution grants that power to the people. They cannot act directly, but must go through their state legislators. Once they demand that action be taken, it will be taken, using Article V.
It’s not a question of if, but when.
At 4:30 EDT today Specex is scheduled to send two Americans into space. It will be the first time since 2011 that such a feat has been attempted on an American rocket. It’s a VBD, and will be exciting to watch.
The media is not interested. Spacex is an Elon Musk venture, and President Trump will be on hand for lift off. Musk is politically incorrect, and Trump, of course, is the devil incarnate. So it’s no big deal.
If Obama was President, and Spacex was a Jeff Bezos project, the media would be all over this story. Just another instance of slanting the news. These people should be ashamed of themselves.
On Monday, June 1st the Tennessee House is scheduled to take up HJR 809, which calls for an Article V Amendment Convention to propose a campaign finance reform amendment to the Constitution. Things look good, thanks in larger part to the tireless efforts of Wolf-Pac volunteer Leah Lancaster.
I’ll be watching on my computer, and will be looking for faces I know. Seven Tennessee legislators attended the 2017 Phoenix Convention of States, and they were all strong on Article V. If the bill passes as expected, there may still be time to get it through the Senate. Some work remains to be done there, but there’s a chance.
If Tennessee passes their bill, Wolf-pac will have won a major and timely victory. Either way, the impressive team at Wolf-Pac is headed for some wins in 2021, and the Reagan Project is looking forward to pitching in.
I have to admit I was mistaken about the people at Wolf-pac. They’re not a bunch of wild-eyed liberals. I don’t know their politics, but I do know they are patriotic Americans who are not only dedicated to their country, but smart enough to figure out where Article V fits in. They’ll be a good group to work with.