Idaho’s Bipartisan Effort to
Stop Rewriting the Constitution
I was invited to speak at the John Birch Society (JBS) 60th Anniversary Convention in Appleton, Wisconsin the first weekend of October. There were tremendous speakers with the most notable being Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie.
Congressman Massie talked about his approach navigating through the D.C. swamp and earning a 99% on the JBS Freedom Index. My good friend Washington Representative Matt Shea was also a guest speaker at the event speaking on “Using the Constitution to Stand in the Gap”.
I was asked to speak on the Article V, Convention of States attempts made in Idaho and what legislators were doing to stop the initiative. I explained that it is hard to compete with the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to retired congressmen or lobbyists proposing this initiative.
The truth is in Idaho there is a bipartisan effort to stop the amending, rewriting or discarding of the U.S. Constitution. Republicans and Democrats alike want D.C. to adhere to the Constitution and uphold it as they swore in their oaths of office.
In Idaho it is interesting that the issue has come up every year. Sadly a Republican led legislature doesn’t heed the wishes of their Republican constituents to oppose it. At every GOP Resolutions Committee meeting and those on which I sat, the Article V was always voted down. The grassroots have spoken many times they do not want this passed in Idaho but every year we spend so much time and energy defeating it.
After the first year of my term I received a packet of petitions with typed signatures and addresses at the end of each page. Weeks after I returned home I began to read through the one hundred I had received to see who in my District are sending these to me. I immediately recognized several people I knew would not be in support of an Article V. I called to ask if they were aware of these petitions and to a resounding “no, I would never have signed such a petition”, I knew I had fraudulent documents in my hand. I started asking my constituents if they had sent me emails through the Convention of States Project and some said no, they could never support it. Emails also were fraudulent.
The main point I was trying to get across to the JBS audience was that if I received fraudulent petitions, how many other Idaho legislators did also? Did they call to verify any of them? Did they just go in the trash? How many legislators around the United States were dealing with the same deceptiveness? How in the world would we support an attempt at an Article V if they need to deceive people to bring one about? Are these the same kind of tactics that would be used at an actual convention? How could anyone think otherwise?
In 18 states across the United States an Article V, COS was attempted and all 18 failed. I hope this upcoming session when the issue comes up again we can shut it down early and get some good legislation passed or bad legislation repealed.
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