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Special No-Con-con Action Request


Posted on: September 30, 2016

By Tom Gow

Dear FFS leaders,

I’d like to update you as to where your members can, right now, best help the no-con-con effort in states beyond their own. (This assumes they’ve written / called their own state legislators already.)

There are four states I’d like you to focus on. Let me list those, each with some reasons for why I picked it. Below that, I’ll provide some links and other info pertinent to contacting relevant legislators.

First of all though, I would like to give you my sense of the “state of play” in this conflict, and the two overarching concerns that guided my selection.

34 calls is the magic number of state calls needed to trigger an Article V Con-con. There is only one Con-con “topic” or model resolution that has anywhere near that many: the BBA (Balanced Budget Amendment).

The BBA Task Force claims, I think accurately, that already they have 28 states with valid calls to Congress for a BBA Con-con. So, we should naturally be concerned mostly about states where a BBA call is likely.

Also, it has been clear for some time that various Con-con promoters have been, before each session, targeting specific states. In fact, BBA Task Force publishes what states they’re targeting (http://bba4usa.org/report/). It’s also clear that such targeting, with pre-corralling of legislators’ support, has paid off. So, we must consider which states will likely be targeted next session.

The Four Focus States

In alphabetical order (not order of importance), the states on which I’d like you to focus are:

Arizona

In 2015-16, all three of Arizona’s Con-con measures started in the House; one was a BBA call, one a Compact for a Balanced Budget; and the other was a Convention of States call.
All were introduced Jan. 2016, yet all three had passed the House by March! That strongly suggests an organized assault, despite the difference in topics. We can expect new calls to be introduced in the House in 2017.

(We know that Convention of States has started coordinating with BBA; e.g., in Oklahoma they passed one measure that had a call for each!)

Minnesota

This state is one of 11 that the BBA Task Force targeted explicitly in 2016.  And, it had companion calls for a BBA active in House and Senate (although, fortunately for us, neither was introduced until April of this year).

Texas

Seldom has a state been so obviously targeted: A clearly well-funded, well-organized rally occurred at the State Capitol on Sept. 13: http://www.empowertexans.com/quicktakes/convention-of-states-supporters-flood-texas-capitol/ ); this rally coincided with a certain important out-of-session hearing: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/schedules/pdf/C4602016091311001.PDF.
Moreover, the governor and lieutenant governor have both just recently demanded the legislature issue a Con-con call.

Virginia

This state’s Con-con measures will all carry over to 2017.  (This is true only of Virginia and New Jersey.)  There are two balanced budget Con-con calls, in the same Senate committee.

Please find attached hereto a PDF file listing the Con-con “talking points” that Tom Gow sent out by email in July. You might well find it helpful to print out copies of this (if you have access to a printer) for your members to refer to for communicating with the legislators.

Below, please find my contact advice for these states.

If any questions arise, please let me or Tom know. Don’t worry about coordinating with other leaders, as to who should handle what states; just pick some states that sound doable, as many as you think your members can do — and go for it! Also, if you can find the time to let us know what your members will be doing, that would be great.

Many thanks, and

Best regards,

Andrew Carver

 

Detailed State Information

Here is some additional info particularly relevant to contacting these states’ legislators re a Con-con. (All these states have finished their 2016 session; some have still some activity, though.)

Arizona

Since all the Con-con measures last session originated in the House, I recommend focusing your efforts there (on the 62 representatives). Note: No email addresses are available for Arizona legislators (so to email them, you must fill out a webform).
See http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp?Body=H for the House members’ telephone numbers (try to leave a voicemail, at least).

Minnesota

Since it had companion BBA calls in both House and Senate, contact both (by telephone or email).
There are 134 House members: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/hmem.asp, and
67 Senate members: http://www.senate.mn/members/index.php

Texas

No email addresses are available for Texas legislators (so to email them, you must fill out a webform).

Please note, there are no specific measures active or under study; but the committee that had the well-publicized, Sept. 13 hearing studying these matters was the House Select Committee on State & Federal Power & Responsibility.  If you want to phone its 7 members, go to:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Committees/Membership.aspx

and in the dropdown list next to “House Committee,” select “State & Federal Power & Responsibility, Select” and click on “Go.”

In the page that comes up, there are links for each committee member: Click on one to get that legislator’s phone number.

To phone any other Texas legislators, for representatives go to http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Members/Members.aspx?Chamber=H, and for senators go to http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Members/Members.aspx?Chamber=S.

Virginia

Email addresses are available for the Virginia legislators. The two BBA calls currently live in the same Senate committee (which will carry over into 2017) are HJR90 (which has already passed the House) and SJR42. The Senate committee considering the two calls is the Senate Rules Committee ( https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?161+com+S10). The Committee has 15 members.

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