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home : opinion : opinion May 4, 2016


3/18/2014 6:00:00 AM
Letter: Convention of States called

On March 12, the Arizona House approved a resolution to call for a Convention of States to propose amendments to the U.S. constitution to "impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of federal government officials." The bill will now move on to the Senate for approval.

As a responsible citizen of Arizona, I believe it's my duty to tell you about the last, best chance to save the Republic from the overreaching federal government.

Almost everyone knows Washington, D.C., is on a dangerous course. But few Americans know the people possess the power to make changes to the federal structure when Washington starts to abuse its authority.

Article V of the Constitution authorizes the people - through their state legislatures - to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution.

Citizens for Self-Governance has launched the Convention of States Project (COS) to call a convention that would propose amendments to limit Washington's power. The great state of Arizona has a leadership team in place to spearhead this movement. To get involved, visit the website, www.conventionofstates.com. You can also contact Arizona's COS state leadership at statedirector@azconventionofstates.com.

I believe the COS Project gives us a way out of the mess D.C. has created. I want Arizona to be one of the states calling for a Convention of States. Together we can help preserve liberty for our children and grandchildren.

Eduard L. Goheen

Scottsdale


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

I'm surprised and disappointed that nobody has renewed the discussion here in he light of the country's now-requisite number of states having called for a constitutional convention. As I indicated in previous comments, using South Africa's experience as a warning, you who support this should be careful what you wish for. Consider carefully - as some at other websites are arguing - that this may very well be an orchestrated plan to denude American citizens of their few rights remaining after NDAA and the Dear Leader's executive orders.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“In error of what? I only wrote that you should research tax brackets also.”

Which I did and pointed that you are still in error. I apologize for not realizing I had to be more succinct in my reply.


Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: and back to the topic at hand .....

Last week, Michigan became the 34th state to demand a constitutional convention. Game on..................

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"I did, found you to be in error - still."

In error of what? I only wrote that you should research tax brackets also. So, I am in error of thinking that you are capable of doing that? If so, that would be your problem. Take a class. It could help.





Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"I suggest that you do the same."

I did, found you to be in error - still.


Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"I suggest you do some actual research on the tax brackets."

I suggest that you do the same.


Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"These taxes were all passed under the affordable care act, aka Obamacare."

Cutting and pasting incorrect information from right wing e-mails will never make them true. I suggest you do some actual research on the tax brackets.


Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Article comment by: anti-Constitutional naysayers such as

Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“…anti-Constitutional naysayers such as…and Anson’e Nephew…”

I do not consider myself to be a “naysayer.” I simply pointed out a Constitutional Convention can lead to unintended consequences – something righties NEVER consider when they propose stupid actions.

“…anyone is entitled to their own opinion but not entitled to their own FACTS.”


Here is what happened on January 2014:






Top Income tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%






Top Income payroll tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%






Capital Gains tax went from 15% to 28%






Dividends tax went from 15% to 39.6%






Estate tax went from 0% to 55%






Remember this fact: if you have money, the democrats want it. These taxes were all passed only with democrat votes, no republicans voted for these taxes.






These taxes were all passed under the affordable care act, aka Obamacare.


Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: Mark Alspaugh

Anti Article V thinking offers no rational alternative to the continuing dismantling of the Constitution other than to elect different people. It won’t work.

The members of the House of Representatives could be replaced in two years, the President and Vice-president in four, the Senate in six and more like twenty years to replace federal judges who serve for life. While well intentioned movements are trying to do this, their successes are not nearly enough to shift the balance of power away from the entrenched Washington power structure.

Nevertheless, assume in time we could achieve the necessary level of replacement needed to repeal all “unconstitutional” legislation. How long would it then take to overturn adverse precedents? The onslaught on the Constitution that has been underway for at least 100 years has led to at least 100, perhaps 200, entrenched precedents that need to be reversed. Considering the way the judicial system works, your constitutional scholars will tell you that it could reasonably take at least 100 years to repair and renew the Constitution via the litigation process..

Realistically, the only way short of revolution to correct the further dismantling of the Constitution is by amendments to the Constitution arising out of an Article V convention.


Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

As an alternative to the American model, you have that of South Africa, where the updated 1983 Constitution was approved - by majority vote of the nation's citizens! (Would America's Founders have gone along with this model, as the modern era allows participatory government in a way not practical in the 1700's?) I really don't have space here for a thorough discussion of the significant differences between America and SA, but will say that the Republican Constitution they replaced honoured the Cape province's more liberal policies towards non-whites, including suffrage/voting rights - i.e., as every other state was whites-only voting, this was reflected in the 1983 Constitution, having overwhelmed the Cape's coloured participants. Your comments undercut those sorts of concerns here, on the premise that the American Constitution remands to states the delegate-selection authority - which, in theory, will obviate majority-vote injustices or foolhardiness. We'll see.

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by: David Gaither

[quote] "But then righties have never been known for thinking anything through before acting."

Well, the actions of this president and his agenda to bring America to it's knees, has forced me to become a "rightie", for the sake of saving America for our kids! But on the issue of a constitutional convention, of any name....I'm with you, AN.

However, I wasn't aware that Pelosi was a "rightie", too! I seem to remember she supported passing the ACA ,"so we can see what's in it". Now that's really thinking things through, huh?


Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Article comment by: Mark Alspaugh

@ PL Thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree with your statement that, “alternative interpretations are voiced by reputable constitutional scholars.” However, mere voicing of such interpretations, while flaunting the proverbial sheepskin, does not make them credible. Upon critical analysis, their interpretations may be pleasing for them and their acolytes to imagine but they cannot be said to appeal to facts, evidence, historical precedent, rationality, or reality.

For example, such “scholars” advance views that Congress will establish the rules for a convention, will determine how and how many delegates are selected and how they paid, will require proportional voting by the states, and that delegates cannot be bound by the commission they receive by the state they represent. Such fear mongering tactics have no basis in fact or in law and are utterly without merit. Congress sets the date and time for the convention. It has no other discretion.

Once the prerequisites have been met, the call for a Convention of States will be issued to all of “the several states.” If one or more states chose not to participate, that is their call. The convention would proceed without them according to the rules established by the convention. Common parliamentary law is a good model.


Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Anson’s Nephew claims ‘a Constitutional Convention can lead to unintended consequences…’”

So you feel that having a Constitutional Convention that opens every facet of the Constitution to review COULD NOT lead to unintended consqueces. Funny stuff from another Kingman “Constitutional Scholar.”

“…and describes the exercise of a constitutional right as a stupid action.”

Yes, I feel that – as usual – the righties pursuit of this “constitutional right” would indeed be a stupid thing to do. But then righties have never been known for thinking anything through before acting.

“His ignorance of the distinction between a ‘Constitutional Convention’ and an ‘Article V Convention’ is stunning.”

No ignorance here. Please point out where – in my original comment – I said anything about an Article V convention? Oh, wait, I didn’t!

Besides an Article V convention would never be convened – too many states have caught on to the stupid actions of the GOP’ers and TEA-you knows.

As noted previously, you are allowed to have your own opinion but NEVER your own facts.


Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

@Mr. Alspaugh....I doubt that every expression of concern here and elsewhere regarding a convention involves impugning the eventual delegates' integrity. There is simply a recognition of differences such as the proverbial red state-blue state divide, by which republican government might be subsumed under democratic (mob) rule. This was discussed at another thread here recently. (And please note that the Founders theorised a convention in which "the several states" might participate - not 50 states from Maine to Hawaii). Anyway, while prevailing constitutional opinion is as you have stated, significant alternative interpretations are voiced by reputable constitutional scholars.

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Article comment by: David Gaither

[quote] "The Constitution itself provides no means for the American people to adopt constitutional amendments independently of Article V."

TRUE. That's why my suggestion to achieve a "quasi" term limit, is probably one of the few realistic avenues, available to control terms for U.S. congress members. (See my suggestion on azvoices(dot)gov, "Ideas" page 7, titled "Term Limits for U.S. Senators and Representatives").

It has received 38 stars rating, which is somewhat more popular than most, so it seems to be a worthwhile undertaking.


Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: Mark Alspaugh

Anson’s Nephew claims “a Constitutional Convention can lead to unintended consequences” and describes the exercise of a constitutional right as a stupid action. His ignorance of the distinction between a “Constitutional Convention” and an “Article V Convention” is stunning. They are not the same things. Throw in the fear mongering fact-free threat of “unintended consequences” without a shred of evidence to support the allegation. As said in my post below, once you get beyond this kind of rhetoric, and search for FACTS that support naysayer propositions, you generally find none of substance.

Az mac resorts to a fear-mongering conspiracy theory. Mr. Goheen’s letter is clear. The convention, once called, will propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to "impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of federal government officials." As to who goes, each state may send a delegation whose members are selected and charged according to state protocols perhaps by election or by legislative appointment. While legitimate to ask legislators how they will select delegates, the conspiracy theorists often denigrate their integrity and motives. Such tactics are undeserving of respect.


Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“…anti-Constitutional naysayers such as…and Anson’e Nephew…”

I do not consider myself to be a “naysayer.” I simply pointed out a Constitutional Convention can lead to unintended consequences – something righties NEVER consider when they propose stupid actions.

“…anyone is entitled to their own opinion but not entitled to their own FACTS.”

Yep, I have said that many times and the “FACTS” are as follows – Article V states how amendments may be adopted and sent to the states, 1) 2/3 of both the Senate and the House of Representatives voting in approval, 2) A national convention assembled at the request of the legislatures of at least 2/3 of the states.

An amendment must be ratified by 1) The legislatures of ¾ of the states or 2) State ratifying conventions in ¾ of the states.

Some of the intellectually challenged believe there are other methods of constitutional amendment. Some contend Article V is the exclusive way for the government to amend the Constitution, whereas the people have a separate amendment power. The Constitution itself provides no means for the American people to adopt constitutional amendments independently of Article V.


Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Article comment by: az mac

What is not being told is the People do not get to choose who goes or what is done in the convention.


Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Mark Alspaugh

Authoritative references that provide FACTS supporting the Article V state-led amendment process and thoroughly rebut the false beliefs of anti-Article V, anti-Constitutional naysayers such as Milner, Another Thought, and Anson’e Nephew are:

1. The Other Way To Amend The Constitution, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy by James Kenneth Rogers.
2. Two Congressional Research Services Reports, The Article V Convention To Propose Constitutional Amendments by Thomas H. Neale.
3. Founding-Era Conventions and the Meaning of the Constitution’s “Convention for Proposing Amendments by Robert G. Natelson, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute.

It has been said that FACTS are sturdy things and anyone is entitled to their own opinion but not entitled to their own FACTS. When you come upon an argument against Article V, analyze the rhetoric used and separate out the demonizing, personal attacks, innuendo, fear mongering, bizarre conspiracy theories, hate speech and outright constitutional illiteracy. Of anything left, ask for the FACTS that support naysayer propositions. You will generally find none.

Or, as we learned in Grade School, “Consider the source.”


Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Impeach/Abolish the Fed......but don't throw us in the Article V Convention

Arizona is not the first state to have recently called for an Article V convention. Georgia has done the same thing, although with provisos (pre-conditions) which would limit the amount of damage - or the amount of good - which the convention could achieve. .That's the only kind of constitutional convention you should want, and the least likely to be convened.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Takes 2/3rds of states to call a constitutional or 34 states, once called takes 3/4th to change, remove or add to the constitution, meaning 38....guess those calling for this move have not done a state count on how many right leaning states exist versus how many left leaning ones! Typical right wing knee jerk reaction like the government shut down planned to shut government down but had no plan afterwards!

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Moderately Independent

Big deal, a State "resolution" that is basically nothing more than a symbolic gesture designed to appeal to the far radical right and will end up going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.

It's too bad our elected "representatives" cannot "resolve" to perform the job that they are entrusted to instead of wasting thier time and our tax dollars on crap like this!


Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Carl Milner

That is idiotic, The only thing that will come of a constitutional convention is that the liberal states with more clout will end the 2nd ammendment, among other things. To restrain the governments ability to borrow and spend will result in the U.S. becomming a 3rd world nation in a generation or so. Too bad you people are so uninformed in economics, the government, tax policy and the constitution.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Works for me, this government has become too much of a dictatorship, I would however like to see all elected positions right down to the sheriff be subject to term limits.

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Another Thought

Be careful what you wish for. Remember, our government has already proved it will go to whatever lengths it needs to get what they want. While you are concentrating on amendments to limit government, they may be coming up with some of their own. You open the can of worms and the next thing you know they have an amendment to change the Second Amendment and others.


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