UPDATE Mount Vernon Assembly: State Legislators React

1453342_615497235164034_2054800202_nFed up with an overreaching federal government that overspends, over-regulates, and overtaxes, nearly one hundred state legislators from 32 states met at Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, Saturday to discuss an Article V convention of the states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution.

Many of the delegates took to Twitter and Facebook, expressing their sentiments on this historic gathering.

“I think this was a good start,” writes State Senator Marv Hagedorn of Idaho. “We had 97 very well meaning and sharp legislators from 32 states who are focused on getting a good set of rules in place for when/if an Article V or State called Convention ever occurs.”

Many legislators attended as steadfast proponents of an Article V Convention.


“We are in a state of crisis right now,” said South Dakota State Senator David Omdahl. “With the nuclear option that went on in the Senate, the leadership happening with our President, this debt is out of control. We must somehow rein it in.”

“Many are here because they see a myriad of problems coming out of Washington,” writes State Senator Dan Lederman of South Dakota. “Some are here because of the intrusion of Obamacare into our lives and businesses. Some are seeking a renewed look at federal term limits and campaign finance reform.”


Although the meeting focused mostly on the rules and means of a future convention, and not so much specific amendments, several legislators have clearly stated what type of amendments they want to pursue.

“I would like to see an amendment to the constitution for a balanced budget, and to force the Congress to stop mortgaging our children’s future,” Senator Lederman writes. “It’s obvious that congress will never limit itself on spending. And let’s not kid ourselves on whether or not Congress will ever pass term limits.”

Several state legislators were given the chance to speak, and many cited the need for God’s guidance.

It was in that spirit that the assembly opened and closed proceedings in prayer.

“There were a few dominating issues, and the room was filled with brilliant and careful minds,” wrote State Representative Kelly Townsend of Arizona. “Most important seemed to be preventing rogue delegates from causing a runaway convention, and possibly equally important to the group was making sure that it was a bi-partisan effort.”

Although an official meeting to establish rules for a convention has been tentatively set for next December, there was some initial discussion of the type of rules that need to be established.

The overall vibe of the meeting seems to be that it was successful, and that there is significant support for such a convention.

“Overall, it was historic,” said Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert. “I think it is a beacon for the rest of this nation to know the state legislators, of which there are 7,383 of us, are standing together to tell the 535 in Washington, ‘You are no longer doing your job.  You haven’t passed a budget in a number of years. You allow the President to step outside of his executive authority and are not holding him accountable. You’re drowning the nation in debt, and we want it to stop.’”

“I think it went well,” said Georgia State Rep. Buzz Brockway.  “I think the organizers have been very cautious in pursuing this action. Folks have to understand, while we’re pursuing a path that’s in the Constitution, it hasn’t been utilized.”

However, Nate Bell in particular revealed that there may have been some tension in the room over utilizing the Compact for America method, which could potentially streamline and focus the Article V process. Bell also spoke out on his Facebook page to reiterate his support for CFA.

It seems that several legislators expressed support for Compact for America, while others remained skeptical.

Bell also cited the need to maintain communication between the legislators as this movement progresses.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the assembly is that these type of inter-state connections did occur.

At least one legislator pointed to author Mark Levin and his book The Liberty Amendments for the day’s achievement.

“Much of this meeting’s success owes itself to a book by Mark Levin,” wrote Senator Lederman.

In order to snuff out any concerns of a runaway convention, the legislators are planning to establish strict rules on the topics of a convention, as well as keeping the process transparent.

“Many of us have been very concerned about the ‘run-away’ convention, so we decided that the only way to properly have any convention was to do it in a way where the process would be fair, transparent and controlled,” writes Hagedorn.

Funding such a convention was also a topic of discussion.

“The recommendation is that the money would come from the states, but individuals would be able to contribute up to a limit of $100,” said Arkansas State Representative Randy Alexander. “We do not want this to be sponsored by some organization.”

Representative Townsend agreed with this assessment. “Another salient issue was that this process should be transparent, and free from any corporate or special interest influence. This is an effort by the people, and needs to remain as such.

Although the Mount Vernon Assembly represented a good start, clearly there is still much work to be done.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Brockway. “How do you organize it? What do you when you actually get there, and if you get that far, how do you get other states involved?”

Follow-up meetings have been set for May and next December.

“The thumbnail plan is to get members assigned from all 50 state legislatures to attend a meeting in May (tentative) to get some committees assigned to focus on various rules needed to run an operation of such,” wrote Hagedorn.

“You can all rest assured that I will continue to follow this and keep my promise to fight for your freedoms,” writes Townsend. “This may, or may not, be the answer. However, I would rather put my head down on my pillow at night knowing I tried but failed, but I cannot put my head down knowing I did nothing at all.”

Although difficult, an Article V Convention is not impossible. Three states have already pre-filed bills for a convention of this kind.

Scroll down to view more tweets from attending delegates.

Original Report on Mount Vernon Assembly

Book Review: The Liberty Amendments 


12 thoughts on “UPDATE Mount Vernon Assembly: State Legislators React

  1. Exposing the Convention of the States (COS) as an Article V Constitutional Convention … and Who’s Behind It All, including Soros & Levin

    The Convention of the States (COS) is an Article V Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) supported and funded by the elitists. Say No to a Convention of the State or Con-Con

    The Constitutional Convention, or Con-Con, that’s being sold to the legislators is a lie and has to be stopped. At least three White House advisers and officials, including President Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, have ties to an effort funded by billionaire George Soros to push for a new “progressive” U.S. Constitution by the year 2020. Don’t fall for the lies of the elitists. Say NO to a Con-Con or whatever label they call it.

    Go to following link for all the details

  2. A Con-Con and Nullification proceedings are entirely reasonable steps before dissolution of the republic and open warfare.

    Equating Soros with Levin discredits your argument. A Soros funded change would never be passed by the states no matter how hard the progressives try. Doing so would lead to open warfare.

    I am not afraid to try this step before we move to the next.

  3. You have to follow the money to see who is pulling the strings. Controlled opposition is behind most of the so called conservative movements. Many of the groups have been taking over. You have to go down two or three layers to find the connection. A lot of the ideas sound good but it just won’t happen. Michael P. Farris head of Convention of the States is connected to Grover G. Norquist a CFR member. Farris is president of Parentalrights.org and Norquist is the Director.

    Mark Levin’s ideas are good but it won’t work. A con-con or Convention of States can cause a runaway convention and I don’t think anyone would want this. Levin is sponsor by Americans for Prosperity. Kenneth C. Griffin a contributor to Americans for Prosperity was a major contributor to the 2011 Rahm Emanuel mayoral campaign. In 2008 Kenneth C. Griffin was the fund raiser for both the John McCain and Barack Obama presidential campaign at the same time. Kenneth C. Griffin’s wife Anne Dias Griffin
    is the analyst for Soros Fund Management and also a big contributor to Campaign for Primary Accountability where Leo LinBeck is a major contributor. A lot of money is being funneled through Donors Capital Fund where a lot of the so called conservative groups are also members of the State Policy Networks. Goldwater Institute is also a member of State Policy Network.

    Today, we have entrenched power forces led by the likes of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And we have notoriously weak leaders like current House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who rarely miss a good compromise to keep the peace.  These are the people who will decide the rules for the convention, including delegate selection. Do you trust them to follow the rules dictated by state legislatures? Do you think Pelosi and Reid would pass up an opportunity to set their own rules to guarantee a Constitution to their liking?

    And there is more. Concerning the argument that no matter what the delegates produce, the states still must ratify it – thus serving as a safeguard to foolish behavior, consider this fact: The Articles of Confederation required that any changes be ratified by 100% of the states. That was the document that was the law of the land – until something else was put into place. But, when the new Constitution was put to the states for a vote of ratification, suddenly they needed only two thirds to approve it. Why? The fact is, Article V of the new Constitution was used – even before the Constitution which contained it was approved. Now, what do you think Reid and Obama and company would do with that precedent? What if the new document produced by the Con Con said ratification only required a vote of Congress – or of some special commission? The precedent of 1787 says that could happen. So much for protection by the states.

  4. The convention of states mechanism for allowing the states to initiate constitutional amendment has not worked. Leaving aside the concerns about a “runaway” convention, it would be a procedural nightmare (as Madison warned at the 1787 Convention) and end up being tied up in litigation for years.

    Better to instead devote the energies being directed toward a state-called convention to amending Article V to permit the states to initiate and pass amendments without having to go through either Congress or the archaic, untried and unworkable mechanism of a convention. See http://www.timelyrenewed.com.


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