Nearly 1500 conservative state legislators from across the country gathered in San Diego for ALEC’s annual conference this past week, and Article V was the talk of the town. Several groups advocating for a convention of states were present at the event, but one stood out among the rest.
“The Convention of States is the one I have chosen to put my effort behind,” said Rep. Kelly Townsend of Arizona. “We need a balanced budget, but there are other issues at hand. (Convention of States) covers those issues, and it has the grassroots energy and support. That’s what’s going to get us to 34 states.”
The Convention of States Project resolution calls for a convention that would propose amendments dealing with fiscal restraints, term limits for federal officials, and other measures that would limit the power of the federal government.
“The other calls deal with single subject matters,” Delvis Dutton, a former state legislator from Georgia, told Red Millennial. “The only one that deals with federalism is Convention of States Project. This has to do with the authorities given to the states. We’ve ceded our authority to the other branches of government.”
In just its second year or operation, the COS resolution has been ratified by four states, (Georgia, Alaska, Florida, and Alabama), and was passed by one chamber in 10 other states this year.
“When we passed it, it was just an idea,” said Dutton. “This year, you’re seeing the awakening of this happen across the country.”
Before a room packed with about 150 state legislators, Convention of States also launched their COS Caucus, which is a network of current state legislators who will work to refine the rules for the future Article V convention. So far 200 members representing 40 states have joined.
In a speech Rep. Ken Ivory of Utah said, “I would encourage you to join the Convention of States Caucus and engage in this process to establish the procedures. Be leaders among leaders.”
“I appreciate what Convention of States has done in creating the rules, because they’ve stepped out of the way and allowed us to build on their rough draft,” Townsend told Red Millennial. “It’s really amazing.”
In a speech before about 1000 fellow state legislators, Texas Rep. Rick Miller laid out the case for Convention of States Project.
“It’s a call to action that has the potential to reverse the downward course the nation is on, especially the fiscal policy and overreach of federal agencies,” said Miller. “It’s clear to me the federal government is out of control, from Congress to the executive to the judiciary.”
Mike Huckabee, who has endorsed Convention of States Project, also urged state legislators to pursue this constitutional solution.
“Article V is that one fail-safe way to to keep our government from spiraling out of control and restore the balance of power,” said Huckabee.
“We’re seeing the calls for liberty percolate up from all over the place,” Ivory said, acknowledging the movement’s recent surge of momentum.
Convention of States Action, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance, is far and away the most organized Article V effort in the country with more than 200,000 participants, grassroots infrastructure in all 50 states, and legislative sponsors in 37 states.
Miller said that nearly 60,000 Texans have already joined COS.
“It’s amazing, the energy that’s behind this movement,” said Townsend. “It’s going to be the people getting out and contacting their state legislators. I see that with Convention of States. I believe in our people, and I believe we’re going to pull this off.”