Thursday, 10 January 2013 12:00

How the Compact for America Threatens the Constitution

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The constitutional convention proposed by the Compact for America Initiative would pose an unacceptably high risk of damage to the Constitution.

* * *

July 4, 2013. Chartered planes carrying delegates from all 50 states touch down in Dallas, Texas. Thirty-eight states are being represented by their governors with the remaining states represented by one to three state-appointed delegates. These delegates have arrived en masse at the Lone Star State for a historic one-day convention whose sole purpose is purportedly the perfunctory proposal of a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution.

Upon arriving at the designated site, the delegates and their retinues settle in around the extraordinarily large conference table and make small talk while taking in the impressive view of the Dallas skyline.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the designated chairman announces, “thank you for coming to this historic meeting and for being willing to stand up to the federal government’s runaway spending that is ruining our Republic.”

“As you all know,” he continues, “we have 24 hours to accomplish the one item on our agenda: the proposal of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, as already pre-ratified by 38 (three-fourths) of the state legislatures.”

With that brief restatement of the publicized and promised purpose of this high-powered confab, the chairman retakes his seat, awaiting one of the governors to move for a vote on the BBA and another to second that motion.

“Point of order, Mr. Chairman,” declares a popular southern governor endowed not only with charisma, but appeal to the powers-that-be in national political circles.

“I certainly agree that this is a historic meeting which is being held to rein in an out-of-control federal government that is ruining our republic. Furthermore, I would remind the chairman that our Founders envisioned just this situation in the Declaration of Independence when they stated:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The popular southern governor continues: “The key part of this quote is, ‘That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.’

“Since the Founders agreed on this right of the People to alter or to abolish our government, and to institute new Government, they provided a procedure for holding a convention for ‘proposing amendments’ to our Constitution in Article V of the Constitution itself.

“Today we are gathered here as the duly appointed representatives of the People in just such an Article V constitutional convention. Based on the Right of the People to alter or to abolish our government, and to institute a new government, and in light of the longstanding out-of-control spending by the federal government, I move that the rules previously agreed to by state legislators in our states be set aside and that a new slate of rules for this convention be considered by the body. This new slate of rules would permit any amendment proposals that delegates believe would improve our government in such manner as they believe seems most likely to effect the Safety and Happiness of the People of the United States of America.”

“Second the motion,” comes the immediate reply from the ambitious governor of a western state.

“Gentlemen, the governor’s motion is out of order,” the chairman says, rising from his seat.

“With all due respect, Mr. Chairman,” says the southern governor confidently, “I have made clear that my motion is entirely justified by the inherent Right of the People as clearly proclaimed in our nation’s founding documents, the Declaration and the Constitution.”

“I object to this railroading of the rules and will not be a party to it,” the chairman demands. With that, the chairman and four likeminded governors walk demonstratively out of the conference room.

“The question has been put and seconded,” says the southern governor without delay.

“All those in favor, say aye. All opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The body will adjourn into a committee of the whole for consideration of new rules and new proposals for amendments to the Constitution of the United States to be deliberated and adopted by this body.”

* * *

Some will say that this introduction is nothing more than a melodramatic doomsday scenario that could never happen. Sadly, they are wrong. This fiction could become fact very soon if a group of conservative activists gets its way.

This month, a group known as the Compact for America (CFA) Initiative will begin lobbying state lawmakers to propose in their respective legislatures a measure that would make that convention of delegates from 50 states gathered in Dallas a reality on July 4, 2013. Thirty-eight (or more, depending on how many states adopt the CFA legislative package) governors along with state-appointed representatives from the remaining 12 (or fewer) states would be delegates to a constitutional convention (con-con) supposedly called for the sole purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution. The problem is, there is no way to make sure the assembled delegates representing the People wouldn’t exceed that mandate to propose a BBA, and even if they did adhere to the mandate, there is no guarantee that the CFA’s Balanced Budget Amendment would improve America’s financial prospects.

Overview of the Compact for America Initiative

The CFA Initiative is composed of three parts: First, there is a multi-state compact petitioning Congress to convene a con-con with state governors of member states serving as delegates and notifying Congress that members of the compact have pre-ratified the BBA called for and defined by the CFA; second, there is a balanced budget amendment as defined by the CFA that would be added to the Constitution; and third, there is a congressional resolution that would call a constitutional convention when and if 38 states join the CFA compact, and then would automate the steps required to add the BBA to the Constitution upon receipt of a certified copy of the BBA evidencing that the convention has approved the BBA for ratification.

The “Compact for America Timeline” at the end of this article shows how the CFA leaders expect these three components to work together to amend the Constitution by adding a BBA.

A fair analysis of the three-pronged proposal of the CFA Initiative reveals the formation of a modern-day Trojan Horse that could sneak the opportunity to make radical changes to our Constitution right past the protections of federalism put in place by our Founders to prevent unwise and unnecessary changes to our Constitution and the liberties guaranteed by it.

Here is how the CFA website describes its goal:

The Compact for America Initiative (the “Initiative”) is a non-partisan effort to promote and seek the passage of legislation by the states and the U.S. Congress to ratify a balanced budget amendment into the Constitution of the United States in a way that has never been done before. The Initiative includes educating elected officials, citizens and residents of the United States and the several states of the novel use of an interstate compact agreement and the counterpart federal legislation to coordinate the use of Article V of the Constitution of the United States by state legislatures to originate and ratify a specific constitutional amendment that would require Congress to operate under a balanced budget.

Why the CFA Initiative’s Balanced Budget Amendment Won’t Work

Although calls for BBA con-cons are nothing new, the CFA Initiative is particularly frightening because of the ingenuity and insidious nature of the method proposed by its creators to alter the Constitution.

Before state legislatures vote for an Article V con-con proposal that could cause real and radical damage to our Constitution, they should first consider whether a balanced budget amendment is necessary and whether it would actually steer our Republic away from the fiscal problems we are facing.

The fact is that determined citizens and state legislators could rescue the United States from its financial peril without resorting to opening up the Constitution to tinkering by 38 or more governors and a sprinkling of state-appointed delegates, many of whom would be bought and paid for by special interests and corporations.

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.” A fundamental requirement of vigilance is holding elected representatives’ feet to the fire by compelling them to honor their oath of office and not exceed the limits of their power as set forth in the Constitution.

Furthermore, there is no historical proof that a balanced budget amendment would drive Congress back to within its constitutional corral. Even the most conservative estimates indicate that about 80 percent of expenditures approved by Congress violate the U.S. Constitution. That fact wouldn’t change by adding an amendment to the Constitution.

Whether these bills spend our national treasure on unconstitutional and undeclared foreign wars, billions sent overseas in the form of foreign aid, expanding the so-called entitlement programs, or redistributing wealth via corporate and individual welfare schemes, none of these outlays is authorized by the Constitution.

And don’t forget, a committed, concerned, and constitutionally aware citizenry can balance our budget more quickly than any balanced budget amendment and without the danger of letting the wolves of special interests and their political puppets into the constitutional hen house.

Equally important to anyone considering the CFA’s proposal is the fact that rather than forcing Congress to adhere to spending money only in those areas specifically permitted by the Constitution in Article I (something the Constitution already does), the Compact for America’s Balanced Budget Amendment does nothing to restore the concept of enumerated powers because it allows Congress to spend money on anything, no matter how unconstitutional, so long as the amount does not exceed the limits set in Section 2 of their BBA. Thus, the CFA’s BBA does nothing to break Congress of its unconstitutional spending habits.

Under the CFA’s budget-balancing scheme, Congress could continue spending on projects and programs not authorized by the Constitution. In fact, Section 3 of the CFA’s BBA explicitly authorizes an increase in the federal debt limit to 105 percent of the actual debt level on the effective date of this amendment. That hardly sounds like a balanced budget.

Beyond the initial five-percent increase in the national debt permitted by the CFA’s BBA, Congress could increase the national debt under the BBA at any time if it could get the approval of a simple majority of the states. Given that many states have their own debt problems and are dependent on the federal government for large portions of their budgets, finding 26 states to approve an increase in the national debt might be much easier than the CFA’s proponents think.

Perhaps most perplexing of all the fiscal failures of the CFA’s Balanced Budget Amendment is the fact that although it does require a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress to raise taxes, it does not prohibit Congress from doing so. Higher taxes, loopholes for increased federal spending, and no requirement that expenditures conform to constitutional limits on congressional power are a powerful one-two-three combination that could K.O. the American middle class, all in the name of balancing the budget.

A Trojan Horse

But before the CFA’s Balanced Budget Amendment constitutional convention would begin, at least 38 state legislatures would need to join an interstate compact calling for the convening of the con-con in Dallas.

In a video posted on the CFA website, CFA Board Member (and Goldwater Institute Director of Policy Development and Constitutional Government) Nick Dranias explains the pincer strategy planned for the BBA multi-state compact and the congressional resolution.

The Compact for America “consolidates the entire Article V process in two pieces of legislation: one state compact and one congressional resolution.”

Described by Dranias as analogous to a “house loan closing,” the two measures would work together to construct a Trojan Horse. At first blush, many state legislators determined to stand up to Washington would likely welcome the Compact for America and the state compact it offers as an ally in that battle. In fact, the CFA is so thorough that the state compact contains “all the legislation necessary for the Article V process to work.” Therein lies the principle defect of this program.

As harried and overworked as they are, would all state lawmakers legitimately enlisted in the war against federal despotism understand that by joining the CFA they would also be agreeing to set in motion a constitutional convention that could quite possibly throw the baby of the Constitution out with the bathwater of out-of-control federal spending?

The bottom line is that the outcome of the Dallas con-con could range from a textbook following of the CFA script for proposing a BBA and nothing else, all the way to a runaway convention based on the right of the People in convention to revise their government when it becomes destructive of the ends of securing our God-given rights. This is the crux of the argument against convening an Article V con-con, no matter how loudly the proponents of such a convention assure us that they can limit the number of amendments and/or the content of the amendments that would be considered.

Over the past 30 years, most state legislators have wanted no part of an unlimited con-con, and have accordingly voted no on most new con-con proposals. In fact, over the past 24 years nearly 20 state legislatures have gone further and voted to rescind all previously passed Article V con-con calls still on their books.

If the Dallas con-con envisioned by the CFA were to become a runaway convention as portrayed in the opening paragraphs of this article, many dangerous amendments could be proposed. However, con-con proponents assure us that we do have a safeguard against dangerous or harmful amendments. Following the precedents of our original Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the provisions in Article V of our present Constitution, the Dallas convention would only propose amendments that would then be submitted for ratification by the states, either by state legislatures or state conventions.

Nonetheless, this safeguard has not been effective in stopping all bad amendments. For example, three-fourths of the states ratified the 16th (establishing the income tax), the 17th (establishing the direct election of senators), and the 18th (establishing the prohibition against alcoholic beverages) amendments. Most constitutionalists believe all three amendments were harmful, yet all three were duly ratified.

In fact, American history reveals that a convention called for nothing more than offering amendments to the existing national charter can quickly become a convention scrapping the old constitution and replacing it with something completely different, despite the restrictions set by state legislatures on the authority of the attendees.

Article V: Runaway or Restrained?

Attempting to refute the remarks of The John Birch Society and other constitutionalist organizations, the CFA Initiative contends that the constitutional convention held in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 did not exceed its mandate. In fact, based on the undeniable success of the constitutional convention of 1787, the CFA Initiative claims that the con-con they plan on convening on July 4, 2013, can accomplish just as much good, can be confined to considering only the balanced budget amendment, and can be kept from becoming a “runaway convention” that could result in a new constitution, one that doesn’t resemble the current one.

The Compact for America Initiative claims that the historical record of the convention of 1787 proves that it was not a “runaway convention” and that a modern-day convention could be carried out without exceeding a very limited purpose.

Unfortunately for the CFA Initiative, their account of those seminal events is not completely accurate. A core premise of the CFA’s conclusion is that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of Philadelphia did not exceed their mandate. In an earlier report published by the Goldwater Institute, the claim was made that, “48 of the 55 delegates [to the Philadelphia Convention] had instructions which allowed them to go beyond amending the Articles of Confederation.”

To assert, then, that the Constitutional Convention was not “runaway” with regard to those 48 delegates is arguably true. However, what of the seven delegates whose commissions expressly forbade them from ratifying, or even participating in, any proposal calling for the dismantling of the government created by the Articles of Confederation? What of the states represented by those delegates? Yet after ratification of the Constitution crafted in Philadelphia, the citizens and governments in those states were considered to be equally bound to abide by the terms of that contract.

Furthermore, as discussed above, regardless of any state or congressional legislation requiring them to consider only a balanced budget amendment, the assembled delegates in Dallas would possess unlimited, though not unprecedented, power to propose revisions to the existing Constitution, based on the inherent right of the People in convention to alter or revise their government.

The prospect of a convention endowed with power of this magnitude, populated by politicians (many of whom would likely be bought and paid for by powerful lobbyists and special interest groups) determined to tinker with the precision gears that give movement to works of our mighty Republic, is frightening and should give pause to everyone considering supporting the Compact for America Initiative.

The Compact for America and the Threat to the Constitution

The material presented by CFA lists 208 existing interstate compacts as evidence of the commonality and usefulness of such agreements.

That such agreements exist and function is true. In many instances, interstate compacts are the grease that allows the gears of federalism to drive the engine of the various commercial interests of the several states.

How, then, CFA adherents would ask, is the Constitution threatened by passing another multi-state compact?

The primary difference between the agreements listed by CFA and the one they propose as a vehicle for the passage of a balanced budget amendment is that the former do not impact the Constitution. None of the 208 compacts CFA lists changes one letter of the existing Constitution. They primarily deal with matters relating to the behavior of the states that are parties to the agreements, leaving the Constitution — including its checks, balances, and separation of powers — unchanged. The same can’t be said of the interstate compact proposed by the Compact for America Initiative.

In several sections, the balanced budget amendment proposed by the CFA endows Congress and the president with new powers not already granted them in the Constitution.

For example, in Section 4, the president is given the authority to:

enforce said [debt] limit by publicly designating specific expenditures for impoundment in an amount sufficient to ensure outstanding public debt shall not exceed the authorized public debt. Said impoundment shall become effective thirty (30) days thereafter, unless Congress first designates an alternate impoundment of the same amount by concurrent resolution, which shall become immediately effective. The failure of the President to designate or enforce the required impoundment is an impeachable misdemeanor.

This provision of the CFA’s BBA would grant the president new, sweeping authority over the budget-making process. Furthermore, giving the president the right to “designate” any spending request is tantamount to giving him the power to rewrite laws passed by Congress, which would amount to rewriting both Articles I and II of the Constitution. Article I of our current Constitution explicitly places “all legislative power” in Congress.

Next, Section 3 of the BBA offered by the Compact for America allows Congress to increase public debt if a simple majority of state legislatures sign off on the measure. This is part of the CFA’s decentralization strategy: Taking power from Washington and giving to the states. That is a proposition that appeals to all constitutionalists, but it begs a question.

Why is such a scheme necessary when states already possess the power to prevent federal excess? By ratifying the Constitution, states did not cede their sovereignty to the federal government. In fact, the continuation of our Constitution and our Republic requires states to assert themselves and to reject any act of Congress that goes beyond the narrow scope of authority granted to it by the states in the Constitution.

The Remedy: Enforce the Constitution, Don’t Change It

In support of their position, bloggers, pundits, and politicians advocating for the adoption of the Compact for America plead with fellow constitutionalists (the Eagle Forum and The John Birch Society, specifically) to “get on board before we no longer have a country and a Constitution for you to protect.”

While an anxiety for the salvation of our Constitution and our constitutional republic is laudable and never to be dismissed, the author of that last warning fails to take into account other remedies for the cancer afflicting our body politic.

To begin with, rather than expose the Constitution to the whims of special interest groups, political action committees, corporations, and the politicians they pay for, why not enforce the Constitution as written?

For example, there is not a single syllable in the Constitution providing for foreign aid ($74 billion spent from 2010-2011), undeclared wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (nearly $4 trillion spent since 2001), or the 185 federal welfare programs (nearly $2 trillion spent from 2010-2011). In the past decade, based on just those three examples alone, Congress has authorized the spending of over $6 trillion for unconstitutional purposes! Wouldn’t the country’s economic outlook be improved by forcing our federal representatives to obey the limits on their power as provided by the Constitution, rather than allowing the delegates to a CFA con-con in Dallas (and the powerful interests many of them would be financially beholden to) to hold a new constitutional convention that not only would do nothing to restrain the federal government, but could potentially rewrite our Constitution? The certain risks associated with a CFA con-con far outweigh the promised benefits of a BBA.

Fortunately, there is another way for states to exercise their collective authority on the federal government without resorting to a constitutional convention. It is the concept described by Thomas Jefferson as the “rightful remedy” for any and all unconstitutional acts of the federal government: nullification.

Simply stated, nullification is a concept of legal statutory construction that endows each state with the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that a state deems unconstitutional. Nullification is founded on the assertion that the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the central government to enact laws that are applicable to the states and the citizens thereof.

In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, Madison reaffirms this fundamental principle of constitutional construction:

Encroachments springing from a government, whose organization cannot be maintained without the co-operation of the states, furnish the strongest excitements upon the state legislatures to watchfulness, and impose upon them the strongest obligation, to preserve unimpaired the line of partition.

With these facts in mind, it would seem that our nation’s fiscal and political well-being is better served by governors jealous of their states’ sovereignty and their rightful role as “shelters against the abuse of power,” signing into law state bills nullifying unconstitutional federal measures (including those that have propelled our national indebtedness into the stratosphere) than by governors uniting at a constitutional convention with unchecked power to amend our Constitution out of existence in the name of balancing the budget.

What’s more, by seeking out and electing federal representatives committed to never voting for a single spending bill that violates the enumerated powers of the Constitution and refusing to reelect those members of Congress that do vote for such measures, the federal budget would be balanced — by following the Constitution, not “fixing” it.

Enforcing the Constitution and demanding that states stand up to their would-be federal overlords accomplishes the same goal as the CFA’s balanced budget amendment without putting the Constitution so close to the shredder that an Article V convention could become.

To its credit, the Goldwater Institute, one of the organizations behind the CFA Initiative, recognized in one of its previous efforts to call a constitutional convention that “abuses of the Article V constitutional amendment process are possible.” Given the ready availability of the remedies of (1) election of representatives committed to controlling spending according to the already existing constitutional limits, and (2) nullification, there appears to be no argument persuasive enough to convince state or federal lawmakers to suffer the potentially Constitution-threatening side effects that would accompany swallowing the pill of the Compact for America’s constitutional convention scheduled for July 4 this year.

All Americans and state legislators who stand united in their resistance to unconstitutional federal spending and the ever-increasing tax burden that supports it that has bankrupted our nation, must also unite in their opposition to the Compact for America Initiative. This includes refusing to support passage by the state legislatures of the interstate compact and the balanced budget amendment it proposes. The states and people must also forcefully reject the Article V constitutional convention called for by the CFA Initiative, a convention that would be beyond the control of the people or their representatives, one that could result in the proposal by the assembled delegates of potentially fatal and irreversible alterations to our Constitution that could very well end up being ratified.

* * *

Compact for America Timeline

This timeline is based on information published by the Compact for America Initiative at

• December 2012: Six to 12 governors agree to having their states join the CFA Compact.
• December 2012-January 2013: CFA sponsors are identified in the 50 state legislatures.
• January 2013: Lobbying teams begin working in the 50 states to promote passage of legislation to join the CFA Compact.
• January 2013: Lobbying teams are in place to push passage of the CFA’s Omnibus Resolution in the U.S. Congress.
• April 2013: CFA’s Congressional Omnibus Resolution is passed by Congress.
• January-May 2013: States join the CFA Compact, with the 38th state joining by the end of May, triggering the provisions of the compact to go live.
• June 2013: Thirty-eight state applications for a balanced budget amendment (BBA) constitutional convention are delivered to Congress and an Article V constitutional convention is called pursuant to the provisions of the CFA’s Compact and the CFA’s Congressional Omnibus Resolution.
• July 4, 2013: A 24-hour convention is held in Dallas, Texas. The governors from at least 38 states and state-appointed representatives from the remaining states assemble as delegates and vote to propose the CFA’s BBA as an amendment to the Constitution.
• July 7, 2013: Congress is notified of the proposed BBA, and the proposed amendment is automatically submitted to the states and ratified pursuant to the terms and provisions of the compact and the Congressional Omnibus Resolution.
• July 31, 2013: The Archivist of the United States is notified of the ratification of the BBA by the 38 member states, and shortly thereafter, the archivist certifies the incorporation of the BBA into the Constitution of the United States.

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

(Contact your state legislators in opposition to any Compact for America legislation to bring about a con-con.)

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  • Comment Link Tionico Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:14 posted by Tionico

    sending MY governor, or the one who reigned art the time this article was written, to that ConCon would be tantamount to giving a five year old a box of strike anywhere matches and turning him loose with the only remaining copy of our Constitution. That alone tells me this convention is a rotten idea, and MUST be stopped. Or, how would anyone with enough brains to comprehend this article view the likelihood of any good coming out of California's Governor Moonbeam attending such a convention? Or Colorado's, or New York's, or Missouri's proven anticonstitutional ruler?

  • Comment Link Patty Reynolds Friday, 22 February 2013 06:41 posted by Patty Reynolds

    Please send a copy of this to Rand Paul, who already goofed by voting for the bill/amendment that would have taken the BAD part out of the NDAA, but they pulled a sneaky on him, by re-inserting the bad stuff in committee. Therefore, he apparently did not read the final bill before he voted.

    Apparently he is pushing the BBA without realizing that he can't believe everything he hears; he is dealing with a lot of anti constitutional liberty haters in congress. Something like 80 % are admitted socialists, and would be happy to OFFICIALLY destroy the constitution; they've already done a bang up job since 1913 when the first step in its destruction took place with the Federal Reserve Act, passed in the dark of night when most senators had gone home for Christmas, by a questionable quorum (My Dad was a runner on Wall Street, 1913, delivering messages on his bike, and that was his description of the sordid affair)

  • Comment Link Patty Reynolds Friday, 22 February 2013 05:19 posted by Patty Reynolds


  • Comment Link Patty Reynolds Friday, 22 February 2013 04:59 posted by Patty Reynolds

    This has been tried before, and thankfully temporarily avoided the VERY type of scenario you provided,(SO FAR.)

    But this is a horrifying time in our country's history, as the forces that have long been planning a world government have become very brazen about their objectives. Now that the so-called "financial crisis" THEY dreamed up in order to capture the country by charging the taxpayer/residents of America for the BANKSTERS' Derivative losses, (Bailouts forward), it is clear that they intend to completely takeover the entire country, by collapse of the dollar, to avoid a true bankruptcy of the 'WORLD FINANCIAL SYSTEM".

    Now as the United Nations' charter and plans which call for, Agenda 21 is being instituted all over the world by ICLEI locally through covert activity which is intended to remove PERSONAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, PERIOD.



    (ALL 10 Articles of the Bill of Rights either have been denied, or are being threatened. The UN is a communist organization, written by the likes of Alger Hiss & Harry Dexter White, both communists, along with the US State Department communists placed by there by the CFR.)
    The PTB behind the front of the UN and the "world banking system" have NOW begun with the "appointment" of all the necessary apparatus to use any excuse for taking over the country. & the world.

    our rights and property, and our lives as well, with Martial law to justify it, that will APPARENTLY be OK with Congress, Senate, Supreme Court, and we are then officially slaves.

    Since the DHS, SPLC, and Fusion Centers have declared Constitutionalists, Ron Paul supporters, Conservatives, etc. to be terrorists, anyone who objects may see the treatment specified in the Army Training
    Manual: FM 3-39.40, February 2010 : Internment & Resettlement Operations
    Restricted U.S. Army Internment and Resettlement Operations Manual | Public Intelligence

    With NDAA declaring that anyone may be abducted, without being charged by a jury, and for all practical purposes,"disappeared", without trial and at the whim of (unspecified) government official/s, it is time to realize that the last thing we need is a Con-Con which is taken over, because there is NOTHING to Stop it, it MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.


  • Comment Link Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. Friday, 18 January 2013 02:31 posted by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.

    Both the article and the information provided on the Compact for America website provide plenty of information for the reader to make an informed decision on this matter of historic constitutional importance.

    Therefore, only a couple of points need to be made regarding the response from Nick Dranias of the Compact for America.

    First, it is disheartening to see that a self-confessed conservative and constitutional scholar would put the word “nullification” in quotation marks. Nullification is not some constitutional unicorn or mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of federalism. It is a very powerful, very sound, and very necessary aspect of the relationship between the states and the federal government they created through the drafting of our Constitution. To disparage and downgrade nullification in that manner is unbecoming of an organization that has the survival of the republic at heart and smacks more of self-serving propaganda aimed at promoting a point rather than a principle.

    Next, with regard to nullification, perhaps Mr. Dranias misunderstands the process. In some of his published criticisms of my article, Mr. Dranias claims that congressmen could not be relied upon to heed the wishes of state legislators determined to enforcing the terms of the Constitution. That’s precisely the point. Congress -- and the president and the courts, for that matter -- would have nothing to do to make nullification an effective means of restraining the federal government. In fact, it is the federal government’s refusal to confine itself to within constitutional boundaries that would precipitate nullification in the first place. That is to say, it is the lack of constitutional fidelity that causes nullification and it neither requires nor allows increased federal participation.

    Third, it is disappointing to read Mr. Dranias’s reminders of “safeguards” built into the CFA and the Balanced Budget Amendment it seeks to add to the Constitution. It is ironical, moreover, that it is the lack of attention to such safeguards that have driven this republic to the edge of a fiscal and social cliff. After all, our Founders already placed safeguards in the Constitution designed to prevent the federal government from exceeding its enumerated powers. Sadly, the safeguards written into the Constitution by our Founders have proven to be little more than the “parchment barriers” Madison feared they could become. Every congress, every court, and every president for decades has disregarded the related safeguards of separated and limited powers in their zealous pursuit of unlimited power.

    So, while Mr. Dranias may assure readers that the scenario that opens my article could never happen, there is nothing more reliable than the word of participants and the fidelity of Congress to written promises, something that they have proven unable to demonstrate.

    Fourth, Mr. Dranias does not (for he cannot) refute the fact that the BBA sponsored by his organization allows for an increase in spending. Not only an increase, but an unrestricted increase. Add to that the surreptitious re-writing of Article I of the Constitution by endowing the president with unprecedented power over the purse strings and it becomes frighteningly apparent that the Compact for America places the knife of “reform” too close to the jugular of our constitutional freedom.

    Finally, although Mr. Dranias speaks disparagingly of it, a “culture change” is exactly what this country needs. We believe that there are countless Americans who have grown weary of the rhetoric and are ready to effect wholesale changes in not only our federal government, but in state assemblies, as well. As evidence, see our reporting that has shown over the past couple of years that there is a growing cadre of state legislators committed to restoring the proper constitutional balance between state and federal authority.

    These lawmakers and the concerned citizens that elect them understand that the problems plaguing our nation would be best solved by not by relying on politicians to fix our Constitution, but by requiring them to follow it.

  • Comment Link Nick Dranias Friday, 11 January 2013 00:01 posted by Nick Dranias


    I hope your readers will visit and learn the truth about the initiative. This is because, whether we like it or not, the power to amend the constitution exists. Choosing not to use that power is unilateral disarmament that will do nothing to stop the bad guys from using the power. Cultural change is important, but it does not make sense to focus everything on the hope for cultural change while the opponents of liberty play the entire political field. Freedom lovers need to learn to play three dimensional chess, not checkers. This is especially true because the Constitution we have today is not the Constitution the founders gave us. It makes zero sense to surrender to the constitutional status quo.

    Furthermore, you have failed to give a full or fair accounting of the safeguards built into the Compact for America--safeguards that you never criticized or faulted for a lack of robustness in our many email discussions last year. Here's a refresher of those conversations. For your contemplated runaway convention to happen, all of the following events would somehow have to take place:

    1. Delegates from 50 states show up at Convention, including at least 38 governors representing at least 38 compacting states. The supermajority of governor-delegates who are bound to the Compact for America somehow refuse or fail to vote the Compact rules and limited agenda into place, presumably because at least 14 Compact State governor-delegates defect to join the non-member states in opposing the same. This defection somehow happens despite the fact that these are all the same governors who previously signed into law (just a few months earlier) the Compact, who enjoy no official gubernatorial powers while they are at the Convention under the Compact, and who know that the Lt. Governor of their state (typically a political rival) then holds their powers.
    2. The Compact Commission stands down and does not exercise its power relocate Convention to ensure it follows the rules and limited agenda specified in the Compact.
    3. At least 14 governor-delegates from the Compact States join the delegates from non-member states to vote in an wide open agenda and rules that violate the Compact knowing that the ratification referral contained in the counterpart Congressional Omnibus Resolution will thereby be rendered inoperative.
    4. Attorney generals from at least 38 compacting states either stand down or fail to secure an injunction as required under the Compact to block further proceedings or recall delegates under state law, federal law, and the Constitution's Contracts Clause in the federal and state district courts for Texas.
    5. The Convention emerges with one or more proposed amendments that are different than the CFA's Balanced Budget Amendment.
    6. Attorney generals from at least 38 compacting states either stand down or fail to secure an injunction under the Compact to block ratification referral of the rogue amendment in the federal and state district courts for Texas.
    7. The same Congress that called the Convention in accordance with the Compact for America (just a few months ago) elects not to regard the rogue proposed amendments as void ab initio, as required by the Compact for America, and instead refers the amendment(s) out for ratification.
    8. All non-compacting states ratify the amendment.
    9. Fewer than 13 of the compacting states stay true to the Compact's binding obligation to refuse to ratify anything other than the CFA's BBA.
    10. Attorney generals in at least 38 compacting states either stand down or fail to secure injunction to block ratification in at least 13 compacting states.
    11. The process and end result is somehow accepted peacefully by the American people as legitimate and the nation yields.

    To fret about the foregoing extremely unlikely outcome while holding out hope for nullification or culture change to save our nation is completely unrealistic and illogical. The possibility of such a lawless process actually succeeding AND being accepted by the American people quietly logically precludes the possibility of freedom-friendly "culture change" much less "nullification." Our country would already be lost. So you can't really believe both are true at the same time. Please think this through a bit more carefully Joe.

  • Comment Link N.E. Patriot Thursday, 10 January 2013 21:52 posted by N.E. Patriot

    Oh, if only we could get a majority of Americans to read your article, Mr. Wolverton, and consider the seriousness of its implications! But unless every person reading this immediately sends a link to their entire address list, makes copies to enclose in every bill they pay, hands a copy to everyone at their church and place of business, leaves copies at doctors' and dentists' offices, uses the information to write letters to the editor, sends a copy to local radio and TV hosts and other opinion molders -- and contacts their own Governor and State and Federal Representatives by e-mail, phone call, and snail mail -- it may be too little, too late! This is one article we cannot afford to read and ignore!

    Readers will also find additional information contained in the quotes and spoken comments accompanying "The No Con-Con Song" at

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