Sunday, 16 March 2014 17:30

The Inside Story of How Oklahomans Beat the Con-Con

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“Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights.”
              — Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 1789

Jefferson would be proud of the constitutionally minded citizens of Oklahoma and their recent defeat of the forces pushing for a second constitutional convention.

As we reported last week, the Oklahoma State House of Representatives decided not to vote to apply for a constitutional convention (con-con) under the authority of Article V of the Constitution. Put simply, the votes needed to approve the con-con application were not there, and the project is now dead in Oklahoma, at least until next year's legislative session.

This is a crucial victory in the struggle to protect the Constitution and the fundamental liberties it protects from the possible ravages that could result from a second constitutional convention, or, as its supporters call it, a "convention of states."

Dr. Mike Ritze, a key member of the constitutionally minded bloc of the Oklahoma House of Representatives who successfully derailed the con-con locomotive in the Sooner State, told The New American that the fight was close and the hour was late, but in the end a majority of his colleagues decided “they did not want to open the Pandora’s box of a con-con.” Ritze supports state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws as the far safer approach for reining in the federal government.

While Ritze was one of the leaders of the victorious battle against the con-con, there were many devoted constitutionalists fighting with him and the full story of their successful campaign against the con-con deserves to be told.

In January, State Representative Gary Banz filed a resolution (HJR 1083) with the Oklahoma State Legislature asking the state to apply for an Article V convention.

Immediately after filing his call for a con-con, Banz scheduled several events in Oklahoma featuring appearances by several of the leading spokesmen of the Convention of the States (COS) movement. The goal of the meetings was to give the COS presenters time to convince audiences that an Article V Convention is the only hope for saving the Republic (see my article here for a refutation of that claim).

Not only were COS luminaries brought in from out of state to get the con-con resolution passed, but several key members of the delegation of state legislators who attended the recent Mt. Vernon Conference to lay the groundwork for a COS were also working to get Oklahoma on board. (Information on the purpose of the Mt. Vernon Conference and the power behind it can be found here.)

As legislators, COS leaders, and influential members of the Mt. Vernon meeting traveled the state making their ultimately futile case, Oklahomans aware of the significant and potentially fatal threat to the Constitution posed by a con-con got busy exposing this fact to their fellow citizens.

Members of The John Birch Society, the Eagle Forum, and other constitutionalist organizations attended one of the COS presentations on January 26 at the American Legion Hall in Del City, Oklahoma. The incorrect information they were provided gave them the ammunition they needed to go on the offensive.

On February 4 and again on February 11, about 30 citizen activists descended on the state capitol in Oklahoma City, informing legislators of the risks associated with calling for an Article V convention of the states, including giving legislators historical examples of how such a convention could quickly exceed its mandate and cause irreparable harm to the Constitution. They also reminded their elected representatives of the undeniable fact that Congress doesn't recognize current restrictions on their power and would be unlikely to change their ways if new amendments were added.

Next, on February 18, the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee met to vote on the con-con resolution. The measure passed narrowly, 8 to 7. The forces of liberty were starting to see the opposition weaken.

How were constitutionalists able to so successfully convince legislators to not call for an Article V convention, especially in light of so much money that was spent by the COS and their legislative allies? Here's the inside story as told by Bob Donohoo, a volunteer leader of The John Birch Society in Oklahoma, who was instrumental in the victory:

For the next several weeks thousands of emails and calls from members of the John Birch Society in Oklahoma and like-minded friends went to Oklahoma State Representatives’ giving reasons why they should oppose HJR 1083. I even took a copy of the minutes from the 1787 Philadelphia Convention over to the house of the co-author of HJR 1083, Representative Lewis Moore, and showed him the recorded comments and votes surrounding the development of Article VII of our current constitution and the lengths they were willing to go even at the expense of what was previously committed to by the states. Representative Moore responded by removing his name as a co-author of HJR 1083 and agreed to vote against it.

That is truly an inspiring story and one that energizes constitutionalists in other states currently embroiled in their own fight against an Article V convention!

As for Oklahoma, on March 11, after taking an informal poll of members of the state House of Representatives to measure the support for the con-con resolution, the Speaker of the House, Representative Jeff Hickman, informed Dr. Ritz that HJR 1083 would not be brought to the floor of the House for a vote.

Victory!

Although the news out of Oklahoma (and other states where the con-con is being defeated) is encouraging, the fight isn't over. As Thomas Jefferson also said, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

Let's all be ready and willing to pay that price — by working to stop a con-con, and by insisting that our elected officeholders enforce the Constitution as opposed to changing it. In the case of state legislators, enforcing the Constitution against unconstitutional federal power grabs means nullification, the approach recommended by Oklahoma state Representative Mike Ritze among others.

12 comments

  • Comment Link John Wednesday, 19 March 2014 08:26 posted by John

    Ok Stephanie, you're certainly welcome to your own opinions, but your comment seems to lack some critical thinking skills.
    Yes, rule of law is breaking down in this country, and Obama (among others) disregards the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
    But .... why would more Amendments make them suddenly begin to obey the law? That's one question that people in favor of a Convention cannot answer. I do see that there are problems in this country, but believing that lawbreakers will behave themselves if we simply implement more laws is absurd.
    Furthermore, you must remember that there are other forces attempting to get a Convention as well, namely those in the Progressive/socialist camp. They have a lot of money and clearly a lot of supporters. Can you be sure the Convention will turn out just the way you want and restore America to her former glory? Not likely.
    A BBA sounds great, but if keeping the budget "balanced" means raising taxes to keep up with spending (which could very well happen) then no thank you. What we need is massive spending cuts and then, eventually, no federal income tax. That will almost certainly not happen just because a BBA is passed.
    I could go on but that's enough for now. There are many common-sense reasons for not being gung-ho about a Convention. The idea sounds good, I admit, but I think a Convention is the potential wolf in sheep's clothing.

  • Comment Link Stephanie Wednesday, 19 March 2014 03:05 posted by Stephanie

    Sounds like The New American has something much in common with Obama. You plan to make sure that evil wins by changing America.

    The only way to restore Rule of Law is with a Constitutional Convention. It's also the only way to get our Constitutional rights back and get our government back on track.

    So, since this outfit seems to be a wolves in sheep's clothing kinda place. I'm unsubscribing.

  • Comment Link Nora Tuesday, 18 March 2014 01:46 posted by Nora

    While it's a small victory is a big war, one must focus on the real heart of the issue; congress is almost completely corrupt, and therein lies the problem.

    We haven't had any real control of our government in over a hundred years, because we haven't enforced the perfectly serviceable constitution we have.

    We constantly get distracted by political debate and matters of little real importance, if both houses of congress are bought and paid for minions of the globalists. Look at the secrecy and deceit! They're unprincipled.

    Congress is made up of lawyers, and lawyers rewrote our common law and changed it's structure to UCC which is Maritime or Admiralty Law. Our courts are simply a means to extract our wealth through fines, fees and costs of prosecuting us for committing non-crimes. The courts are an ATM machine for the globalists to take what we work for, not the source of justice--so there go two of the three branches of government.

    Now Obama is just making up the law as he goes along, on a whim it would seem, albeit under the direction of Valerie Jarrett. So, if all three branches of our government have been corrupted and no longer function, the only real target left for the globalists is Christianity and the constitution. They're hankering to get a crack at the document, because they know they will never have any effect on true Christians, even if they kill them all. Don't be fooled into thinking this battle is about politics. It's good v. evil.

  • Comment Link Old Mullet Monday, 17 March 2014 23:11 posted by Old Mullet

    Somehow it seems that over the past few months this site has grown more and more liberal in content and postings. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that except there are conservative "clothing" issues presented as distractions. Calling a "Constitutional Convention" a "CON-CON" was a stroke of genius by some detractor's part. Notice that too many people urge everyone to "stay the course", don't make waves, let it iron itself out... etc. How's that been working over the last five years (or so)? Hmm, not so much. Back many decades ago my dear Mama told me to pay attention when someone is eager to sidetrack you from a good cause, especially when they don't offer anything better. Aping the "three monkeys" (hear, see, speak, no evil) has an evil twin. Beware the ides of March.

  • Comment Link Joyce Monday, 17 March 2014 21:17 posted by Joyce

    Beware of any legislator (local or federal) who in on the con-con band wagon for the one world global government, aka the new world order already has their own new one to foist upon us, written to fool us by writing it similar to our present one, but leaving out some key words. For instance the eminent domain now reads "without just compensation - their new one leaves out the "just" so they can just take it at whatever price they want to confiscate it, or for $0.

    We need to start looking at the bigger picture and realizing that the EPA, FDA, IRS, WHO, CDC, Common Core from the Dept. of Education here, and the UN, NATO, are all under the control of the new world order and start working on getting rid of them on the local level and the federal level. EPA's overreach of their authority Is outrageous when they tell the small farmer/dairy/rancher that they cannot capture and contain the rainwater for their crops or livestock, or use their well water from their own well to water them.

    We also need to keep a wary vigilance on those legislators trying to stir up or agree with our military attacking Russia over the UK. If you look up the G5 nations, I think you will find both the USA and Russia among them, which should tell you that both are working with the new world order to start WW 3. Remember how John McCain and Lindsay Graham and made a sneak visit to the terrorists fighting against Libya and came back saying what nice fellows they were, many of these Hamas terrorists were known to have fought against out troops in other wars. Don't lose sight of the fact the new world order backs both sides in these wars that are mostly fought to make cannon fodder of both sides troops which works for their ultimate goal of reducing worldwide population by at least 90%. Looking at that from the angle that their plan is to kill off all but 10% of all the people living on planet Earth today, you really see what they are and begin to look at all the wars, skirmishes even among the African tribes over the last several decades,for their true purpose of GENOCIDE!

  • Comment Link Tionico Monday, 17 March 2014 20:58 posted by Tionico

    one down, twelve more to go.... this can NOT happen. There will be no end to it.

    As to the whiner above, lamenting the idea that ll seems hopeless, buck up... get busy, make sure everyone you know gets informed and votes accordingly. Last election, we here in Washington State had two VERY close state elections... two elected representatives, good guys, got in by a margin of fewer than 100 votes. Those two have changed the majority force in our legislature, Seattle big shots, used to hollering and getting their way, did not..... three very nasty bills went down in flames. We CAN bring pressure to bear on the guys in DC to FORCE them to abide by the Constitition as written. Work? Yes. Worth it? You bet. Hopeless? Nope.. don't think so.

  • Comment Link Bob Donohoo Monday, 17 March 2014 20:48 posted by Bob Donohoo

    Dennis - while your frustration is apparent you ask a good question. What next? To get the answer I suggest you talk to a seasoned JBS member in your area.

    There are answers and it isn't just doing more of the same ...

  • Comment Link Michael Oberndorf, RPA Monday, 17 March 2014 20:27 posted by Michael Oberndorf, RPA

    After witnessing the performance of both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, DC, over the past 20 years, and especially the past five, you really have to be naive to believe that they will obey new amendments any more than they have obeyed the existing ones. The administration violates the Constitution on a daily basis, but no one does a damm thing to stop them, much less hold them responsible. But I gar-ron-tee you that if a COS is called, the Constitution will be "officially" changed beyond recognition. Bravo Oklahoma!

  • Comment Link Dennis Monday, 17 March 2014 19:18 posted by Dennis

    OK.

    Suppose you defeat the efforts of the Article V Convention of States (not a con-con, as you state). We go into 2014 mid-Term elections with the same fraud and election corruption we've seen developing over the last two elections. We go into the 2016 General election after the democrats have become even more audacious in their fraud, as they clearly see that nobody is going to stop them, or even slow them down. In 2014 we (repub) don't gain the Senate. In 2016 we watch helplessly as hillary gets elected (remember that feeling from 2012?).

    You all suggest we don't change a thing. Just keep voting. How's that working for you?

    What next? Lay down and continue to get f****d again, and again?

    I'm sorry, but I'm American and I'm not going to take it any more. I'll change this country back to America and I know a h3ll of a lot of supporters to back me up.

  • Comment Link Michael Dalene Monday, 17 March 2014 19:16 posted by Michael Dalene

    There are a few Amendments I'd like to see but I doubt they'd be given a seconds thought... * One would be to either have any law/Amendment passed automatically expire after 20 years, or for them all to expire every 20 years after Ratification; and that each MUST be introduced and debated separately (to avoid mass reenactment).

    (2) That the term 'militia' be defined as "any individual of majority age" and that "shall not be infringed" defined as meaning "any weapon capable of being produced or imagined" and specifically stating "that such may be possessed in any manner deemed appropriate by the possessor" and that an additional clause be made to ensure that ONLY by Court Order of Incompetence (aka, insanity) can such Right be lawfully denied.

    (3) That in any blatant act of government violation of individual Rights an individual may exercise "deadly force" in opposition, and should such Right be questioned, it must be by a Court of Law and in accordance with historical juror decision.

    (4) That NO corporation may contribute to any party applying for pubic office, nor any officer or Trusted party of any corporation be permitted to vote. (akin to a convicted felon).

    (5) Every 5 years Corporate Charters shall be publicly Reviewed and for Cause shall be revoked; and that every 20 years such Charters shall expired indefinitely and be resubmitted for corporate privilege consideration. Additionally, those corporations and the officers and Trustees of said Charters if non-voluntarily REVOKED for criminal cause or for Public detriment shall forfeit all corporate and personal assets and ill-gotten gains during the time such persons and corporations were Charted, etc.

    ... more to follow!

  • Comment Link MemphisMickey Sunday, 16 March 2014 20:57 posted by MemphisMickey

    US Senator Rand Paul is on the Con con bandwagon too.

  • Comment Link UrbanTroubadour Sunday, 16 March 2014 19:02 posted by UrbanTroubadour

    This is great news considering that US Senator Tom Coburn got on the con con bandwagon!

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